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A toxic Pseudo-nitzschia bloom in Todos Santos Bay, northwestern Baja California, Mexico

TitleA toxic Pseudo-nitzschia bloom in Todos Santos Bay, northwestern Baja California, Mexico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGarcia-Mendoza E, Rivas D, Olivosortiz A, Almazanbecerril A, Castanedavega C, Penamanjarrez J
Journal TitleHarmful Algae
Pages493 - 503
KeywordsBaja California, domoic acid, pseudo-nitzschia australis, toxic bloom, upwelling

A toxic Pseudo-nitzschia spp. bloom in the Todos Santos Bay area (31.8°N), Mexico, is described. This is the southernmost report of the presence of domoic acid (DA) in the California Current System and it is also the first report of the distribution of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species and DA on the Baja California west coast. The maximum cell abundance of Pseudo-nitzschia was 3.02 × 105 cells L−1 and the maximum concentration of DA in particulate matter (pDA) was 0.86 μg L−1. P. australis constituted the major proportion of cells identified as Pseudo-nitzschia. The environmental conditions associated with wind-driven upwelling were the cause for the accumulation of toxic cells. Maximum pDA and cell concentration were detected around 14 °C. The ratio of the concentration of macronutrients seemed to be the important factor for the accumulation of P. australis. The highest cell abundance was detected in areas with a high Si(OH)4 to N ratio in the entire water column. Therefore, the relative increase of silicate concentration related to upwelling conditions was the probable cause for the accumulation of P. australis. Maximum photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency of charge separation (Fv/Fm) was negatively correlated to the pDA to fucoxanthin ratio. This ratio was used in this work as an index of cellular DA content. Therefore, the photosynthetic competence of the cells might be an important factor that affected their DA cellular content.