Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Keywords

Year-round, Harmful algal blooms, HABs, Saxitoxin, Domoic acid, Eumetopias jubatus, Zalophus californianus, Diet analysis

Abstract

Harmful algal bloom toxins cause illness and mortality in marine mammals worldwide, yet the potential for year-round exposure to these toxins has not previously been studied. We measured concentrations of domoic acid and saxitoxin in scats from Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus (n = 383 scats) and California sea lions Zalophus californianus (n = 125 scats) over a 2 yr period. Toxin concentrations in the scats were compared to the prey remains in the scats and to concentrations in nearshore bivalves. Saxitoxin was detected in 45% and domoic acid was detected in 17% of all scats tested, and both toxins were detected in all seasons and months of the year. A variety of benthic and pelagic fish were significantly associated with toxins in sea lion scats, including prey with low occurrence in the sea lions’ diet. Toxins detected in winter scats confirm that US West Coast marine mammals are exposed to domoic acid and saxitoxin through their prey outside of the expected algal bloom seasons

Publication Title

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Volume

583

First Page

243

Last Page

258

DOI

10.3354/meps12345

Required Publisher's Statement

Copyright is by the Authors, 2017

Publisher: Inter-Research

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Algal blooms--Toxicology; Toxic algae--Toxicology; Sea lions--Food--Washington (State)--Puget Sound; Sea lions--Food--California current; Forage fishes--Washington (State)--Puget Sound; Forage fishes--California current

Genre/Form

articles

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Included in

Biology Commons

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