Event Title

Harmful algal species in the central basin of Puget Sound: seasonal distribution patterns analyzed via FlowCAM technology

Presentation Abstract

The Central Basin of Washington State’s Puget Sound is part of a larger estuarine system known as the Salish Sea. Long-term monitoring of this basin by King County has produced a robust dataset through the year-round collection of a suite of physical, chemical, and biological parameters. A phytoplankton monitoring program was established in 2008 using traditional microscopy methods and in 2014 a particle imaging system was added to the program. Several species of phytoplankton common to this region are considered potentially harmful because they are associated with shellfish poisoning, fish kills, or other harmful effects on local biota. The study of these harmful species, their distributions, and their ecological drivers is vital to protecting the local wildlife, aquaculture livestock, and human health. Surface water samples from 10 marine stations spanning Point Wells to East Passage are collected twice a month and analyzed via FlowCAM (Fluid Imaging Technologies), a particle imaging system operating in the 10-300 µm particle range, and traditional microscopy. Key water column indicators (temperature, salinity and nutrients) are collected concurrently to these biological samples. Using parameters such as size, abundance, and biovolume the FlowCAM aids in the identification and quantification of sixty taxonomic categories, including several potentially harmful species that may exist in low numbers or, under certain conditions, produce blooms. The potentially harmful species common to the Central Basin include, but are not limited to: Akashiwo sanguinea, Alexandrium catenella, Dinophysis spp., Heterosigma akashiwo, and some Pseudo-nitzschia species. Since significant changes in physical conditions have been recorded for the Salish Sea in the last several years, notably higher than normal temperatures beginning in late 2014, our data analysis examines how shifting environmental conditions may impact the abundance and distribution of these potentially harmful taxa in the Puget Sound Central Basin.

Session Title

Posters: Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, & Research

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-10

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Harmful algal species in the central basin of Puget Sound: seasonal distribution patterns analyzed via FlowCAM technology

The Central Basin of Washington State’s Puget Sound is part of a larger estuarine system known as the Salish Sea. Long-term monitoring of this basin by King County has produced a robust dataset through the year-round collection of a suite of physical, chemical, and biological parameters. A phytoplankton monitoring program was established in 2008 using traditional microscopy methods and in 2014 a particle imaging system was added to the program. Several species of phytoplankton common to this region are considered potentially harmful because they are associated with shellfish poisoning, fish kills, or other harmful effects on local biota. The study of these harmful species, their distributions, and their ecological drivers is vital to protecting the local wildlife, aquaculture livestock, and human health. Surface water samples from 10 marine stations spanning Point Wells to East Passage are collected twice a month and analyzed via FlowCAM (Fluid Imaging Technologies), a particle imaging system operating in the 10-300 µm particle range, and traditional microscopy. Key water column indicators (temperature, salinity and nutrients) are collected concurrently to these biological samples. Using parameters such as size, abundance, and biovolume the FlowCAM aids in the identification and quantification of sixty taxonomic categories, including several potentially harmful species that may exist in low numbers or, under certain conditions, produce blooms. The potentially harmful species common to the Central Basin include, but are not limited to: Akashiwo sanguinea, Alexandrium catenella, Dinophysis spp., Heterosigma akashiwo, and some Pseudo-nitzschia species. Since significant changes in physical conditions have been recorded for the Salish Sea in the last several years, notably higher than normal temperatures beginning in late 2014, our data analysis examines how shifting environmental conditions may impact the abundance and distribution of these potentially harmful taxa in the Puget Sound Central Basin.