Are different species of Dinophysis selected by climatological conditions?

  • L Escalera
  • B Reguera
  • Y Pazos
  • A Moroño
  • JM Cabanas
Keywords: Dinophysis acuminata, Dinophysis acuta, stratification patterns


Dinophysis acuminata and D. acuta, the main agents of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning outbreaks in the Galician Rías Baixas, North-West Spain, appear segregated in time and/or space and exhibit considerable interannual
variability. To explore the specific requirements of the two species and the causes of their alternation in latesummer outbreaks, the meteorologically driven structure of the water column was examined in relation to
Dinophysis populations from monthly transects in Ría de Vigo and weekly sampling at a pilot station in Ría de Pontevedra during 2002 and 2003 — two years with contrasting meteorology. D. acuminata had a longer
growth season and reached higher concentrations in parallel with higher standing stocks of diatoms and dinoflagellates during 2002 compared with 2003. Its summer maxima were associated with thermohaline
stratification and persistent northerly winds of daily mean velocities of 2.5–4.0m s–1. In contrast, during 2003, when the summer was very hot and the upwelling index was the lowest for the past 50 years, and the stratification was more intensively thermally driven, the latesummer
populations of D. acuminata were replaced by those of D. acuta. The relationship between Dinophysis spp. and climatological conditions, as well as the more severe socio-economic impacts of 2003 relative to 2002,
are discussed.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X