From the scientic literature:
Harmful algal blooms and climate change: Learning from the past and present to forecast the future. Mark L. Wells a,*, Vera L. Trainer b, Theodore J. Smayda c, Bengt S.O. Karlson d,Charles G. Trick e, Raphael M. Kudela f, Akira Ishikawa g, Stewart Bernard h, Angela Wulff i,
REVIEW: OCEAN CLIMATE CHANGE, PHYTOPLANKTON COMMUNITY RESPONSES, AND HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS: A FORMIDABLE PREDICTIVE CHALLENGE, by Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, and School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart,Tasmania 7001, Australia. J. Phycol. 46, 220–235 (2010), 2010 Phycological Society of America, DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00815.x
Prediction of the impact of global climate change on marine HABs is fraught with difficulties. However, we can learn important lessons from the fossil record of dinoflagellate cysts; long-term monitoring programs, such as the Continuous Plankton Recorder surveys; and short-term phytoplankton community responses to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) episodes.Increasing temperature, enhanced surface stratification, alteration of ocean currents, intensification or weakening of local nutrient upwelling, stimulation of photosynthesis by elevated CO2, reduced calcification through ocean acidification (‘‘the other CO2 problem’’), and heavy precipitation and storm events causing changes in land runoff and micronutrient availability may all produce contradictory species- or even strain-specific responses. Complex factor interactions exist, and simulated ecophysiological laboratory experiments rarely allow for sufficient acclimation and rarely take into account physiological plasticity and genetic strain diversity. We can expect: (i) range expansion of warm-water species at the expense of cold-water species, which are driven poleward; (ii) speciesspecific changes in the abundance and seasonal window of growth of HAB taxa; (iii) earlier timing of peak production of some phytoplankton; and (iv) secondary effects for marine food webs, notably when individual zooplankton and fish grazers are differentially impacted (‘‘match-mismatch’’) by climate change. Some species of harmful algae (e.g., toxic dinoflagellates benefitting from land runoff and ⁄ or water column stratification, tropical benthic dinoflagellates responding to increased water temperatures and coral reef disturbance) may become more successful,while others may diminish in areas currently impacted. Our limited understanding of marine ecosystem responses to multifactorial physicochemical climate drivers as well as our poor knowledge of the potential of marine microalgae to adapt genetically and phenotypically to the unprecedented pace of current climate change are emphasized. The greatest problems for human society will be caused by being unprepared for significant range expansions or the increase of algal biotoxin problems in currently
poorly monitored areas, thus calling for increased vigilance in seafood-biotoxin and HAB monitoring programs. Changes in phytoplankton communities provide a sensitive early warning for climate-driven perturbations to marine ecosystems.
ADVISORY BULLETIN OF THE GEOHAB SSC ON UREA FERTILIZATION
The GEOHAB Scientific Steering Committee has developed an Advisory Bulletin to provide sound scientific and technical advice to decision-makers in relation to proposals to add urea to the sea in order to stimulate algal blooms and sequester carbon for commercial purposes.
Download at www.geohab.info. IOC and SCOR communicated the Advisory Bulletin to the IMO London Convention Scientific Group on Ocean Fertilization. See also a 57-author view point paper in the Marine Pollution Bulletin: Gilbert et al., 2008. Ocean urea fertilization for carbon credits poses high ecological risks. Marine Pollution Bulletin, doi·:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.03.010).
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