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Can increases in temperature stimulate blooms of the toxic benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis ovata? Harmful Algae 10: 165-172

Author(s): Granéli E, Vidyarathna NK, Funari, Cumaranatunga PRT, Scenati R

Abstract

Ostreopsis ovata Fukuyo is an epiphytic, toxic dinoflagellate, inhabiting tropical and sub-tropical waters worldwide and also in certain temperate waters such as the Mediterranean Sea. Toxic blooms of O. ovata have been reported in SE Brazil in 1998/99 and 2001/02 and the French–Italian Riviera in 2005 and 2006. These blooms had negative effects on human health and aquatic life. Chemical analyses have indicated that O. ovata cells produce palytoxin, a very strong toxin, only second in toxicity to botulism. Increase in water temperature by several degrees has been suggested as the reason for triggering these blooms. Four laboratory experiments were performed with O. ovata isolated from Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy to determine the effects of water temperature and co-occurring algae on the cell growth and/or the toxicity of O. ovata.

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