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Open AccessArticle

Pseudo-nitzschia Blooms in a Coastal Upwelling System: Remote Sensing Detection, Toxicity and Environmental Variables

1
Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory, Department of Applied Physics, Sciences Faculty, University of Vigo, Campus Lagoas Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
2
Immunology Area, Biomedical Research Center (CINBIO) and Institute of Biomedical Research of Vigo (IBIV), University of Vigo, Campus Lagoas Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain
3
Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1954; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091954
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 19 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing and GIS in Aquatic Ecosystems)
The NW coast of the Iberian Peninsula is dominated by extensive shellfish farming, which places this region as a world leader in mussel production. Harmful algal blooms in the area frequent lead to lengthy harvesting closures threatening food security. This study developed a framework for the detection of Pseudo-nitzschia blooms in the Galician rias from satellite data (MERIS full-resolution images) and identified key variables that affect their abundance and toxicity. Two events of toxin-containing Pseudo-nitzschia were detected (up to 2.5 μg L−1 pDA) in the area. This study suggests that even moderate densities of Pseudo-nitzschia in this area might indicate high toxin content. Empirical models for particulate domoic acid (pDA) were developed based on MERIS FR data. The resulting remote-sensing model, including MERIS bands centered around 510, 560, and 620 nm explain 73% of the pDA variance (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001). The results show that higher salinity values and lower Si(OH)4/N ratios favour higher Pseudo-nitzschia spp. abundances. High pDA values seem to be associated with relatively high PO43, low NO3 concentrations, and low Si(OH)4/N. While MERIS FR data and regionally specific algorithms can be useful for detecting Pseudo-nitzschia blooms, nutrient relationships are crucial for predicting the toxicity of these blooms. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid; MERIS algorithms; upwelling; Galician rias Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid; MERIS algorithms; upwelling; Galician rias
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Torres Palenzuela, J.M.; González Vilas, L.; Bellas, F.M.; Garet, E.; González-Fernández, Á.; Spyrakos, E. Pseudo-nitzschia Blooms in a Coastal Upwelling System: Remote Sensing Detection, Toxicity and Environmental Variables. Water 2019, 11, 1954.

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