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Open AccessArticle

An Autonomous Platform for Near Real-Time Surveillance of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins in Dynamic Coastal Shelf Environments

1
Conservation Biology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2725 Montlake Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
2
Environmental and Fisheries Science Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2725 Montlake Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
3
Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th St., Seattle, WA 98105, USA
4
Stressor Detection and Impacts Division, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 219 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412, USA
5
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pedro Reis Costa
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9030336
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 18 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms)
Efforts to identify in situ the mechanisms underpinning the response of harmful algae to climate change demand frequent observations in dynamic and often difficult to access marine and freshwater environments. Increasingly, resource managers and researchers are looking to fill this data gap using unmanned systems. In this study we integrated the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) into an autonomous platform to provide near real-time surveillance of harmful algae and the toxin domoic acid on the Washington State continental shelf over a three-year period (2016–2018). The ESP mooring design accommodated the necessary subsystems to sustain ESP operations, supporting deployment durations of up to 7.5 weeks. The combination of ESP observations and a suite of contextual measurements from the ESP mooring and a nearby surface buoy permitted an investigation into toxic Pseudo-nitzschia spp. bloom dynamics. Preliminary findings suggest a connection between bloom formation and nutrient availability that is modulated by wind-forced coastal-trapped waves. In addition, high concentrations of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and elevated levels of domoic acid observed at the ESP mooring location were not necessarily associated with the advection of water from known bloom initiation sites. Such insights, made possible by this autonomous technology, enable the formulation of testable hypotheses on climate-driven changes in HAB dynamics that can be investigated during future deployments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Environmental Sample Processor; unmanned system; autonomous surveillance; mooring platform; harmful algae; Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid; internal wave; Washington shelf Environmental Sample Processor; unmanned system; autonomous surveillance; mooring platform; harmful algae; Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid; internal wave; Washington shelf
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moore, S.K.; Mickett, J.B.; Doucette, G.J.; Adams, N.G.; Mikulski, C.M.; Birch, J.M.; Roman, B.; Michel-Hart, N.; Newton, J.A. An Autonomous Platform for Near Real-Time Surveillance of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins in Dynamic Coastal Shelf Environments. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 336. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9030336

AMA Style

Moore SK, Mickett JB, Doucette GJ, Adams NG, Mikulski CM, Birch JM, Roman B, Michel-Hart N, Newton JA. An Autonomous Platform for Near Real-Time Surveillance of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins in Dynamic Coastal Shelf Environments. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(3):336. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9030336

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moore, Stephanie K.; Mickett, John B.; Doucette, Gregory J.; Adams, Nicolaus G.; Mikulski, Christina M.; Birch, James M.; Roman, Brent; Michel-Hart, Nicolas; Newton, Jan A. 2021. "An Autonomous Platform for Near Real-Time Surveillance of Harmful Algae and Their Toxins in Dynamic Coastal Shelf Environments" J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 9, no. 3: 336. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9030336

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