Georges Bank: a leaky incubator of Alexandrium fundyense blooms. Academic Article uri icon


  • A series of oceanographic surveys on Georges Bank document variability of populations of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense on time scales ranging from synoptic to seasonal to interannual. Blooms of A. fundyense on Georges Bank can reach concentrations on the order of 104 cells l-1, and are generally bank-wide in extent. Georges Bank populations of A. fundyense appear to be quasi-independent of those in the adjacent coastal Gulf of Maine, insofar as they occupy a hydrographic niche that is colder and saltier than their coastal counterparts. In contrast to coastal populations that rely on abundant resting cysts for bloom initiation, very few cysts are present in the sediments on Georges Bank. Bloom dynamics must therefore be largely controlled by the balance between growth and mortality processes, which are at present largely unknown for this population. Based on correlations between cell abundance and nutrient distributions, ammonium appears to be an important source of nitrogen for A. fundyense blooms on Georges Bank.

publication date

  • May 1, 2014