Speaking at #AMD2014 today, Tommy Bornham from SAEON (the South African Environmental Observation Network) said that the recent red tide we experienced in Algoa Bay earlier this year will more than likely return this summer season.
The organism responsible for the red tide was one Lingulodinium polyedrum: As part of its life cycle, this species produces a resting stage, a dinoflagellate cyst called Lingulodinium machaerophorum. This cyst was first described by Deflandre and Cookson in 1955 from the Miocene of Balcombe Bay, Victoria, Australia as: “Shell globular, subsphaerical or ellipsoidal with a rigid membrane, more brittle than deformable, covered with numerous long, stiff, conical, pointed processes resembling the blade of a dagger. Surface of shell granular or punctate.” Its stratigraphic range is the Upper Paleocene of eastern USA and Denmark – Wikipedia.
It is postulated that the Lingulodinium polyedrum came into the bay in ballast water from shipping and the year of ‘infection’ cannot be determined accurately.
These red tide blooms occur every year in the parts of the world where Lingulodinium polyedrum is endemic so it is safe to say that we can expect another red tide to occur this season.
Bornham also mentioned that Algoa Bay is the most highly monitored bay in Africa with in excess of 100 monitoring instruments having been deployed thus far.The following two tabs change content below.