The Florida Red Tide and it's Impact on SW Florida

This topic submitted by Andy Black ( sofas123@aol.com) at 9:52 AM on 3/30/06.

A class picture at Poas Volcano in Costa Rica, 1997.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University


The Florida Red Tide and its Impact on SW Florida

1.Introduction
2.History
3.Sources of blooms
a. Dinoflagellates (Karenia brevis)
b.Diatoms
c.Chaltonella
d.Nutrient upwelling
4.Dangers
a.To marine organisms
b.To humans
5.Impact on Southwest Florida
6.Unanswered questions
a.Transport mechanisms
b.When are toxins released
c.What causes final “die off” of bloom


Since the first recorded Florida red tide outbreak in 1844, this very dangerous and harmful algae bloom has been studied by scientists. Amazingly, there is still much to learn about the dynamics of this devastating phenomenon. Over the last century red tide blooms have affected almost every county along Florida’s Gulf Coast along with the Florida Keys and some coastal counties along the Atlantic. With blooms ranging from several months to sometimes over a year, scientists are working to develop a complete understanding of the physical, chemical and biological parameters that lead to red tide's formation and persistence. It has shown to be a very versatile algae, making it able to infest both saltwater as well as freshwater rivers and estuaries. This paper will focus on the causes, effects, and management issues the Florida red tide brings to the affected areas, along with the remaining questions scientists still have regarding the harmful algae bloom.


Sources:

Burkholder JM, Noga EJ, Hobbs CH, Glasgow HB. New “Phantom” Dinoflagellate is the Causative Agent of Major Fish Estuarine Fish Kills. Nature, 1992. Vol. 358: 407-10.

Curriero, F.C. The Association Between Extreme Precipitation and Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 2001. Vol. 91: 1194-1199

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2006. http://www.floridamarine.org/.

Morris, J. Glenn. Harmful Algal Blooms: An Emerging Public Health Problem with Possible Links to Human Stress on the Environment. Annu. Rev. Energy Environment, 1999. Vol. 24: 367-90.

Start: Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, Inc. 2004-2006. http://www.start1.com/redtide/default.aspx.

Steidinger, K., et al. Harmful Algal blooms in Florida. HAB Task Force Technical Advisory Group, 1999.

Tomerlin, A., Adams, C. The Economics of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Florida Sea Grant Program, 1999. Vol. 98.

Twilley, Robert R., et al. Confronting Climate change in the Gulf Coast Region: Prospects for Sustaining Our Ecological Heritage. Union of Concerned Scientists & Ecological Society of America, 2001.


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