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Effects of ocean warming on growth and distribution of dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera fish poisoning in the Caribbean
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    Ecological Modelling, 316, 194-210.
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    Projected water temperatures at six sites in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea were used to forecast potential effects of climate change on the growth, abundance and distribution of Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa species, dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP). Data from six sites in the Greater Caribbean were used to create statistically downscaled projections of water temperature using an ensemble of eleven global climate models and simulation RCP6.0 from the WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Growth rates of five dinoflagellate species were estimated through the end of the 21st century using experimentally derived temperature vs. growth relationships for multiple strains of each species. The projected growth rates suggest the distribution and abundance of CFP-associated dinoflagellate species will shift substantially through 2099. Rising water temperatures are projected to increase the abundance and diversity of Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa species in the Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. southeast Atlantic coast. In the Caribbean Sea, where the highest average temperatures correlate with the highest rates of CFP, it is projected that Gambierdiscus caribaeus, Gambierdiscus belizeanus and Fukuyoa ruetzleri will become increasingly dominant. Conversely, the lower temperature-adapted species Gambierdiscus carolinianus and Gambierdiscus ribotype 2 are likely to become less prevalent in the Caribbean Sea and are expected to expand their ranges in the northern Gulf of Mexico and farther into the western Atlantic. The risks associated with CFP are also expected to change regionally, with higher incidence rates in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. southeast Atlantic coast, with stable or slightly lower risks in the Caribbean Sea. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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