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Distribution of the brown tide picoplankter Aureococcus anophagefferens in western New York Bight coastal waters
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    Incidence of the picoplankter Aureococcus anophagefferens in eastern Long Island, NY, has been thoroughly documented since its blooms, or "brown tides", began there in1985. In contrast, definitive information on incidence of A. anophagefferens in the western or New Jersey side of the New York Bight lagged considerably. None was available until surveys along the northeast U. S. coast in 1988 and 1990 by other investigators detected the species in New Jersey bays and ocean coastal waters from the Hudson-Raritan estuary south to Great Bay (approximately central on the New Jersey coast). Confirmation of an A. anophagefferens bloom in New Jersey, this in the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuarine system, was delayed until 1995 although earlier episodes were suspected. To obtain more comprehensive and current information on A. anophagefferens distribution and potential for its blooms in the western Bight, we surveyed for it in coastal waters from Delaware Bay to the Hudson-Raritan estuary, and in western Long Island (Nassau County, NY) south shore locales, during 1997 to 2001. Results showed persistence of the species in New Jersey locales where found by the 1988,1990 surveys, and expansion of its range southward in New Jersey coastal waters since 1990. Year-to-year difference in incidence in waters south of Great Bay was noted, with much greater incidence in1999, a year when it bloomed primarily in the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor system and Great Bay, than in1998, a non-bloom year. Cell numbers in 1999 in New Jersey southern estuarine waters were below reported detrimental level (3.5 x 104 cells ml-1 ) at most sites surveyed, but at three sites to approximately six km south of Great Bay concentrations ranged 2-2.8 x 106 cells ml-1. This was the first confirmed bloom occurrence south of Great Bay. Although having a history of intense blooms of other phytoplankton species, the Hudson-Raritan estuary does not appear to be a system where brown tide might be expected.
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