Developing a 3D mechanistic model for examining factors contributing to harmful blooms of Margalefidinium polykrikoides in a temperate estuary
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Developing a 3D mechanistic model for examining factors contributing to harmful blooms of Margalefidinium polykrikoides in a temperate estuary

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  • Journal Title:
    Harmful Algae
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  • Description:
    Blooms of Margalefidinium (previously Cochlodinium) polykrikoides occur almost annually in summer in the lower Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries (e.g., the James and York Rivers). The Lafayette River, a sub-tributary of the lower James River, has been recognized as an initiation location for blooms in this region. The timing of bloom initiation varies interannually, ranging from late June to early August. To fully understand critical environmental factors controlling bloom initiation and interactions between physical and biological processes, a numerical module simulating M. polykrikoides blooms was developed with a focus on the bloom initiation. The module also includes life cycle and behavioral strategies such as mixotrophy, vertical migration, cyst dynamics and grazing suppression. Parameterizations for these behaviors were assigned based on published laboratory culture experiments. The module was coupled with a 3D physical-biogeochemical model for the James River that examined the contribution of each environmental factor and behavioral strategy to bloom initiation and development. Model simulation results highlight the importance of mixotrophy in maintaining high growth rates for M. polykrikoides in this region. Model results suggest that while many factors contribute to the initiation process, temperature, physical transport processes, and cyst germination are the three dominant factors controlling the interannual variability in the timing of bloom initiation.
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    Harmful Algae, 105, 102055
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  • ISSN:
    1568-9883
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    Accepted Manuscript
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    Library
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