Tag Archives: Pseudo-nitzschia

Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Makes Ocean’s Toxic Algae Bloom

dungenesscrabLast winter was the first time the Dungeness crab fishery in Oregon closed temporarily because of toxic algae in the ocean.  And even just a week ago, another toxic bloom was happening off the coast. Scientists are just beginning to understand what triggers these conditions. A study this month from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a rare peak below the waves. The toxin, demoic acid, is sometimes produced by an algae called Pseudo-nitzschia, or PN.  PN does better than most algae when ocean temperatures are high and there isn’t much nutrients in the water.    When these nutrient-poor conditions are followed by upwelling of rich, cold water from the ocean bottom, the PN are in the perfect position to party.  Their numbers explode. Read the story here 08:46