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May 23, 2014 - ESP Update (part 2)

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20-22 May, 2014 ground truthing cruise station locations with Alexandrium sp. "Live" counts posted at each station.  (Don Anderson lab., WHOI)

As a follow-up to the ESP results provided earlier today, I've attached a map of the station locations with Alexandrium sp. "Live" counts posted at each station.

Within the Alexandrium bloom, many Alexandrium ostenfeldii cells co-ocurred with A. fundyense in the samples. At sea, we tried to separate the species, but that is a difficult task and better solved with nucleic acid probes so the total Alexandrium sp. cell concentration is provided. From the microscope observations, the A. ostenfeldii population appeared to be about 50% of the total cells shown based on the presence of a food vacuole in many of the A. ostenfeldii specimens. The NA1 Alexandrium probe (North American ribotype) used on the ESPs is specific for Alexandrium fundyense in this region and does not cross-react with A. ostenfeldii.

Please note that the ESP-1 (don) transect was occupied on the first day of the survey (May 20) when the ESP-1 was not detecting any Alexandrium fundyense cells at that mooring site which agreed with the survey results. However, the next day the signal from ESPdon rose rapidly and we did not re-occupy that site. The observation from ESP-1 indicates the population likely was transported from east to west across that mooring site on Day 2. The source population coming into the region appears to be tracking along the Maine coast between ESP-3 (dennis) off Pemaquid Point and NERACOOS E near Monhegan Island.

And finally to demonstrate the east to west transport of the population in the Maine coastal current system ...working with Jim Manning (NOAA), a middle school in Newburyport, MA built and provided a drifter that was launched from R/V Tioga into the Alexandrium patch on the easternmost (ESP-3 dennis) transect on the last day of the ESP survey. A second drifter made by a Wells, ME high school is onboard Tioga and will be released into the region soon.

Here's the link for the first drifter track...complements of Jim, the teachers and the kids...Jim et al will fill you in about that program in an upcoming message.

Bruce Keafer

Last updated: July 1, 2019

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