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Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning may affect fisheries

Related images(click to enlarge) The toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium fundyense, is a photosynthetic plankton–a microscopic organism floating in the ocean, unable to swim against a current. New research by scientists at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) suggests that ingestion of this dinoflagellate changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of a particular copepod–a small crustacean–in the North Atlantic, which is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species. Though this dinoflagellate is responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning, previous studies suggested that the copepod is highly tolerant of the dinoflagellate with no increase in mortality. However, with this new research, lead author, Vittoria Roncalli post-doctoral researcher at the UHM Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC), and co-authors found the toxic dinoflagellate does indeed stress the copepod, Calanus finmarchicus, and impacts its energy balance. Thus, copepods feeding on the dinoflagellate have less energy available for …

May 30, 2016 10:51 am

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