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Impacts and effects of ocean warming on marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms


Hallegraeff, GM, Impacts and effects of ocean warming on marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms, Explaining Ocean Warming: Causes, Scale, Effects and Consequences, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), D Laffoley, JM Baxter (ed), Gland, Switzerland, pp. 399-408. ISBN 9782831718064 (2016) [Other Book Chapter]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

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DOI: doi:10.2305/IUCN.CH.2016.08.en


  • Global climate change is altering the abundance, distribution and species composition of phytoplankton at the base of marine food chains. Climate change adds a new level of uncertainty to seafood security and safety for an ever growing human population.
  • Emerging phytoplankton climate responses include: (1) range expansion of warm-water at the expense of coldwater species; (2) changes in abundance and seasonal bloom window; (3) increased cellular toxin content of harmful algal bloom species; and (4) secondary effects for marine food webs, when individual zooplankton and fish grazers are differentially impacted by climate change.
  • Developing predictive capability has been frustrated by: contradictory species and especially strain-specific responses; lack of insights into evolutionary adaptation and how harmful algal species interact with the broader phytoplankton and zooplankton grazer communities; and scarcity of sustained biological data streams. Unexplored factor interactions may underpin differing climate responses by different geographic ocean provinces.
  • To progress phytoplankton climate science, we need better science including agreement on ‘best practices’ experimental protocols, use of biological reference organisms and climate ‘hot-spot’ observer sites. We also need better data streams through more investment in global observation systems and improved ocean sensor capabilities. Finally, we need better integrated and coordinated research communities in order to define management options and better forecast risks to human health and seafood security.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Keywords:algal blooms, climate change
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. marine grasses)
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hallegraeff, GM (Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff)
ID Code:111199
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-09-02
Last Modified:2018-05-10
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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