Key environmental factors in the management of ciguatera

Sparrow, Leanne, and Heimann, Kirsten (2016) Key environmental factors in the management of ciguatera. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 75. pp. 1007-1011.

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Ciguatera is a tropical illness that has expanded its geographic range through international travel, frozen tropical fish exports and the expansion of ciguatera-causing dinoflagellates into temperate coastal marine habitats. The drivers in the distribution of Gambierdiscus spp. and other ciguatera-causing dinoflagellates on their macroalgal substrates were investigated in this study. Palatability and macroalgal growth morphology were identified as important drivers in the heterogenetic distribution of Gambierdiscus populations. Higher Gambierdiscus densities were not always associated with fish-palatable macroalgal substrates. At mid-reef sites, Gambierdiscus populations were only found on flattened macroalgal substrates that were palatable to gastropods. Although there was no trend in substrate preference, there were site-specific preferences. This needs further investigation to identify environmental factors that influence the composition and distribution of macroalgae and thereby the potential expansion of ciguatera-causing dinoflagellates into new coastal marine habitats. This research is essential in developing ciguatera monitoring tools as marine fisheries are an integral part of the economy, diet and lifestyle of coastal populations throughout the world.

Item ID: 48147
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1551-5036
Keywords: Gambierdiscus, macroalgae substrates, disturbance events, grazers
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Special Issue 75 - Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium, Sydney, 6-11 March 2016.

A version of this publication was included as Chapter 4 of the following PhD thesis: Sparrow, Leanne (2017) Key factors influencing the occurrence and frequency of ciguatera. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF)
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 04:23
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960402 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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