Steven R. Kibler, R. Wayne Litaker (Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, USA); Patricia A. Tester (Ocean Tester, USA); Kenneth E. Kunkel (North Carolina State University and NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, USA); Stephanie K. Moored (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)
Abstract: Projected water temperaturas at six sites in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea were used to fore-cast potential effects of climate change on the growth, abundance and distribution of Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa species, dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera fish poisoning CFP). Data from six sites in the Greater Caribbean were used to créate statistically down scaled projections of wáter temperatura using an ensemble of eleven global climate models and simulation RCP6.O from the WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase (CMIP5). Growth rates of five dinoflagellate species were estimated through the end of the 21st century using experimentally derived temperatura vs. growth relationships for multiple strains of each species. The projected growth rates suggest the distribution andabundance of CFP-associated dinoflagellate species will shift substantially through 2099. Rising wáter temperaturas are projected to increase the abundance and diversity of Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa species in the Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. southeast Atlantic coast. In the Caribbean Sea, where the highest average temperatures corelate with the high estrates of CFP, it is projected that Gambierdiscus caribaeus, Gambierdiscus belizeanus and Fukuyoa ruetzleri will become increasingly dominant. Conversely, the lower temperature-adapted species Gambierdiscus carolinianus and Gambierdiscus ribotype 2 are likely to become less prevalent in the Caribbean Sea and are expected to expand their ranges in the northern Gulf of Mexico and farther in to the western Atlantic. The risks associated with CFP are also expected to change regionally, with higher incidence rates in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. southeast Atlantic coast, with stable or slightly lower risks in the Caribbean Sea.
Key words: climate change, ciguatoxin, harmful algal Bloom, benthic dinoflagellate