Temporal dynamics of the phytoplankton community associated with environmental factors and harmful algal blooms in Acapulco Bay, Mexico
Cervantes-Urieta, Victor A.
Trujillo-Tapia, Ma. Nieves
Rojas-Herrera, Agustín A.
The phytoplankton community's temporal variability associated with environmental factors and harmful algal blooms in Acapulco Bay was analyzed. Phytoplankton samples were taken monthly at three sites (MSL: Morro de San Lorenzo, CDO: Casa Díaz Ordaz, and PP: Playa Palmitas) over 11 months in 2018. The physical and chemical variables of surface water were measured in situ, and the composition and community structure of phytoplankton were analyzed. The physical and chemical characteristics studied varied significantly. The highest temperatures were obtained in September and October (September: 29.6 ± 3.58°C, October: 34.61 ± 1.83°C), whereas the highest salinities and chlorophyll-a concentrations occurred from February to May (salinity: 34.06 ± 0.38, chlorophyll-a: 2.73 ± 0.15 μg L-1). The highest oxygen concentrations were recorded during the rainy season (June 91.8% and December 100%). A total of 201 phytoplankton species were identified: 94 diatoms, 101 dinoflagellates, 4 cyanobacteria, and 2 silicoflagellates. Diatoms dominated during the rainy season, whereas dinoflagellates dominated during the dry season (June to December). A total of 17 harmful species were identified; four toxin-producing species included a diatom genus (Pseudonitszchia sp.) and three dinoflagellate species (Gymnodinium catenatum, Dinophysis caudata, and Phalacroma rotundata). One species that produces oxygen reactive species and hemolysis (Margalefidinium polykrikoides) caused a harmful algal bloom at the CDO and PP stations. The temperature is one of the most critical factors for its bloom in October.