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Discussion Starter #1
psuedo marine biologist here- I'll keep it simple.

"Red Tide" is a cyanobacteria (which is the 'missing link' between algae and bacteria). Cyanobacteria is always present in every water system- including all seawater, well water and even "de-contaminated" municipal water. It is when conditions get ripe that cyano grow and reproduce. favorable conditions for cyano are: nutrient rich water, intense light and/or duration of light, low oxygen level, stagnant conditions and others.

So it is easy to see why we have 'blooms' in the late summer here on the coast.OK?

When a storm system comes through, the temperature falls, the sunlight level goes down, the wind and waves break-up the water (increasing Oxygen levels), and also do something called 'foam fractionation'. You ever seen the foam that builds up on the beach at certain times- well that foam is concentrated proiten matter, which is ultimately 'nutrients' as a whole. So, we have a reduction in nutrient levels as well. (Marine aquarium owners know this as 'protein skimming'.)

Combine all the elements that a storm system brings to an area and I would say Yes- It will produce a reduction in'Red Tide'levels!

Of course it depends on the intensity and duration of the cell/system. Lately we've had a lot of storm activity and I will tell you thatit really saved our butts this year! Imagine if it were baking hot with no rain. We'd have a severe cyano bloom.

Now- on why cyano kills fish and causes us to have breathing problems. Without getting complicated- cyano bacteria metabolically fixate Oxygen, converting it to Nitrogen and toxic Ammonia. Basically as the cyano eat, shit and reproduce- the oxygen level is reduced and Nitrogen and Ammonia is increased- thereby killing localized fish and other marine invertebrates.

Look at cyano under a microscope and it's easy to see why our lungs (and fishes gills) reject it. It'll make you sneeze, cough and eyes water.





Hope this gives you an idea of what Red Tide actually is. BTW- cyanobacteria have been around for 3.8 billion years. It dates back to the era of what scientists/biologists deem 'the kingdom of life'.

After I wrote this I looked for some pics on line and wikipedia has a good read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria
 

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That is the best explanation I have heard! I have taken many fisheries and aquaculture classes over the years and it has never been explained so well.. Thanks!
 

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David Ridenour (10/18/2007)Very interesting. I've never taken the time to research "Red Tide" myself. Thanks for the info andsimplified explanation.
I'm with David on this....Thanks.:clap:clap
 

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You gave a very nice discussion of cyanobacteria but red tide is a species of dinoflagellate and not a bacteria.

Blooms start in high salinity water. The organism produces a toxin that is released when it dies. The toxin is what kills fish and when picked up in the bubbles and foam as an aerosol, irritates your eyes and lungs.

Heavy rainfall probably won't have an immediate impact but once the river runoff gets into the gulf we might start to get some relief. Episodes off Florida's west coast persist for months. Hope it goes away soon as it is the worst outbreak I have heard of off the Panhandle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys!

Snake- you're a little off on this.I never said it is was a bacteria. It would be more represented by 'blue-green algae', if anything.

Indeed- cyano and dino are not produced by higher salinity- they just do better in high saline conditions. Not the cause, just a reflection of conditions.

You are way wrong on the fact that run-off will decrease the amount of 'red tide' in our area. Maybe if it were a clean source of water i.e. dilluting the Gulf with distilled water- but the run-off is so highly nutrient rich that is will actually increase the count. So, yes you are right- the lower salinity would reduce it, but the pollution level will increase it by so much, that you will actually see an increase of all nutrient based organisms- including cyano, dino, micro-algae, green algae and alike.

As for the 'red tide' being toxic when it dies. Sure- but it is not only toxic when it dies, It is justtoxic when it is live as well, probably more. Not only is it toxic when it is alive, it also depletes the O2 level, increases the ammonia level, and lowers pH and DKH levels.

Snake- Thanks for the input. I am always up for learning more! Again, there's a lot that comes into play here- including nutrient export/import cycling and nitrification as a whole.

We can spend a lifetime learning just a part of the subject. Good conversation!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh yeah- forgot to add- I've lived here 31 years and this year was nowhere close to being 'the worst in years'. Brother- I guess you don't remember Texar, Chico and other bayous with nearly 100% mortality. Hell- there were boats going around with nets collecting 100's of tons of fish. So- no this year wasn't bad at all!
 

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<TABLE id=receivestrings dir=ltr><STYLE>.BORDERREG {margin:2px;cursor:hand;width:'26px';height:'26px';}.BORDERMO {border:1px solid buttonshadow;border-left:1px solid buttonhighlight;border-top:1px solid buttonhighlight; margin:1px;cursor:hand;}.BORDERCLCK {border:1px solid buttonshadow;border-right:1px solid buttonhighlight;border-bottom:1px solid buttonhighlight; margin:2px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-right:0px;cursor:hand;}</STYLE><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><DIV id=receivestrings><DIV dir=ltr style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">From: [email protected]</DIV><DIV dir=ltr style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">Date: 10/18/07 10:50:56</DIV><DIV dir=ltr style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">To: Gary Parsons</DIV><DIV dir=ltr style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">Cc: [email protected]</DIV><DIV dir=ltr style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt">Subject: Re: Nutrients for red tide</DIV></DIV></DIV></TD><TD vAlign=top>
</TD><TD vAlign=top>
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Hello Mr. Parsons,

Current research indicates that the blooms start offshore, with nutrients that originate offshore. The scientific journal "Continental Shelf Research" has an issue coming out that focuses on Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, including development of the blooms.

The journal can be found at: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/662/description#description

Check the articles "in press" (on the "Free Tables of contents" page).

While we do not know of studies on wind transport of whole cells, there are many studies on aerosols, by measuring toxins, or on the impact of toxins. A good starting point is: http://isurus.mote.org/niehsredtidestudy/

If you have additional questions please let us know. Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,
The NOAA HAB Team




----- Original Message -----From: Gary Parsons <[email protected]> Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2007 9:52 am Subject: Nutrients for red tide > Episodes of red tide off northwest florida seem to occur more
> frequentlyunder drought conditions. That would suggest that the
> nutrients which
> support the blooms might come from the bottom and are brought to
> the surface
> in the annual fall turn over of the water column. Off Destin
> divers have
> reported a thermocline all summer until the last few weeks when
> the bottom
> to top temp is about 84 degrees. Visibilities are declining,
> (they have
> been greater than 50 ft all summer) and jelly fish are blooming we
> are also
> starting to see red tide between Destin and PC. With river flows
> at record
> lows, can't imagine nutrients coming from surface runoff.
>
>
>
> I also have an idea that red tide can disperse very rapidly through
> transport in the micromist formed by white caps and breaking
> waves. Several
&
<HR>
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.488 / Virus Database: 269.15.0/1076 - Release Date: 10/17/2007 7:53 PM</DIV>
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looked at provided links- didn't tell squat. The e-mail from parson's didn't inform much either. Great- were noticing an increased amount of red tide and jellies. Hell I could have told you that. Don't need NOAA to tell me there are jellyfish out there. I have little faith in NOAA being educated. Very politically alligned agenda. They can't even get the wind speed/direction and wave height right! Just ask anyone who looks at the reports.

I've got about 30 books on the subject. So, if we need a detailed discussion, let me know. i am certainly not an expert on the subject, but my broad experience of education, diving experience and common sense lead me to believe that we're OK. I think we're seeing a natural cycle of cleansing of the Gulf and surrounding waters.

The big question is what can we do to help it and/or prevent it. Maybe NOAA has a solution. Can't wait to hear it!
 
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