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Differing impact effects of extreme red tide algal blooms on mortality of Florida manatees 


Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology
Lucy A Scott, Samuel C Leslie Simon A Black

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Abstract

A significant cause of mortality in the endangered Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is toxicity from the proliferation of aquatic algae Karenia brevis, known as Red Tide. Whilst several factors drive these so-called ‘Red Tide blooms’, the reasons for subsequent mass mortalities in manatees are not fully understood. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of existing case-by-case records of Red Tide effects on manatee mortality in coastal waters, estuaries and inland waterways of Florida, USA. We identify types of mortality events, some of which show predictability in location, seasonality, duration and impact on manatee mortality. Suggestions for monitoring and mitigation to reduce Red Tide impacts on manatees, from understanding predictable and exceptional instances of Red Tide algal blooms are provided

Keywords

systems behaviour chart, variation, sirenian, algae, toxin, study analyses, conservation management, qualitative assessments

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