Retrospective eDNA assessment of potentially harmful algae in historical ship ballast tank and marine port sediments

Jennifer L.A. Shaw, Laura Weyrich, Gustaaf Hallegraeff, Alan Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microalgal bloom events can cause major ecosystem disturbances, devastate local marine economies, and endanger public health. Therefore, detecting and monitoring harmful microalgal taxa is essential to ensure effective risk management in waterways used for fisheries, aquaculture, recreational activity, and shipping. To fully understand the current status and future direction of algal bloom distributions, we need to know how populations and ecosystems have changed over time. This baseline knowledge is critical for predicting ecosystem responses to future anthropogenic change and will assist in the future management of coastal ecosystems. We explore a NGS metabarcoding approach to rapidly identify potentially harmful microalgal taxa in 63 historic and modern Australian marine port and ballast tank sediment samples. The results provide a record of past microalgal distribution and important baseline data that can be used to assess the efficacy of shipping guidelines, nutrient pollution mitigation, and predict the impact of climate change. Critically, eDNA surveys of archived sediments were able to detect harmful algal taxa that do not produce microscopic fossils, such as Chattonella, Heterosigma, Karlodinium, and Noctiluca. Our data suggest a potential increase in Australian harmful microalgal taxa over the past 30 years, and confirm ship ballast tanks as key dispersal vectors. These molecular mapping tools will assist in the creation of policies aimed at reducing the global increase and spread of harmful algal taxa and help prevent economic and public-health problems caused by harmful algal blooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2476-2485
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular ecology
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Fingerprint

algae
Geologic Sediments
harbors (waterways)
Ships
ships
Ecosystem
algal bloom
alga
shipping
sediments
public health
ecosystems
algal blooms
sediment
recreational activity
ecosystem response
Public Health
ecosystem
Harmful Algal Bloom
Eutrophication

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

Cite this

Shaw, Jennifer L.A. ; Weyrich, Laura ; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf ; Cooper, Alan. / Retrospective eDNA assessment of potentially harmful algae in historical ship ballast tank and marine port sediments. In: Molecular ecology. 2019 ; Vol. 28, No. 10. pp. 2476-2485.
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Retrospective eDNA assessment of potentially harmful algae in historical ship ballast tank and marine port sediments. / Shaw, Jennifer L.A.; Weyrich, Laura; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Cooper, Alan.

In: Molecular ecology, Vol. 28, No. 10, 01.05.2019, p. 2476-2485.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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