Identifying regulatory mechanisms for Heterosigma akashiwo bloom formation: predation interactions with algal behavior and resource use
This project, in collaboration with Suzanne Strom (WWU) and her lab, investigates the regulation of Heterosigma akashiwo blooms by protistan predators. H. akashiwo causes fish kills yearly in coastal waters of the Pacific. Food web interactions involving H. akashiwo, a raphidophyte that may have multiple modes of toxicity, are poorly understood. Our study focuses on the interactions between H. akashiwo layer-forming behavior, nutrient use, and susceptibility to predation mortality. We investigate the behaviors of both the HAB alga and potential predators to examine predator deterrence as a potential mechanism of bloom formation.
This project provides the opportunity to utilize our ability to link small-scale behaviors with larger-scale phenomena to investigate the role of species interaction in driving HAB population dynamics.
Harvey & Menden-Deuer 2011; Harvey & Menden-Deuer 2012; Strom et al. 2013