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Harmful Algae. 2018 Mar;73:138-147. doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Mar 10.

Blurred lines: Multiple freshwater and marine algal toxins at the land-sea interface of San Francisco Bay, California.

Author information

1
Northwest Indian College, 2522 Kwina Rd, Bellingham, WA, 98226, USA; Ocean Sciences Department, 1156 High Street, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA; San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804, USA. Electronic address: mpeacock@nwic.edu.
2
Ocean Sciences Department, 1156 High Street, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA; California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, 151 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA.
3
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, 151 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA.
4
United States Geological Survey MS496, 345 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.
5
Ocean Sciences Department, 1156 High Street, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.

Abstract

San Francisco Bay (SFB) is a eutrophic estuary that harbors both freshwater and marine toxigenic organisms that are responsible for harmful algal blooms. While there are few commercial fishery harvests within SFB, recreational and subsistence harvesting for shellfish is common. Coastal shellfish are monitored for domoic acid and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), but within SFB there is no routine monitoring for either toxin. Dinophysis shellfish toxins (DSTs) and freshwater microcystins are also present within SFB, but not routinely monitored. Acute exposure to any of these toxin groups has severe consequences for marine organisms and humans, but chronic exposure to sub-lethal doses, or synergistic effects from multiple toxins, are poorly understood and rarely addressed. This study documents the occurrence of domoic acid and microcystins in SFB from 2011 to 2016, and identifies domoic acid, microcystins, DSTs, and PSTs in marine mussels within SFB in 2012, 2014, and 2015. At least one toxin was detected in 99% of mussel samples, and all four toxin suites were identified in 37% of mussels. The presence of these toxins in marine mussels indicates that wildlife and humans who consume them are exposed to toxins at both sub-lethal and acute levels. As such, there are potential deleterious impacts for marine organisms and humans and these effects are unlikely to be documented. These results demonstrate the need for regular monitoring of marine and freshwater toxins in SFB, and suggest that co-occurrence of multiple toxins is a potential threat in other ecosystems where freshwater and seawater mix.

KEYWORDS:

Amnesic shellfish poisoning; Chronic toxin exposure; Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning; Microcystin toxins; Paralytic shellfish poisoning; Shellfish

PMID:
29602502
DOI:
10.1016/j.hal.2018.02.005
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