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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jan 10;114(2):239-244. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1606798114. Epub 2017 Jan 9.

Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid.

Author information

1
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331; mmckibben@coas.oregonstate.edu.
2
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR 97365.
3
Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.
4
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA 98112.
5
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Astoria, OR 97103.
6
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

Abstract

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish over the past 20 y in the Northern California Current regime is shown. The timing of elevated domoic acid is strongly related to warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Oceanic Niño Index, an indicator of El Niño events. Ocean conditions in the northeast Pacific that are associated with warm phases of these indices, including changes in prevailing currents and advection of anomalously warm water masses onto the continental shelf, are hypothesized to contribute to increases in this toxin. We present an applied domoic acid risk assessment model for the US West Coast based on combined climatic and local variables. Evidence of regional- to basin-scale controls on domoic acid has not previously been presented. Our findings have implications in coastal zones worldwide that are affected by this toxin and are particularly relevant given the increased frequency of anomalously warm ocean conditions.

KEYWORDS:

El Niño; Northern California Current; Pacific Decadal Oscillation; Pseudo-nitzschia; domoic acid

PMID:
28069959
PMCID:
PMC5240689
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1606798114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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