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ISSN : 1976-6769(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8122(Online)
Korean Journal of Nature Conservation Vol.7 No.1 pp.1-4

유독성 부착와편모조류 유입에 따른 적조 모니터링 관리체계의 변화에 대한 제언

수산해양종합정보과, 국립수산과학원

Recomendation of Enforcement in Red Tide Monitoring due to Introduction of Toxic Benthic Dinfagellates

Eun-Seob Cho*
Fishery and Ocean Information Division, NFRDI, Busan 619-705, Korea
(Received 14 February 2013; Revised 26 March 2013; Accepted 27 April 2013)


A recent report has showed that potentially toxic benthic dinoflagellates obtained from macroalgae wereobserved in Jeju waters. These species have been reported to occur only in subtropical waters and are regardedas a producer of ciguatoxin in fishes. This finding of benthic dinoflagellates contributes to improve themonitoring surveillance for the safety of humans and marine food in Korea, which will extend to southerncoastal regions. Furthermore, Cochlodinium red tide, which occurs annually each summer, will increase thedistribution toward whole coastal waters in Korea because of the more northerly direction of isotherms in SST(Sea Surface Temperature) due to global warming. Consequently, the Korean government should enforce amonitoring programme against biotoxin assessment investing research abilities (i.e. manpower and funds) tobetter understand Korean marine ecosystem in responding to climate change.


1. Introduction

 According to a report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chang (IPCC), temperature should be expected to rise to 5.8℃ by the year 2100 compared with 1.4℃ in 1990 which will also lead to an increase in sea level of 0.9 m in 2100 (IPCC, 2008). The rise in seawater temperature will increase in sea level. Low countries such as The Netherlands are extremely concerned because the risk of flooding increases (Peperzak, 2003). Climate change will be attributed to affect greatly marine ecosystem (e.g. biodiversity change, phytoplankton increase in population and etc) all around world. The IPCC is so far planning to include Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) risk forecasts under a range of climate change scenarios (IPCC, 2008). Hallegraeff (2010) was well described in reviewing a broad understanding of the interaction between climate change and HAB species. However, Peperzalk (2005) suggested that the lack of information of climate development and ecosystem functioning to climate change should require a scientific effort to improve our present-day knowledge.

 The issue of how new and unexpected HABs occur has been mainly explained by eutrophication (Smayda and Reynold, 2001) or ballast water (Hallegraeff, 1993) over the past two decades; increasingly, these novel HABs are greatly associated with more climate change than any other reasons. In this role, more recently, five benthic dinoflagellates, which were collected from the thalli of the macroalgae, were found off the coast of Jeju (Kim et al., 2011). Cochlodinium polykrikoides, annually massive blooms in summer season and known fish killers, has no great red tide in the waters compared with several previous years. In particular, C. polykrikoides did not occur in Korean waters in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (Cho, 2010; NFRDI, 2012). Unusually in 2012, massive Cochlodinium blooms were found in southern coastal waters during summer and continuously occurred even in autumn, which has a few records of Cochlodium outbreaks through chronological red tide history in Korea (Lee, 2006; NFRDI, 2012). This report has helped to improve our current monitoring knowledge and strategy for red tide against the impact of climate change.

2. Benthic Dinoflagellate

 In endemic regions, the benthic dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus with other dinoflagellates belonging to the genera Ostreopsis, Prorocentrum and Amphidinium are regarded to be the elaborators of ciguatoxins in fishes (Adachi and Fukuyo, 1979; Taylor et al., 1995). G. toxicus produces gambiertoxins, the progenitors of ciguatoxins (GTX-3C, GTX-4B and CTXx that accumulate in fish tissues (Murata et al., 1990; Satake et al., 1993; Holmes and Lewis, 1994). It is speculated that the toxicity level in G. toxicus differs between the strains of different geographical regions. Prorocentrum lima and Ostreopsis lenticularis have been recognized as the progenitors of ciguatera (Taylor et al., 1995), the role of other species causing ciguatera has yet to be established. Among the species of Ostreopsis, O. lenticularis is suggested to be a contributor of ciguatera syndrome and O. ovata to produce mild water-soluble toxic compounds (Taylor et al., 1995). The dinoflagellate, Coolia monotis was either reported to be non-toxic (Tindall et al., 1984) or weak toxic (Steidinger and Tangen, 1996) and haemolytic (Nagajima et al., 1981). The genus Amphidinium is represented by about 100 species (Stedinger and Tangen, 1996). In particular, A. carterae produces haemolytic compounds and may be implicated in ciguatera (Taylor et al., 1995) and A. operculatum distributed in tempeate and tropical coastal waters is toxic (Steidinger and Tangen, 1996). These aboved-mentioned species have an epiphytic dinoflagellate and produce potential toxins, as well as occur in subtropical and tropical seas. Korea is a temperate country and has four distinctive seasons, all of which are associated with no record or observation against potentially toxic benthic dinoflagellates. However, several of these species have been reported off the coast of Jeju waters (Kim et al., 2011), which has to be viewed as an increasing of water temperature because of global warming. More recently, a trend of increasing SST (Sea Surface Temperature) has been reported in Jeju off waters (NFRDI, 2012). The isotherms of SST will move more northward over time. which will provide a desirable opportunity to adapt to southern coastal waters in Korea. Also, the introduction of new toxic species, especially the cysts from ballast water of commercial ships from other regions, is a possibility. Consequently, monitoring of toxic benthic dinoflagellates in the waters of Korea would help to better understand the problem of ciguatera.

3. Cochlodinium Polykrikoides

 Cochlodinium polykrikoides has been regarded as being responsible for massive fish kills and breaks out periodically in Korea (e.g. annual occurrence in summer), resulting in an intensive surveillance with the cooperation of NFRDI (National Fisheries Research & Devlopment Institute) and relative to each provincial Institute during summer (Kim, 1997; NFRDI, 2012). With even higher water temperature, C. polykrikoides is able to be continually growth because this species is superior to all other species of HABs in Korea in terms of adaptability and toleration (Kim et al., 2001). Species-specific growth ability in C. polykrikoides based on physiology may trigger massive occurrences of dominant phytoplankton in Korean waters, even in summer.

 Global climate change expressed as an increase of the summer temperature, in combination with water column stratification, led to a doubling of growth rates of potentially harmful dinoflagellates. Due to several uncertainties, it is difficult to quantify the chance of a Cochlodinium blooming increase in the 21st century. However, it is assumed that the frequency and intensity of Cochlodinium blooms may increase in the future. Due to climate change, the flushing of the warm water current may become rapid, leading to increase SST and a situation that can be regarded as more beneficial to the highly formed Cochlodinium red tide. At present, NFRDI has annually carried out the intensive monitoring for C. polykrikoides at the interval of two weeks from late June usually to early autumn, focusing on southern coastal waters (NFRDI, 2012). This is a classical monitoring method that causes the lack of understanding of climate development, ecosystem functioning, and its response to climate change. To predict future ecosystem responses to uncertain climate change, the Korean government should take into consideration the enforcement of research funds and manpower as soon as possible, as well as make an effort to improve present knowledge on coastal ecosystem functioning.

4. Conclusion

 Climate change may be contributed to an increase in water temperature, alter water current and precipitation, stimulate ocean acidification and so on. These complex factor interactions have certainly resulted in changing marine ecosystem over times that will increase the risk of HABs and harmful algal biotoxin problems in Korean coastal waters, as well as food safety for Koreans. Korea has already confronted marine ecosystems due to global warming, resulting in more observations and intensifications of warm water-friendly species in which harmful benthic dinoflagellates might occur and thus be moved to southern coastal waters from Jeju that will increase the number of these species. Consequently, the current status of the monitoring program should be drastically changed and intensified as soon as possible in terms of research ability and fund responding to climate change.


 This work is funded by a grant from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (RP-2013-ME-002).


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