following report is in Adobe PDF format.
of 2003: A Comparison of a Bloom Year (2002) with a Non-Bloom Year (2003)
NJ Department of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the NJ
Sea Grant/NJ Marine Sciences Consortium; U. S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Region 2; Rutgers University; and the University of Southern
California, conducted water sampling for the brown tide organism, Aureococcus
anophagefferens, and other environmental parameters. This report includes
results of data collected April through September, 2003.
The objective of the assessment is to characterize the spatial and temporal
extent of brown tide blooms caused by a minute alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens,
at eleven water quality network stations in the coastal waters of New
Jersey. The brown tide concentrations were evaluated using the Brown
Tide Bloom Index (Gastrich & Wazniak, 2002; see Brown Tide Newsletter,
June 2001, Figs. 1-3) that relates concentrations of the brown tide
organism, A. anophagefferens, to potential negative impacts on natural
resources including shellfish, seagrasses and protozoa. Because the
results indicated that there were few brown tide blooms in 2003 as compared
to previous years, the objective of the data analysis was to compare
brown tide abundances and water quality parameters in 2003 with 2002
In 2003, there were no elevated brown tide blooms (e.g., Category
2 or 3 blooms) with the exception of one station in Tuckerton Bay (1818D)
that had low Category 2 blooms on June 17 and June 26. All other stations
had Category 1 blooms (< 35,000 cells/mL) from April through September.
Figure 1 shows elevated brown tide blooms (e.g., Category 3 and Category
2) occurring in 2002 as compared to much lower concentrations at similar
stations in 2003. Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) concentrations were
significantly higher in 2003 (p<0.01) as compared to 2002 levels
(Figure 2). The average temperature (0C) in 2002 was 20.94 0C and 19.03
0C in 2003 and temperatures were significantly higher in 2002 than in
2003 (p<0.0001). The average salinity was higher at 29.52 ppt during
the 2002 bloom year than the average salinity of 24.52 during the 2003
non-bloom year and salinity was also significantly higher in 2002 than
in 2003 (p<0.0001). While a more comprehensive data analysis will
be completed in a few months, these differences between the 2002 bloom
year and the 2003 non-bloom year may provide insights as to the potential
factors which may be promoting brown tide blooms. Current research by
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is focused on
elucidating such factors toward eventually managing brown tide blooms.
1. 2002 Brown Tide Assessment Project Stations: Little Egg Harbor
Legend: Brown Tide Bloom Index
Category 1 = Blue DOTS (<35,000 cells/mL)
Category 2 = Yellow DOTS (£ 35,000 to < 200,000 cells/mL)
Category 3 = Red DOTS (³ 200,000 cells/mL) (highest concentrations)
Station Numbers are indicated in red (but not all were sampled).
2: NJDEP Brown Tide Assessment Project: Comparison of Dissolved Organic
Concentrations in 2002 and 2003.
M.D. and C. E. Wazniak. 2002. A Brown Tide Bloom Index Based on the
Potential Harmful Effects of the Brown Tide Alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens.
Aquatic Ecosystems Health & Management. Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 175–190.
information or to report a brown tide bloom, contact Dr. Mary Downes
Gastrich, Brown Tide Assessment Project Manager, in the Division of
Science, Research and Technology at (609) 292-1895 or email Mary.Downes-Gastrich@dep.state.nj.us
or go to the website: http://www.crssa.rutgers.edu/projects/btide/