Skip to main content

Free Content Field evidence of krill grazing on the toxic diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia in Monterey Bay, California

Download Article:
(PDF 795.7 kb)


Both the interactions between toxic phytoplankton and their grazers, and the transport of these toxins through the food chain are relatively poorly understood. Recently, species of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia have been found to produce the neurotoxin domoic acid, which has caused detrimental effects to higher trophic levels in the food web. One of the key potential vectors for the toxin is the euphausiids (krill). To determine whether krill feed in nature on local species of Pseudo-nitzschia, we compared diatoms in the water to those in the gut of three species of euphausiids in July 1998 during a P. pseudodelicatissima bloom and in the gut of one species of euphausiid in August 2000 during a P. australis bloom in Monterey Bay, California. Our findings show that Pseudo-nitzschia was the most abundant diatom in water samples at both times and was also the dominant food in krill. Our findings show that Pseudo-nitzschia was the most abundant diatom in water samples at both times and was also the dominant food in krill, though these diatoms were more common in the diet of resident than in transient species of krill. Thus we demonstrate that krill may be a critical vector in the transmission of domoic acid to organisms at higher trophic levels, including squid, seabirds, and whales, since these predators normally consume krill in Monterey Bay.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more