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Red Tide off La Jolla

September 5, 2013

Today’s post comes from Dr. Michael Latz at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr, Latz leads a group studying bioluminescence and fluorescence, plankton biology, and ecotoxicology.

Today there is an amazing red tide in La Jolla Bay. The water is discolored from dense numbers of the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum, which has long been known as a source of red tides in southern California. But just wait until tonight – it should be excellent viewing for its bioluminescence. The photo below was taken yesterday by Eddie Kisfaludy. He reported blooms visible from La Jolla to Carlsbad between 1-3 miles offshore. Now it appears to be moving onshore. The last local Lingulodinium red tide was fall 2011, causing spectacular displays of bioluminescence. We want to know more about the dynamics of red tides, because we cannot predict when they will occur nor do we know how long they will last.

red_tide_4sep2013

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