[Coral-List] Sargassum fluitans in the Lesser Antilles

OMMM Association ommm at wanadoo.fr
Thu Aug 11 12:47:02 EDT 2011

Dear all

With all the information being sent to the list, we'll be able to redraw 
the massive arriving of Sargassum in the Lesser Antilles. Many satellite 
products coupled with local observation and dates will help to 
understand how these algae have reached the Lesser Antilles.
 From what has been already sent, it seems that a combination of factors 
could explain this phenomenon, as it is an unusual case - nobody has 
seen that in Martinique and Guadeloupe ever - changes in current and 
recent storms, nutrient inputs from the south Orinoco and Amazon rivers, 
that might be detected through satellite image analysis.
Several suggestion have been made to optimise the image treatment and 
the work is underway.
I would not talk about a proliferation, what is more related to invasive 
species or eutrophication and coastal pollution, but more a massive 
arrival along the coast driven by currents and storms. It might be 
interesting to look at algae blooms with specialist like Brian Lapointe, 
but we believe it is more a change in overall oceanographic conditions.
Increase in offshore biomass of Sargassum might be detected as described 
in Gower & King 2011 paper.


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