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Domoic acid in benthic flatfish on the continental shelf of Monterey Bay, California, USA
Vigilant, V.L.; Silver, M.W. (2007). Domoic acid in benthic flatfish on the continental shelf of Monterey Bay, California, USA. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(6): 2053-2062.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Vigilant, V.L.
  • Silver, M.W.

    Within Monterey Bay, California, USA, the food web transfer of domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin produced by diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, has led to major mortality events of marine mammals and birds. Less visible, and less well known, is whether invertebrates and fish associated with the benthos are also affected by blooms of DA-producing Pseudo-nitzschia spp. This study examines the presence of DA in benthic flatfish offshore of Davenport, California, (37°0'36?N, 122°13'12?W) and within Monterey Bay, California (36°45'0?N, 122°1'48?W), including species that feed primarily in the sediment (benthic-feeding) and species that feed primarily in the water column (benthopelagic-feeding). Flatfish caught between 10 December 2002 and 17 November 2003 at depths of 30–180 m had concentrations of DA in the viscera ranging from 3 to 26 µg DA g-1 of viscera. Although the DA values reported are relatively low, benthic-feeding flatfish were frequently contaminated with DA, especially as compared with the frequency of contamination of flatfish species that feed in the water column. Furthermore, on days in which both benthic-feeding and benthopelagic-feeding flatfish were collected, the former had significantly higher concentrations of DA in the viscera. Curlfin turbot, Pleuronicthys decurrens, the flatfish with both the highest level and frequency of DA contamination, are reported to feed exclusively on polychaetes, suggesting that these invertebrates may be an important vector of the toxin in benthic communities and may pose a risk to other benthic-feeding organisms.

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