Geographic distribution of Pfiesteria spp. (Pfiesteriaceae) in Tasman Bay and Canterbury, New Zealand

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Parke A. Rublee, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The fish-killing heterotrophic dinoflagellate species Pfiesteria piscicida and P. shumwayae (also Pseudopfiesteria shumwayae) were present throughout New Zealand and were residents of Tasman Bay?s well-flushed estuaries and Canterbury?s brackish lakes, as determined by polymerase chain reaction-based detection assays. The two species occurred in a wide range of salinities and temperatures, although detection was restricted seasonally from spring through to autumn, except for one incidence in the shallow waters of Wairewa/ Lake Forsyth, Canterbury, in the winter of 2003. The DNA sequencing data indicated that P. shumwayae may encompass a suite of genetically closely related species. The presence of Pfiesteria in New Zealand is not considered an immediate risk to fish or human health given the current low-to-moderate nutrient concentrations in New Zealand?s estuaries and brackish lakes. However, increases in nutrient loadings could pose a risk, as has occurred in eastern United States estuaries.

Additional Information

New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
Language: English
Date: 2006
Pfiesteria, dinoflagellate, estuarine, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

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