Department

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Document Type

Article

Source

PLOS One

Publication Date

1-1-2009

ISSN

1932-6203

Volume

4

Issue

2

First Page

4550

Last Page

4550

Digital Object Identifier / DOI

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004550

Abstract

In November-December 2007 a widespread seabird mortality event occurred in Monterey Bay, California, USA, coincident with a massive red tide caused by the dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea. Affected birds had a slimy yellow-green material on their feathers, which were saturated with water, and they were severely hypothermic. We determined that foam containing surfactant-like proteins, derived from organic matter of the red tide, coated their feathers and neutralized natural water repellency and insulation. No evidence of exposure to petroleum or other oils or biotoxins were found. This is the first documented case of its kind, but previous similar events may have gone undetected. The frequency and amplitude of red tides have increased in Monterey Bay since 2004, suggesting that impacts on wintering marine birds may continue or increase.

PubMed ID

19234604

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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