Marine Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

A ciliate red tide at Barrow, Alaska

  • O. Holm-Hansen
  • F. J. R. Taylor
  • R. J. Barsdate


In September 1968 the first occurrence of extensive red water in the Arctic Ocean in the vicinity of Point Barrow, Alaska, was recorded. The organism causing this water discoloration was a fairly large (100 to 150 μ) ciliated protozoan, with chlorophyll-containing endosymbionts. This ciliate, which is not identical to the commonly reported Mesodinium or Cyclotrichium species, is described in this paper, but cannot be identified with any organism described in the literature. Concentrations of dissolved inorganic nutrients and trace metals were determined on water samples obtained from the red water and also in the clear water adjacent to it. These data are discussed relative to the hydrographic conditions in the Chuckchi Sea around Point Barrow. A direct species' analysis by microscopic methods indicated that the plankton were quite similar in all the water samples except for the aforementioned red ciliate, which accounted for over 90% of the total cellular organic carbon in the samples from the red water. Chemical analyses indicated that the red tide ciliate contained approximately 51% protein, 33% lipid, 8% carbohydrate, 0.2% chlorophyll a, and 1.2% DNA.


Lipid Chemical Analysis Chlorophyll Carbohydrate Water Sample 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Holm-Hansen
    • 1
  • F. J. R. Taylor
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. J. Barsdate
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResourcesUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Institute of OceanographyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Marine ScienceUniversity of AlaskaCollegeUSA

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