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Abiotic factors influencing cyanobacterial bloom development in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea)

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Blooms of cyanobacteria are a recurrent phenomenon in the Baltic Sea, including the Gulf of Finland. The spatial extension, duration, intensity and species composition of these blooms varies widely between years. Alg@line data collected regularly from ferries as well as weather service and marine monitoring data from 1997 to 2005 are analysed to determine the main abiotic factors influencing the intensity and species composition of cyanobacterial blooms in the Gulf of Finland. It is demonstrated that the development of the Nodularia spumigena Mertens bloom is highly dependent on weather conditions such as photosynthetically active radiation and water temperature. Nutrient conditions, especially the surplus of phosphorus (according to Redfield ratio) related to the pre-bloom upwelling events in the Gulf, affect the intensity of Aphanizomenon sp. (L.) Ralfs blooms. Differences in bloom timing and duration indicate that, if the preconditions (like nutrient ratio/concentration and weather conditions) for bloom formation are favourable, then the Aphanizomenon bloom starts earlier, the overall bloom period is longer and the Nodularia peak might appear in a wider time window.

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This work was financially supported by the Estonian Ministry of Environment, the Finnish Ministry of Environment, and the EU projects FerryBox (EVK2-2001-00230) and HABES (EVK2-CT-2000-00092). The support of Silja Line and Tallink Group made ferry recordings accessible. The authors sincerely thank colleagues who participated in the Alg@line project. We wish to thank an anonymous reviewer and Associated Editor David Hamilton for valuable comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Inga Lips.

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Handling editor: K. Martens

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Lips, I., Lips, U. Abiotic factors influencing cyanobacterial bloom development in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea). Hydrobiologia 614, 133–140 (2008).

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