Literature Review of Karenia brevis Research and Possible Management Strategies on the West Coast of Florida

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

Donald McCorquodale

Second Advisor

Steffen Schmidt


Red tides are harmful algae blooms off the west coast of Floridacause by an organism called Karenia brevis. Karenia brevis is a unicellular dinoflagellate that produces a toxin called brevetoxin. K.brevis is very adept at thriving in hypersaline, high temperature (< 30oC) seawater with limited nutrients. The life cycle of K.brevis is complex and is associated with certain hydrographic, atmospheric, biological, and possible anthropological factors. The brevetoxin kills marine organisms and negatively affects human health. The damage caused by one red tide bloom event is estimated at $20 million affected fisheries, and tourism industries. Scientists, coastal managers, government and non-government agencies and stakeholders have developed possible management strategies. Aspects of these proposed management plans; specifically source of nutrients for initiation and bloom control techniques are hotly debated. This paper is a review of the scientific research and management strategies for mitigating Karenia brevis blooms.

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