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Domoic acid poisoning as a possible cause of seasonal cetacean mass stranding events in Tasmania, Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 14.09.2016 by S.M. Bengtson Nash, Matthew Baddock, E. Takahashi, A. Dawson, R. Cropp
The periodic trend to cetacean mass stranding events in the Australian island state of Tasmania remains unexplained. This article introduces the hypothesis that domoic acid poisoning may be a causative agent in these events. The hypothesis arises from the previously evidenced role of aeolian dust as a vector of iron input to the Southern Ocean; the role of iron enrichment in Pseudo-nitzschia bloom proliferation and domoic acid production; and importantly, the characteristic toxicosis of domoic acid poisoning in mammalian subjects leading to spatial navigation deficits. As a pre-requisite for quantitative evaluation, the plausibility of this hypothesis was considered through correlation analyses between historical monthly stranding event numbers, mean monthly chlorophyll concentration and average monthly atmospheric dust loading. Correlation of these variables, which under the domoic acid stranding scenario would be linked, revealed strong agreement (r=0.80-0.87). We therefore advocate implementation of strategic quantitative investigation of the role of domoic acid in Tasmanian cetacean mass stranding events.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Citation

BENGTSON NASH, S.M. ...et al., 2017. Domoic acid poisoning as a possible cause of seasonal cetacean mass stranding events in Tasmania, Australia. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 98(1), pp.8-13.

Publisher

© Springer Verlag (Germany)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

09/08/2016

Publication date

2017

Notes

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1906-4.

ISSN

1432-0800

Language

en

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