Action #4: Detection of cyanobacterial blooms

Objectives: The Action aims to improve transnational and trans-institutional joint observations for HAB detection and creating concepts and mechanisms for sharing the information and production of HAB reviews. The task will gather comparable and complementary data to analyse the spatiotemporal variability of cyanobacteria blooms in the Gulf of Finland. The collected online data will support weekly HAB reviews, carried out by SYKE. These reviews are targeted at the public and different marine users and are distributed through SYKE web pages and press releases. The concept of HAB reviews will be demonstrated to other partners within the PSS and between PSSs. In addition, QC data will promote scientific analyses of the causes and consequences of the blooms.

Action Lead and other Partners (with contact persons): SYKE (Seppälä, Lehtinen), TALTECH (Liblik, Kikas)

JS3 Platforms included: FerryBox: Silja Serenade and Finnmaid (SYKE), Silja Europa (TALTECH), Utö Observatory (SYKE), Keri Observatory (TALTECH); profiling buoys (SYKE), calibration lab (SYKE).

Other data sources and external partners for implementation: monitoring by RV (depending on the cruises), observations from the public, Ocean Color

Overall timetable of action: Data collection and reviews will be done in summer 2021 and summer 2022.

Description of action: Algae blooms in the Baltic Sea are each summer affecting the use of marine areas and have also effects on marine ecosystems. These events are of public concern and SYKE provides weekly updated information on the status of blooms and predictions on their developments. Sensor observations at fixed stations and FerryBoxes support these reviews by providing real-time data. This topic will improve the transnational availability of data, thereby improving the reliability of the reviews. The joint harmonisation of measurements (GoF PSS #1) and developments in Ocean Colour methods (GoF PSS #3) and in modelling approaches (GoF PSS #7) together with coordinated data flows improve further the timeliness of HAB reviews. The concept of HAB review, its organisational structuration, usage of multisource data and dissemination policies, are presented in partnership.

Cyanobacterial abundance is measured using phycocyanin fluorescence sensors installed on platforms (all) and Imaging Flow Cytobot at Utö (or in a ferry in 2022). Data collection covers cyanobacteria growth seasons (June-August) in 2021-22. Visual maps and trajectories of the data will be used by SYKE in making weekly HAB reviews. Intercomparison of the methods is carried out during laboratory tests (Action GoF PSS #1) and partners share best practices for sensor calibration, validation and maintenance through e-infrastructure.  

Best practices used or developed: Structural concept for HAB reviews, using multisource data and involving various national actors, will be created. 

Data flows: As phycocyanin fluorescence is still considered an explanatory variable, the flow to EMODnet or CMEMS has not been realised. The potential to do so will be examined. Partners are responsible for their own data flows, storage and distribution to data aggregators and at minimum data is available on request. As well, the data aggregator and related data flows for phytoplankton image data are still under construction. The developments in WP7, T7.5. D2PTS, Ecotaxa are closely followed. Within D2PTS a joint aggregation of results will be carried out, utilizing commonly agreed QC procedures.

Data QC routines. Sensor calibration routines are used as recommended at GoF PSS i) and robust real-time QC routines are further developed, as for the applications like here informing the public, the reliability of data is of concern.   

Data management issues: Vocabularies and metadata are not well developed for all of the methods used in this topic and need to be targeted.

Expected results: The Action will create online data for cyanobacteria distribution (also for species abundance) supporting weekly HAB reviews. The concept for HAB reviews will be published. Delayed mode QC data will provide input for developments in Ocean Colour methods (GoF PSS #3) and in modelling approaches (GoF PSS #6).

Users of results: General public, fisheries and aquaculture, enterprises providing coastal services, cities. Ocean Colour and modelling communities. Coastal sea management.

Dissemination of results: Data is disseminated through publishing online data and weekly HAB reviews by SYKE. We aim to produce a joint press release in Finland and Estonia, demonstrating the value of joint observations in bloom detection. HAB Algae reviews will be further disseminated in regional and international workshops, especially including other PSSs and IRSs.

Links: Links to WP6, T6.2.3. providing input to combining citizen observations with sensor observations.

Links to WP7, T7.4 in image recognition methods.