Phytoplankton Time-series

Imaging FlowCytobots (IFCB)-based HAB Notification

Hourly time series plots from the Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB) are shown below. All cell counts are produced using automated image processing and classification using convolutional neural network (CNN) approach. in place of the support vector machine and random forest approaches described previously. Counts have not been manually verified. Please contact Dr. Lisa Campbell ( if you have any questions regarding the data shown on this page.


Port Aransas

here in CSV. The plot based on this data is as follows.


Karenia – The major harmful algal bloom-forming species in the Gulf of Mexico is Karenia brevis, a toxic dinoflagellate capable of killing fish and causing respiratory irritation in beachgoers during large bloom events. Shellfish, in particular oysters, filter the dinoflagellate from the water and accumulate the toxin which makes them unsuitable for human consumption. To avoid Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP), shellfishing is closed in bloom regions. Blooms of K. brevis in Texas generally occur during the late summer/fall time period. Other species of Karenia observed by the IFCB include K. mikimotoi and K. papilionacea.

Dinophysis – Several species of Dinophysis have been imaged by the IFCB. One species, Dinophysis ovum, produces toxin and is capable of forming blooms, resulting in the closure of shellfishing in bloom regions (Campbell et al. 2010). Blooms of Dinophysis near Port Aransas, TX generally occur during late winter/early spring. Other species of Dinophysis observed by the IFCB include D. caudate and D. rotundata.

Mesodinium rubrum – M. rubrum (formerly known as Myrionecta rubra) is a common ciliate found in the Gulf of Mexico and is a prey item of Dinophysis spp.

Prorocentrum texanum – P. texanum is recently described toxic species of Prorocentrum capable of forming dense blooms in the late winter/early spring season (Henrichs et al. 2013). The environmental impacts from the toxin produced by P. texanum are currently unknown.


Breiman, L. 2001. Random forests. Machine Learning 45:5-32.

Campbell, L., Olson, R. J., Sosik, H. M., Abraham, A., Henrichs, D. W., Hyatt, C. J., Buskey, E.J. 2010. First harmful Dinophysis (Dinophyceae, Dinophysiales) bloom in the U.S. is revealed by automated imaging flow cytometry. Journal of Phycology 46:66-75.

Henrichs, D. W., Scott, P. S., Steidinger, K. A., Errera, R. M., Abraham, A., Campbell, L. 2013. Morphology and Phylogeny of Prorocentrum texanum sp. nov. (Dinophyceae): A new toxic dinoflagellate from the Gulf of Mexico coastal waters exhibiting two distinct morphotypes. Journal of Phycology 49:143-155.

Sosik, H. M. and Olson, R. J. 2007. Automated taxonomic classification of phytoplankton sampled with imaging-in-flow cytometry. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 5:204-216.