Oceanography The Official Magazine of
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Volume 30 Issue 01

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Volume 30, No. 1
Pages 12 - 21


GEOHAB–The Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms Program: Motivation, Goals, and Legacy

By Raphael M. Kudela , Elisa Berdalet, Henrik Enevoldsen, Grant Pitcher , Robin Raine, and Ed Urban 
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Article Abstract

In 2001, the first international research program focusing exclusively on harmful marine algae, GEOHAB (Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms), was established by the HAB research community, under the sponsorship of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research. Its mission was to foster international cooperation to advance understanding of HAB dynamics and to improve our ability to predict them. The main efforts were focused on (1) the physiological, behavioral, and genetic characteristics of harmful microalgal species, and (2) the interactions between physical and other environmental conditions that promote the success of one group of species over another. GEOHAB was designed to study HABs with a view to integrating global data from comparable ecosystems. With an international, multidisciplinary, and comparative approach, GEOHAB advanced our understanding of the mechanisms underlying population dynamics of HABs within an ecological and oceanographic context and from an ecosystem perspective at the regional scale. GEOHAB encouraged combined experimental, observational, and modeling tools, using both existing and innovative technologies in a multidisciplinary approach, consistent with the multiple scales and oceanographic complexity of HAB phenomena. GEOHAB established the basis for continued international efforts now and into the future in order to better understand and predict the global complex phenomena of harmful algal blooms.


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