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Holistic approach to the evaluation of the anthropocentric influence on domoic acid production and the corresponding impact on the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) population
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Domoic acid (DA) is a neurotoxin produced by the harmful algae Pseudo-nitzschia that has been directly linked to mass stranding events of the California Sea Lion (CSL). The purpose of this paper is to review the anthropogenic influence on the production of this neurotoxin and examine how human activities are impacting this marine mammal species. A comprehensive and interdisciplinary literature review was conducted to evaluate the future sustainability of the CSL population. It was found that while Pseudo-nitzschia bloom developments are vulnerable to anthropogenic influences, the incontestable existence of natural contributing factors adds a certain complexity to the determination of causalities and the development of solutions. Strong evidence exists to show that DA can cause major and irreversible neurological damage in CSLs. Rehabilitation of DA-impacted CSLs is a polarizing issue in the U.S. and presents interesting implications for sustainable development. While the CSL population is currently healthy and plenteous, the strong abundance of future uncertainties warrants concern. A balance must be found between the involving social, economic, and environmental factors to ensure a promising future for the CSL species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Pseudo-nitzschia, Harmful Algae Bloom, Domoic Acid, California Sea Lion, Wildlife Rehabilitation
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179182OAI: diva2:543739
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-08-10 Created: 2012-08-08 Last updated: 2012-08-10Bibliographically approved

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