G. sanguineum is a planktonic species common in estuarine and coastal waters. This cosmopolitan species is a bloom-former associated with shellfish and fish kills. The first G. sanguineum red tide was reported from Kozusa-ura, Gokasho Bay, Japan. Red tide events caused by this species have since been recorded from other coastal regions of Japan. It is a common red tide bloom species in Australian and New Zealand coastal waters as well. G. sanguineum is a common red tide species in the Chesapeake Bay where levels as high as 8.8 X 105 cells/L have been reported. One bloom in Coyote Bay, Gulf of California, Mexico, cell densities reached 1.0 X 105 cells/L. Robinson and Brown (1983) and Voltolina (1993) observed possible sexual stages of G. sanguineum from a recurrent bloom. They speculate that this species may form resting cysts to reseed a region in the next bloom season. Nakamura et al. (1982) reported that cultures of G. sanguineum can tolerate a wide range of temperatures (13-24 ºC) and salinities (15-35 o/oo).
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