Journal of
Oceanography and Marine Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Oceanogr. Mar. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2294
  • DOI: 10.5897/JOMS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 60

Full Length Research Paper

Influence of climatic factors on Sargassum arrivals to the coasts of the Dominican Republic

Mendez-Tejeda, Rafael
  • Mendez-Tejeda, Rafael
  • Research Laboratory in Atmospheric Science, University of Puerto Rico at Carolina, Puerto Rico. P. O. Box 4800, 00984, Carolina, Puerto Rico.
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Rosado Jiménez, Gladys A.
  • Rosado Jiménez, Gladys A.
  • Centro de Investigación en Biología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Av. Alma Master. Apartado Postal 1355. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
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  •  Received: 02 August 2019
  •  Accepted: 12 September 2019
  •  Published: 31 October 2019

Abstract

Since 2011, the coasts of North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean have experienced an unusual increase in the arrival of Sargassum. A large amount of Sargassum has caused significant economic losses in the tourism sector of the Dominican Republic as well as the entire Caribbean region.  The present article discusses the possible factors contributing toward this unusual increase. Large Sargassum masses are generated in the Sargasso Sea. In this region, several current systems converge with the North Atlantic Subtropical Anticyclone (NASH), which has an area of displacement extending from Brazil to Africa. Sargassum is transported toward Africa, where it meets the Northern Equatorial Recirculation Region (NERR) before recirculating back toward the Caribbean in a clockwise pattern (Putman et al., 2018; Wang, 2007). Upon returning to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, Sargasso grows flowers and distributes across the region. The effect of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is also analyzed as well as the possible influence of Sahara dust, which acts as a source of nutrients for the growth and development of Sargassum. In the Dominican Republic, the species found in the current study included Sargassum fluitans and Sargassum natans. As for the species Sargassum polyceratium var. ovatum, the variety ovatum has not been reported before on the coasts of the Dominican Republic.

Key words: Sargassum arrival, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Azore High.