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Abstract

Results of an extensive 1998 monitoring program for the presence of Pfiesteria-like organisms (PLO) in Virginia estuaries indicate these dinoflagellates are widely distributed in both the water column, and as cysts in the sediment, however Pfiesteria piscicida was not detected at this time. The highest concentrations of PLO were in estuaries along the Virginia shore line of the Potomac River, and in western Chesapeake Bay estuaries from the Little Wicomico River to the Rappahannock River. The most common PLO included Cryptoperidiniopsis sp. and Gymnodinium galatheanum. The lowest PLO concentrations were at ocean side locations. PLO were also present throughout the water column at stations in the lower Chesapeake Bay, being most abundant in waters above the pycnocline.

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