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Oceanography/Bioluminscent Dinoflagellates


I am curious which kind of bioluminescent dinoflagellates glow the brightest of these three.      Pyrocystis lunula, pyrocystis noctiluca, and pyrocystis fusiformis.     Thanks :)

I don't know the relative brightness of the three species off the top of my head. If Google doesn't provide an answer for you, my advice is to email Mike Latz at Scripps Institute of Oceanography (you can drop my name, Randy Patton; say hi) to ask him.

I do know that P. noctiluca is way brighter (100-1000 times) than another common phytoplankton, Gonyaulux polyhedra, which I believe is associated with the red tide phenomena we get here off the coast of Socal.

I worked with P. noctiluca that Mike cultured for us when he was at Santa Barbara. We were testing the feasibility of an expendable bathyphotometer (measures bioluminescence).



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randy patton


Physical oceanography, surface and internal wave characteristics, ocean currents, fluid mechanics, geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean optics, coastal dynamics, modeling and simulation, data analysis, El Nino and related large scale dynamics Not an expert in marine biology (some in bioluminescence) or chemical oceanography


26 years as professional scientist for research company working mostly on Navy and other government contracts. Projects included modeling, simulations and data analysis related to Non-acoustic Anti-submarine Warfare (NAASW). Other projects included remote sensing of ocean features, statistical analysis of ship tracks, ocean optics instrumentation development, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and sonar (SAS).

Journal of Physical Oceanography, 1984, "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics" (with M. Cane)

MS Physical Oceanography, MIT, 1981 BS Applied Math, UC Berkeley, 1976

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