Algal bloom

An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems, and is recognized by the discoloration in the water from their pigments. Some HABs are associated with algae -produced toxins. Blooms can last from a few days to many months. After the bloom dies, the microbes which decompose the dead algae use up even more of the . The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or .

An algal bloom or marine bloom or water bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system. Algal blooms may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments. Typically only one or a few phytoplankton species are involved and some blooms may be recognized by discoloration of the water . Known as red tides, blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, harmful algal blooms have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems and the economy.

Harmful algal blooms are a major environmental problem in all states. Keep people and pets away from water that is . Warm weather brings many happy occasions: picnics, ballgames, and . A HAB can look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface of water and can be different colors.

HABs can produce toxins that have caused a variety of illnesses in people and animals. Algae are microscopic organisms that live in aquatic environments and use photosynthesis to produce energy from sunlight, just like plants. A harmful algal bloom (HAB) occurs when toxin-producing algae grow excessively in a body of water.

The excessive algal growth, or algal bloom , becomes visible to the naked eye and . They can be easily identified by coloration of the . Sometimes, there can be an overgrowth ( bloom ) of algae. This occurs when there are changes in the water that result in increased amounts of nutrients that algae nee such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Human activity seems to be causing HABs to occur more often and to be more severe. For example, fertilizer can run off . Information about blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms on freshwater lakes and ponds. to frequently asked questions about harmful algal blooms.

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere. Cyanobacteria blooms are often called blue-green. A time for holidays, recreation and relaxation. A time perhaps to take a dip in a nearby lake, river or canal.

But summer also sees many lakes and waterways affected by algal blooms.

Photo Credit: Tom Archer. Though many types of algae can form blooms, freshwater harmful algal blooms have the ability to produce toxins that are dangerous to other organisms such as humans, dogs, and livestock. Most harmful algal blooms occur in warm, slow moving, eutrophic waters in mid June through late September and are formed by.

The toxins produced by some species of cyanobacteria (called cyanotoxins) cause acute and chronic illnesses in . Lake with thick blue-green algal bloom Lake with a thick blue-green algal bloom Blue-green algal blooms are often described as looking like pea soup or spilled green paint.