Consequences of algal blooms

Ciguatera If there is a decrease in the number of grazers in the environment in which the algae are occurring, the algae would thrive as there would be not be enough of these available on the algae to keep the algae population under control.

Consequences of algal blooms

Blooming[ edit ] Algal blooms can present problems for ecosystems and human society. Since 'algae' is a broad term including organisms of widely varying sizes, growth rates and nutrient requirements, there is no officially recognized threshold level as to what is defined as a bloom.

For some species, algae can be considered to be blooming at concentrations reaching millions of cells per milliliter, while others form blooms of tens of thousands of cells per liter. The photosynthetic pigments in the algal cells determine the color of the algal bloom, and are thus often a greenish color, but they can also be a wide variety of other colors such as yellow, brown or red, depending on the species of algae and Consequences of algal blooms type of pigments contained therein.

Bright green blooms in freshwater systems are frequently a result of cyanobacteria colloquially known as "blue-green algae" as a result of their confusing taxonomical history such as Microcystis. Blooms may also consist of macroalgal non- phytoplanktonic species.

These blooms are recognizable by large blades of algae that may wash up onto the shoreline. Of particular note are the rare harmful algal blooms HABswhich are algal bloom events involving toxic or otherwise harmful phytoplankton such as dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium and Karenia, or diatoms of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia.

Such blooms often take on a red or brown hue and are known colloquially as red tides. Freshwater algal blooms[ edit ] Further information: Nutrient pollution and Eutrophication Freshwater algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrientsparticularly some phosphates.

They may also originate from household cleaning products containing phosphorus.

Consequences of algal blooms

Presence of residual sodium carbonate acts as catalyst for the algae to bloom by providing dissolved carbon dioxide for enhanced photosynthesis in the presence of nutrients. When phosphates are introduced into water systems, higher concentrations cause increased growth of algae and plants.

Harmful algal blooms are a major environmental problem in all 50 states. Red tides, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria are examples of harmful algal blooms that can have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and the economy. Algal blooms have many consequences. They threaten the breakdown of ecosystems, kill marine life, and have many harmful effects on humans. They also have huge economic effects and cost millions of dollars in losses and millions have to be spent for their prevention and control. Effects of Algal Bloom The following points deal with a wide range of effects of aquatic blooms including visual, environmental as well as adverse health effects of toxic botanical blooms. The most common sign of an oncoming bloom is the discoloration of the affected aquatic system which is caused by the increase, over normal levels, in the algal cells in the given area of water.

Algae tend to grow very quickly under high nutrient availability, but each algal is short-lived, and the result is a high concentration of dead organic matter which starts to decay. The decay process consumes dissolved oxygen in the water, resulting in hypoxic conditions.

Without sufficient dissolved oxygen in the water, animals and plants may die off in large numbers. Use of an Olszewski tube can help combat these problems with hypolimnetic withdrawal.

Blooms may be observed in freshwater aquariums when fish are overfed and excess nutrients are not absorbed by plants. These are generally harmful for fish, and the situation can be corrected by changing the water in the tank and then reducing the amount of food given.

The Effects | Nutrient Pollution | US EPA

Harmful algal blooms[ edit ] An algae bloom off the southern coast of Devon and Cornwall in England, in Satellite image of phytoplankton swirling around the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Seain A harmful algal bloom HAB is an algal bloom that causes negative impacts to other organisms via production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to other organisms, or by other means.

HABs are often associated with large-scale marine mortality events and have been associated with various types of shellfish poisonings. These organisms, referred to as phytoplankton or microalgae, form the base of the food web upon which nearly all other marine organisms depend. Harmful algal blooms have been observed to cause adverse effects to a wide variety of aquatic organisms, most notably marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and finfish.

The impacts of HAB toxins on these groups can include harmful changes to their developmental, immunological, neurological, or reproductive capacities.

The most conspicuous effects of HABs on marine wildlife are large-scale mortality events associated with toxin-producing blooms. For example, a mass mortality event of bottlenose dolphins occurred along the Florida panhandle in the spring of due to ingestion of contaminated menhaden with high levels of brevetoxin.

Ingestion of such contaminated prey can affect respiratory capabilities, feeding behavior, and ultimately the reproductive condition of the population. Brevetoxin exposure, via inhalation of aerosolized toxins and ingestion of contaminated prey, can have clinical signs of increased lethargy and muscle weakness in loggerhead sea turtles causing these animals to wash ashore in a decreased metabolic state with increases of immune system responses upon blood analysis.

The Gulf of Maine frequently experiences blooms of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyensean organism that produces saxitoxinthe neurotoxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning. The well-known "Florida red tide" that occurs in the Gulf of Mexico is a HAB caused by Karenia brevisanother dinoflagellate which produces brevetoxin, the neurotoxin responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning.

California coastal waters also experience seasonal blooms of Pseudo-nitzschiaa diatom known to produce domoic acidthe neurotoxin responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning. These blooms of organisms cause severe disruptions in fisheries of these waters as the toxins in the phytoplankton cause filter-feeding shellfish in affected waters to become poisonous for human consumption.

Not all algal blooms are dense enough to cause water discolouration.Algal blooms can reduce the ability of fish and other aquatic life to find food and can cause entire populations to leave an area or even die. Harmful algal blooms cause thick, green muck that impacts clear water, recreation, businesses and property values.

The Effects: Environment | Nutrient Pollution | US EPA

Effects of Algal Bloom The following points deal with a wide range of effects of aquatic blooms including visual, environmental as well as adverse health effects of toxic botanical blooms. The most common sign of an oncoming bloom is the discoloration of the affected aquatic system which is caused by the increase, over normal levels, in the algal cells in the given area of water.

What causes algal blooms? The development and proliferation of algal blooms likely result from a combination of environmental factors including available nutrients, temperature, sunlight, ecosystem disturbance (stable/mixing conditions, turbidity), hydrology (river flow and water storage levels) and the water chemistry (pH, conductivity, salinity, carbon availability).

The Effects Nutrient pollution can have various effects on human health, the environment and the economy. Nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms cause major environmental damage as well as serious health problems in people and animals. Jun 25,  · Harmful algal blooms are blooms of species of algae that can have negative impacts on humans, marine and freshwater environments, and coastal economies.

These blooms occur when phytoplankton, which are tiny microscopic plants, grow quickly in large quantities while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals. Algal blooms have many consequences. They threaten the breakdown of ecosystems, kill marine life, and have many harmful effects on humans.

They also have huge economic effects and cost millions of dollars in losses and millions have to be spent for their prevention and control.

Harmful Algal Blooms | Nutrient Pollution | US EPA