Related topics: algae · water

Climate change is making lakes less blue

If global warming persists, blue lakes worldwide are at risk of turning green-brown, according to a new study which presents the first global inventory of lake color. Shifts in lake water color can indicate a loss of ecosystem ...

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Algal bloom

An algal 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 small number of phytoplankton species are involved, and some blooms may be recognized by discoloration of the water resulting from the high density of pigmented cells. Although there is no officially recognized threshold level, algae can be considered to be blooming at concentrations of hundreds to thousands of cells per milliliter, depending on the severity. Algal bloom concentrations may reach millions of cells per milliliter. Algal blooms are often green, but they can also be yellow-brown or red, depending on the species of algae.

Bright green blooms are a result of blue-green algae, which are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria). Blooms may also consist of macroalgal, not phytoplankton, species. These blooms are recognizable by large blades of algae that may wash up onto the shoreline. "Black water" is a dark discoloration of sea water, first described in the Florida Bay in January 2002.

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