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Drug lord's hippos make their mark on foreign ecosystem

Four hours east of Medellin in northern Colombia's Puerto Triunfo municipality, the sprawling hacienda constructed by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of "Narcos" fame has become a tourist attraction. When Escobar's empire ...

Can trees control algal blooms?

Griffith University researchers have shown that leaf litter can play an important role in controlling algal blooms.

Image: Baltic blooms

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea.

Image: Copernicus Sentinel-2 captures eutrophic Lake Tai, China

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Lake Tai, the third largest freshwater lake in China. The lake, also known as Lake Taihu, is located in the Jiangsu province and is approximately 70 km long and 60 km wide, ...

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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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