Blue Green Algae

Topics: Algae, Photosynthesis, Algal bloom Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: May 6, 2008

Blue Green Algae is a natural part of our water ways, which has existed in harmony in these environments for centuries. It has only become a problem in recent times due to its increased growth and aggression due to factors caused by humans. These factors consist mainly of excess phosphorous seeping into the water ways from fertilisers used to promote the growth of farm land cropping. Essentially we have over fed Blue Green algae, causing an unstable explosion of growth amongst our water ways.

Blue Green algae is infact a photosynthetic bacteria which thrives and multiplies in conditions of sufficient sunlight, nutrients and water, especially water that flows slowly from, for example dams, water storages or regulated rivers. It has an advantage over most other organisms in that it has gas pockets that keep the organism buoyant enough to build up energy from the sun and store carbohydrates, when they become heavy they sink down into the water where they obtain higher levels of nutrients, once the energy levels are used up, they rise to the top again and restart the cycle. This cycle can be interrupted when the water becomes turbulent, thus eliminating or destroying some of the algae population within days or weeks. Conditions that are high in nutrients and allow the blooms to thrive can result in the blooms surviving for months.

An abundance of Blue Green algae is of serious concern to our environment causing toxic and sometimes fatal consequences especially to live stock that drink from the water ways. Toxins produced by the blooms also have an impact on humans who drink the infected waters, causing many health problems and can increase the chance of certain types of cancer. Less severe consequences, yet impact on human use of waterways is the unsightly appearance and unpleasant odour caused by the Algae blooms, preventing recreational use including fishing, swimming and boating sports.

Fixing the problem of Blue Green Algal...
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