Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Toxic algae in inland waters of the conterminous United States—A review and synthesis

August 3, 2023
Cyanobacteria are the most common toxigenic algae in inland waters. Their toxins can affect the health of aquatic and terrestrial organisms, including humans. Other algal groups, such as haptophytes (e.g., Prymnesium parvum) and euglenoids (e.g., Euglena sanguinea), can also form harmful algal blooms (HABs) whose toxins cause injury to aquatic biota but currently have no known effects on human health. Prymnesium parvum, however, is responsible for some of the worst HAB-related ecological disasters recorded in inland waters. Here, we provide an overview of the primary toxigenic algae found in U.S. inland waters: cyanobacteria (planktonic forms), P. parvum, and E. sanguinea with the objective of describing their similarities and differences in the areas of HAB ecology, algal toxins, and the potential for future range expansion of HABs. A detailed account of bloom habitats and their known associations with land cover and use is provided from the perspective of water quality. This review revealed that salinity may have an influence on inland cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins that had not been fully recognized previously.
Publication Year 2023
Title Toxic algae in inland waters of the conterminous United States—A review and synthesis
DOI 10.3390/w15152808
Authors Reynaldo Patiño, Victoria Christensen, Jennifer L. Graham, Jane Rogosch, Barry H. Rosen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Index ID 70247479
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta; New York Water Science Center; Upper Midwest Water Science Center