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Monitoring indicators of harmful cyanobacteria in Texas

April 17, 2008

Harmful algal blooms can occur when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, forming visible patches that might harm the health of the environment, plants, or animals. In freshwater, species of Cyanobacteria (also known as bluegreen algae) are the dominant group of harmful, bloom-forming algae. When Cyanobacteria form a harmful algal bloom, potential impairments include restricted recreational activities because of algal scums or algal mats, potential loss of public water supply because of taste and odor compounds (for example, geosmin), and the production of toxins (for example, microcystin) in amounts capable of threatening human health and wildlife.