Researchers create more complete picture of freshwater toxic algal blooms

Using two different measurement methods, researchers from North Carolina State University conducted a two-year study of North Carolina’s Jordan Lake in which they monitored toxic algal blooms. The researchers found that multiple cyanotoxins from toxic algal blooms are present year-round, albeit in very low concentrations. Their findings could improve the ability to predict toxic blooms.

Freshwater algal blooms have increased due to nutrients from sources such as fertilizers and other agricultural runoff entering the water. While every algal bloom isn’t toxic – some algal species can produce both toxic and nontoxic blooms – toxic blooms can cause problems for swimmers and other recreational users in the form of rashes or allergic reactions.