Third species of algae, fueled by decomposing fish, is found blooming in Southwest Florida waters

[USA] There’s a third type of algae lurking in local waters. The good news is that it’s not toxic. The bad news is that it can impact marine life and put off an unpleasant odor.

Oscillatoria algae

“We’ve been seeing this really bright green species called Oscillatoria, and it seems to be prevalent based on the availability of new nutrients from decomposing fish,” said Rick Bartleson, a water quality scientist for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

You read that right: one type of algae, red tide, has caused massive fish kills in Southwest Florida since October, and now the dead fish are fueling a completely different species of algae.

“If it’s floating upside down it’s brown and if you flop it over its green,” Bartleson said. “We don’t know of any toxin (associated with this species).”

 

The algae can look like paint sprayed on a beach, or even appear as large brown chunks of floating organic material.

It seems to be blooming in between the other two algae blooms, which have plagued this area since June.

The red tide bloom has dumped millions of pounds of fish on Lee County beaches and shorelines this month, and hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida over the past three months.

A blue-green algae bloom started on Lake Okeechobee in early June and quickly spread to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

Both the red tide and the blue-green algae in the river are toxic

 

View original article at: Third species of algae, fueled by decomposing fish, is found blooming in Southwest Florida waters

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