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An algal bloom refers to the speedy increase in the population of algae found in an aquatic ecosystem, as the concentrations may reach millions of cells per milliliter. It may be seen in freshwater as well as marine. Algal blooms are of green, bright-green, yellow-brown or red depending on the species of algae.

The occurrence and intensity of algal bloom may be increased by nutrient pollution. The fact is that algae multiply quickly in aquatic system with excess accumulation of nitrogen and phosphorus. This sudden increase in numbers causes the "blooms of algae" which turn the water green. It is often seen with floating layers.

The rapid increase of algal blooms can constitute a major problem of pollution in lakes and oceans.

  • It can lead to mortality of cattle, poultry, dogs etc. through drinking of water that has an algal bloom.
  • If the toxins is stored by shellfish feeding on the algae it may pass on to man causing PARALYTIC SHELLFISH POISONING (syndromes of shellfish poisoning).
  • In water storage reservoirs algae bloom may taint the water and block the beds of sand used as filters.