Toxic cyanobacteria blooms degrade ecosystem in coastal Florida
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have increased in abundance and severity around the world in recent decades. Among coastal HABs, benthic cyanobacteria blooms, particularly Lyngbya spp., are becoming more numerous and persistent in tropical and subtropical environments. These species have become increasingly problematic in the near-shore waters of Florida, and it has been suggested that this may be in part caused by nutrient enrichment resulting from highly developed coastal habitats. Both climate change and anthropogenically derived nutrients provide the potential for increases in these nuisance blooms. This newsletter summarizes the findings of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ecology of Harmful Algae Bloom Program (NOAA-ECOHAB) funded study.