Harmful algal blooms: a global solution

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Abstract

Phytoplankton are free-floating plants found in marine and freshwater ecosystems that, through their photosynthetic growth, form the base of the aquatic food chain. These microscopic algae also play a major role in global biogeochemical processes, being responsible for about 50% of the photosynthetic activity on the planet. There are many thousands of different species of phytoplankton and a small subset of these may be harmful to human health, or to human use of the ecosystem. The organisms that cause harm are now widely referred to as ‘harmful algae’ and the term ‘harmful algal bloom’ (HAB) is commonly used to describe their occurrence and effects.

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