Home > Explore News > Algae's hunger ramps up red tide toxins | HeraldTribune.com

Algae's hunger ramps up red tide toxins | HeraldTribune.com

Published on: 03/18/2013

The mysterious red tide toxin that has killed a record number of manatees and brought countless dead fish to Southwest Florida beaches over the past few months could finally have an explanation: The algae that produce the toxin are hungry.

A significant new study of the algae, Karenia Brevis (sic), suggests that the organisms release more toxin when they do not have enough nutrients to keep growing.

The toxin is a defense mechanism against zooplankton. Opportunistic plankton feed when the plant is not getting enough nitrogen and phosphorous - the same ingredients in many fertilizers - say researchers with North Carolina State University and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

via "Algae's hunger ramps up red tide toxins" | HeraldTribune.com (link no longer available).

Note: This article is about our research paper on algal bloom toxin defenses published in PLOS ONE last week.

Explore Similar News


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter or view our archives.

Follow us on Social

Listen to our Podcast

Check our our new podcast "Coastal Conversations"