Review of the impact of harmful algae blooms and toxins on the world economy and human health
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The most common type of harmful algal blooms (HABs) is referred to as a "Red Tide" because the bloom discolors the water, making it appear red. However, HABs may also be yellow, orange, brown, green, white, or pink, depending on which one of the three primary types of phytoplankton are responsible for the problem; dinoflagellate, diatoms, or bluegreen algae. Of the more than 4,400 marine phytoplankton species, only 50 to 60 are believed to be toxic. Many HABs (harmful algal blooms), produce vividly colored blooms of cells that accumulate on surface water. These high biomass blooms can cause hypoxia, can contribute to toxicity of fish and shellfish, and can cause other environmental problems. They occur in waters all over the globe, and have been called red tides, brown tides or yellow tides. Because these descriptors tend to vary, it's more accurate to call these natural phenomena harmful algal blooms (HABs). Red tides, whether they are harmful or not, have been found throughout the wo.....