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Microcystis aeruginosa

Fast Fact:

During heavy blooms, M. aeruginosa can form green clots similar in appearance to latex paint.  First identified in 1845.


Other names M. flos-aquae (Wittr.) Kirchner; M. ichthyoblabe Kutetzing
Seasonal dominance Summer.
Distribution Freshwater.  Found predominantly in the Potomac (above Indian Head) and in the Upper Bay.
Description Small cells embedded in a gelatinous matrix, cells 3-4.5um in diameter.
Additional Information Some strains of Microcystis may produce toxins that have been reported to result in health problems to animals that drink the water, minor skin irritation and gastrointestinal discomfort in humans that come in contact with toxic blooms. Get more information on the summer 2000 Microcystis event.
References Presscott, G. W. 1951. Algae of the Western Great Lakes. Wm.C. Brown Co. Dubuque, Iowa. page 456.

Rabenhorst's, L. 1932. Kryptogamen-Flora Cyanophyceae (Geitler, L.). Johnson Reprint Corp. New York. page 137.

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