Harmful algal bloom (HAB) cells shown under a microscope. WHOI scientists issued an outlook for a significant regional bloom of a toxic alga that can cause ‘red tides’ in the spring and summer of this year, potentially threatening the New England shellfish industry. An abundant seed population in bottom sediments of the Gulf of Maine has set the stage for a significant bloom of the toxic alga Alexandrium fundyense. This organism swims in the water, and divides again and again to form a “bloom” or red tide, but it also produces dormant cells or cysts that fall to the ocean bottom at the end of these blooms.
(Photo by Don Anderson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)