Sometimes in nature it’s not what you are but who you are. A great example of this is the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) from the genus Microcystis. They are common in freshwater habitats. Some of these are showing bright potential as a source of biofuels. However, some of these have less benevolent potential. I have heard much lately about algal blooms. Some are harmless while others have potential to harm wildlife and unsuspecting humans who eat poisoned seafood.
Some species, like Microcystis aeruginosa, can produce microcystins, or toxins, that can cause major damage to a person’s liver.
- Toxic algae could hit W Lake Erie (toledoblade.com)
- Climate will alter the soil that feeds us (climatenewsnetwork.net)
- Effects of the Distribution of a Toxic Microcystis Bloom on the Small Scale Patchiness of Zooplankton (plosone.org)