OSPR Labs Special Projects: Harmful Algal Blooms

Cyanobacteria are present throughout California’s freshwater and marine ecosystems. In certain conditions, such as high temperatures and nutrient levels, they can grow excessively and produce potent toxins which create harmful algal blooms (HABs). Observation of these blooms and concern regarding toxins has increased in recent years. CDFW has a strategic goal to establish partnerships with local colleges and universities to encourage applied research which provides answers to unresolved wildlife conservation issues. In working towards this goal, OLP partnered with many other organizations to perform a study that attributed sea otter mortality in Monterey Bay to HABs producing toxic microcystins in Pinto Lake. This journal is freely available online.

The OLP actively participates in the California CyanoHAB Network (CCHAB).

Toxin analysis at the Laboratory
Laboratory analysis of harmful algal blooms
Field collection of HAB samples

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