Posted by Merry on April 25, 2020 at 10:47:14:|
[Using an old microscope, I was able to get these images from samples from Redondo Beach. ID’s are tentative and based on morphology.]
Patches of red or brownish-colored water, such as what Phil has been seeing off Palos Verdes, may be due to a population explosion of dinoflagellates, unique and diverse members of the phytoplankton. Some dinoflagellates are responsible for the blue bioluminescence (currently) seen as waves break along the beach. Although dinoflagellates produce neurotoxins and are responsible for several types of shellfish poisoning, the vast majority of “red tides” along the California coast are produced by nontoxic species. However, even a bloom of non-toxic dinoflagellates can be harmful to marine life due to oxygen depletion or by physically clogging the gills of fish.
Dinoflagellate size is measured in microns.
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