Taste & Odor Info

Introduction: Algal Species

Microcystis

  • Globular colonies that can adjust their buoyancy to move up and down through the water column
  • Cannot fix nitrogen from the atmosphere
    Most dominant cyanobacterium in Ohio’s Lake Erie waters

Anabaena geosmin producer

  • Colonies of hair-like filaments that can be planktonic or form mats along the bottom or near shore
  • Can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere using specialized cells

Aphanizomenon geosmin producer

  • Colonies of planktonic filaments that often bundle together
  • Can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere using specialized cells
  • Sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. Consuming could be dangerous because this supplement is not regulated and may contain cyanobacterial toxins. Consumers beware!

Cylindrospertnopsis

  • Colonies of planktonic filaments that distribute through the water
  • Can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere using specialized, teardrop-shaped cells
  • A recent invader to Ohio’s Lake Erie waters and Buckeye Lake

Lyngbya MIB producer

  • Colonies of clustered filaments, usually visible to the naked eye that often form dense mats along the bottom and float to the surface later in the growing season
  • Lacks specialized cells but still fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere
  • One of Ohio’s recently problematic species (specifically Lyngbya wollet> also known as Plectonema wollei)* especially on Maumee Bay near Toledo

Nostoc

  • Colonies of filaments that usually clump into a green, gelatinous, “marble-like” ball
  • Can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere using specialized cells
  • Sold as a dietary supplement. Consuming could be dangerous because this supplement is not regulated and may contain cyanobacterial toxins. Consumers beware!

Planktothrix (also known as Oscillatoria)

  • Colonies of planktonic filaments that distribute through the water
  • Cannot fix nitrogen from the atmosphere
  • Very common to recent HABs on Grand Lake St. Marys, the Sandusky Bay, and Ohio’s inland lakes and reservoirs
  • geosmin and MIB producer

Braig IV, E.C., et al. 2011. “Harmful Algal Blooms in Ohio Waters: What is this stuff?” Ohio Sea Grant. 13 May 2014.

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