What is a “red tide” and how it can have a negative affect on the environment?

1 Answer
Oct 12, 2017

A red tide is a type of algae bloom.


A red tide is an algae bloom that gains its red color from certain species of dinoflagellates.


Scientists actually prefer the term algae bloom or harmful algae bloom, because these events are not connected to tides.

Algae blooms can occur naturally or can be the result of increased nutrient runoff from human activities, such as agriculture.


At high enough concentrations, algae blooms can reduce the amount of oxygen available in the water, killing fish. The species of dinoflagellates that produces red harmful algae blooms in Florida is Karenia brevis and K. brevis also produces brevetoxin which is a neurotoxin. Brevetoxin can kill manatees (read more here).