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RED TIDE IS the common term used to refer to the dramatically increased concentration of microscopic phytoplankton or algae which tend to accumulate near marine or fresh water surfaces. Currents play an important role in providing nutrients and transporting the algae, while the red in their name comes from the algae's reddish pigment, which gives the appearance of a red color to surface waters. Not all red tide blooms are harmful, or even red in color. Some, however, can produce toxins that work their way up the food chain leading to severe negative impacts on an ecosystem.

Scientists more accurately refer to these as harmful algal blooms (HABs) and they are known to adversely affect higher life forms that might directly or indirectly ingest them. These ...

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