In the Atlantic ocean there is a huge area that is covered with algae called Sargassum, also known as “sea grapes”. Starting in 2010, biologists observed their rapid flowering — at the moment the total mass of plants reaches 20 million tons, more than the past performance ten times. Recently, they began to sink to the bottom and rot on the shore, he started to scare away tourists with its stench, and choke sea creatures their weight. Despite this, the locals have learned to benefit from the abundance of algae.
To explore the huge reservoir of algae, the researchers of South Florida University studied data gathered over two decades of satellite photography. According to them, active algae growth began after the enrichment of the Central part of the Atlantic ocean with nutrients. About it it became known after scanning the territory on the concentration of chlorophyll — the green pigment contained in algae and give the water the appropriate color.
The biggest sea algae
A large number of nutrients, in turn, may be associated with human activities. In particular, we are talking about deforestation and use of fertilizers in the Amazon basin — the ocean gets a huge amount of substances, which promotes the growth of aquatic plants.
Coast Sargassum seaweed
The benefits and harms of algae
When huge layers of “sea grapes” accumulate in coastal waters, they begin to Deplete the oxygen supply needed for the rest of the inhabitants of the ocean, like fish and crabs. When plants die, they fall to the bottom and under the weight of all living organisms that do not have time to sail away is a very difficult task, because the layer of seaweed stretches for 8,000 kilometers.
Also algae are often on the beach and scare away tourists with its horrible smell of rotten eggs. However, some local residents have benefited from a large number of plants: algae, make paper, material for sewing shoes and food for livestock. Also seaweed is full of vitamins, which, in theory, possible to produce drugs.
Algae Sargassum emit stink and repel tourists
How to get rid of algae?
Researchers are trying to predict the algal bloom and the moment it is known that the peak of growth occurring in the period between January and July. The rate of flowering is strongly influenced by water temperature — from 2011 to 2013 she was quite high, and at this time in the coastal zones not encountered any problems. However, if you do not take action to reduce emissions of fertilizer, the plants will still be causing trouble.
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