Cyanobacterial blooms

Jef Huisman (Lead / Corresponding author), Geoffrey A. Codd, Hans W. Paerl, Bas W. Ibelings, Jolanda M. H. Verspagen, Petra M. Visser

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    1748 Citations (Scopus)


    Cyanobacteria can form dense and sometimes toxic blooms in freshwater and marine environments, which threaten ecosystem functioning and degrade water quality for recreation, drinking water, fisheries and human health. Here, we review evidence indicating that cyanobacterial blooms are increasing in frequency, magnitude and duration globally. We highlight species traits and environmental conditions that enable cyanobacteria to thrive and explain why eutrophication and climate change catalyse the global expansion of cyanobacterial blooms. Finally, we discuss management strategies, including nutrient load reductions, changes in hydrodynamics and chemical and biological controls, that can help to prevent or mitigate the proliferation of cyanobacterial blooms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)471-483
    Number of pages13
    JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
    Issue number8
    Early online date26 Jun 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Immunology and Microbiology


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