Dramatic changes to sea algae could herald devastation for human life:
Huge changes in the make-up of North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean algae in the space of five years could have harmful knock-on effects for human health and the rest of the food chain, research from Welsh scientists has revealed.
The changes seen in algal blooms – shifting from dinoflagellate to diatom algaes – could mean a build-up of toxins on feeder organisms.
Professor Graeme Hays, from Swansea’s Department of Biosciences in the College of Science, and an author in the study, said: “Imagine looking at your garden one morning and finding that the grass had suddenly been replaced by bushes. This may sound far-fetched, but we have found changes of this magnitude in the biology of the North Atlantic, with a dramatic switch in the prevalence of dinoflagellates to diatoms – two groups which include many of the microscopic planktonic plants forming the base of the ocean’s food chain.”