Beijing in Bloom

The organizers of the Beijing Olympics have much to contend with at the moment – including a massive bloom of blue-green algae that is currently engulfing the Qingdao coastline. The BBC, reporting from the region, say that more that 10,000 recruits from the People’s Liberation Army have been drafted in to clear the blooms. The pictures are pretty amazing…

The British Olympic sailing team have been in training in the affected region and have had to steer around the algae to avoid being caught up.

Algal blooms generally occur when there are an excess of nutrients in the water, which can occur in a number of ways, with agricultural, domestic and industrial pollution often responsible.

But it’s not just Beijing that’s suffering from the algal blooms, another BBC report from Scotland warns the public of potentially noxious algae which are growing in the waterways across Tayside.

I’m currently working on CABI’s up and coming Invasive Species Compendium and am well aware of the problems aquatic invasives can cause. I’ve been unable to find out which species is causing the Beijing blooms, if anyone could let me know then I’d be most grateful.

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