Toxic algae season begins in Scotland

The toxic algal blooms which affected many waters in southern and central Britain so dramatically in 1989 (ENDS Report 176, pp 9-11) have now put in their first major appearance in Scotland. Following a spell of calm, dry weather, many Scottish lochs have produced an early crop of toxic algae, drawing attention to the expense and difficulty of restoring lakes which receive phosphate and nitrate inputs, and highlighting possible eutrophication problems in lochs which had been thought to be pristine.

The least surprising bloom event in June occurred on Loch Leven, a large loch near Kinross which is Scotland's most famous eutrophic water. Summer blooms of the cyanobacterium Anabaena have been common since the turn of the century.

The bloom peaked with impeccable timing on the evening before a waterside gala to launch the south-east region of Scottish Natural Heritage. A thick, paint-like scum coated the loch's western shore wher

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