The terminology for harmful algal blooms can be confusing, as many are used interchangeably.
Blue-green algae can also be known as cyanobacteria. Some researchers prefer the term “cyanobacteria” as blue-green algae is a type of bacteria.
An “algal bloom” refers to a dense growth of any type of algae. A “harmful algal bloom” refers to a dense growth of algae that has the potential for creating toxins or other nuisance compounds. “Harmful algal bloom” is often condensed into the acronym “HAB.” Some researchers have started using the phrase “CyanoHAB” to further define a harmful algal bloom that consists of blue-green algae.