What causes blue-green algae blooms?

Blue-green algae are a natural part of water-based ecosystems. They become a problem when nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) are present in concentrations above what would occur naturally. Under these conditions, algae can “bloom,” or grow very quickly to extreme numbers. Summer heat and calm water can increase the likelihood of bloom occurring because blue-green algae are specially adapted to take advantage of such conditions.

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1. What are algae?
2. What do the different terms mean?
3. When are algal blooms harmful?
4. What causes blue-green algae blooms?
5. For more information