Lyngbya majuscula (Lyngbya) is a naturally occurring, thread-like, marine cyanobacterium. It occurs naturally in Queensland coastal waters growing attached to seagrass, corals and other shallow substrates. On occasions it can grow rapidly to form an algal bloom. When the algae is in bloom proportions it often detaches from the substrate and floats in mats across the surface of the ocean where because it’s potentially toxic it can cause human health and odour problems.
Lyngbya can smother seagrass, coral and other benthic habitats. In significant bloom conditions, such as occurred in 2000 in Moreton Bay, blooms may be associated with reduced reproductive success in sea turtle species. This may be due to a food shortage impact because turtles avoid the seagrass covered in Lyngbya or due to the impact of Lyngbya toxins (EHP, 2012).
Lyngbya is is one of the variables that the Moreton Bay Community Seagrass Watch teams monitor as part of their regular 3 survey periods a year. The below chart plots Moreton Bay Community Seagrass Watch Lyngbya reports. Click here to learn more about Lyngbya.
With the March – April survey fast approaching we are looking forward to Moreton Bay Community Seagrass Watch teams keeping an eye out for Lyngbya and reporting back its whereabouts.