Is Microtox R toxicity related to potentially harmful algae proliferation in Mediterranean salt marshes?

Mediterranean salt marshes are ecosystems that are highly influenced by sea changes and freshwater inputs from runoff. In these ecosystems, toxic and non-toxic algae blooms often produce large and unpredictable biomasses of phytoplankton. The Microtox R test has been described as a successful, quick method for detecting toxicity in various phytoplankton taxa. Ourstudy sought to test the efficiency of Microtox R in detecting toxic HAB in Mediterranean salt marshes. The results showed that the Microtox R test was able to detect toxic substances in the particulate matter of several lagoons in the Empordà salt marshes. This Microtox R toxicity coincided with periods when potentially harmful cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and haptophytes had a high biomass. The results suggest that potentially harmful phytoplankton cannot be ruled out as a source of Microtox R ​
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