Algal blooms can considerably interfere with summer holidays by the sea. In the coastal zone of temperate regions a spring algal bloom is not a sign of excessive nutrient input, but most of all a consequence of the more intense solar irradiation in spring. When algal blooms end, the algae die and their remnants constitute an important nutrient supply for the whole ecosystem. Researchers have examined an algal bloom in the North Sea and identified the microorganisms involved in the degradation of algal remnants. With their findings, the researchers discovered a solution for the so-called Plankton paradox: By specializing in different degradation processes, bacteria apparently occupy separate ecological niches in the sea.
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