Algae covered beach, Brittany, France

Algae covered beach, Brittany, France

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Credit: PATRICE LATRON/LOOK AT SCIENCES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Algae covered beach. Man standing in an excessive growth of sea lettuce (green algae, Ulva sp.) covering Bon-Abri beach, Brittany. Many beaches in Brittany are regularly affected by huge blooms of algae as a result of the leaching of fertilisers, primarily nitrates, from farms into the rivers. This causes an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in the ecosystem (eutrophication), which increases plant growth. The algae pose a health hazard as they produce poisonous fumes as they decay. Photographed at the mouth of the Gouessant river, Saint-Brieuc bay, Brittany, France.

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