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Recent reviews of archived samples by DNR scientists have shown that Cylindro has been present in some southern Wisconsin lakes dating back to the early 1980s.
It is likely that migratory waterfowl brought this algae to Wisconsin and other Midwestern states.
Nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, can be carried into water bodies as a result of many human activities, including agriculture, discharge of untreated sewage, and use of phosphorus-based fertilizers and detergents.
Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, also referred to as "Cylindro," is a blue-green algal species that is not native to Wisconsin.
Here in Wisconsin, most of the state relies on groundwater, rather than surface water, for drinking water.
When a blue-green algae bloom dies off, the blue-green algae cells sink and are broken down by microbes.
Most algae are microscopic and serve as the main supply of "high energy" food for larger organisms like zooplankton, which in turn are eaten by small fish.
Increases in biological oxygen demand result in decreases in oxygen concentration in the water, and this can adversely affect fish and other aquatic life, and can even result in fish kills.Cells may also be broken open when the water is treated with chemicals meant to kill algae, and when cells are swallowed and mixed with digestive acids in the stomachs of people or animals.The only way to be sure if the toxins are present is to have water samples analyzed in a laboratory using sophisticated equipment. Fossil evidence suggests that blue-green algae have been around for millions of years.Blue-green algae, like true algae, make up a portion of the phytoplankton in many water bodies.However, blue-green algae are generally not eaten by other aquatic organisms, and thus are not an important part of the food chain.