View all publications

Glossary

Anatoxin                                 
a group of neurotoxic alkaloids produced by a number of cyanobacterial genera.
Anoxic waters                         
an area of water that is depleted of dissolved oxygen.
Benthic                                   
the lowest level of a body of water.
Cyanobacteria                         
(also known as blue-green algae), are a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis.
Cylindrospermopsin                  
a hepatotoxic alkaloid produced by a variety of cyanobacterial genera.
Cytotoxic                                
toxic to cells.
Dermatotoxic                          
affects the skin.
Eutrophication                         
degradation of water quality due to enrichment by nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, resulting in excessive algal growth and decay, and often associated with low dissolved oxygen in the water.
Exposure                                 
contact of a chemical, physical or biological agent with the outer boundary of an organism (eg, through inhalation, ingestion or dermal contact).
Hazard                                    
a biological, chemical, physical or radiological agent that has the potential to cause harm.
Hepatotoxic                             
toxic to the liver.
Hydrophilic                              
literally ‘water loving’ − the capacity of a molecule to interact with polar solvents, in particular with water.
Neurotoxic                              
toxic to nerves or nerve tissue.
Macroscopic                           
large enough to be seen by the unaided eye.
Microcystin                             
a hepatotoxic cyanotoxin produced by a range of cyanobacteria.
Monomictic                             
mixing only once a year.
Nodularin                                
a hepatotoxic cyanotoxin produced by the planktonic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena.
Oligotrophic                             
a water body with low primary productivity, the result of low nutrient content. These water bodies often have low algal production, and consequently often have very clear water of high quality.
Periphyton                               
the mixture of algae, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic microbes, and detritus found attached to submerged surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems.
Planktonic cyanobacteria          
cyanobacteria that are free-floating (drifting) in the water body.
Polymictic                               
lakes in which the water column undergoes frequent periods of stratification and remixing.
Pool                                        
a deep, slow-moving region of a river, usually with fine substrate, often containing eddies.
Procaryote                              
an organism whose nucleus is not clearly defined (bacteria and cyanobacteria, but not animals, plants or fungi).
Riffle                                      
shallow water where the surface is broken into ripples or waves by totally or partially submerged obstructions.
Run                                        
swiftly flowing region of river (deeper than a riffle) with a relatively smooth surface.
Saxitoxin                                 
a neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria and some marine algae. Also know as paralytic shellfish poison.
Stratification                            
the formation of separate layers (of temperature, plant or animal life) in a water body. Each layer has similar characteristics (eg, all water in the layer has the same temperature).
Toxigenic                                
producing toxin.