Brown algae invasions and bloom events need routine monitoring for effective adaptation

Victoria Dominguez Almela*, Emma L. Tompkins, Jadu Dash, Thierry Tonon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brown algae blooms and invasions have affected 29% of the Earth’s coast, yet there is sparse
evidence of the impacts and adaptations of these events. Through a systematic review of empirical
literature on these blooms and invasions, we explore the prevalence of conventional analyses of
environmental, economic, and social impacts, as well as opportunities for adaptation and
valorisation. The study reveals crucial inconsistencies in the current evidence base on algae
impacts: fragmented metrics for quantifying blooms and their effects; inconsistent application and
testing of prevention measures (e.g. forecasting, early warning systems); reliance on removal as a
management approach with limited evidence of associated costs; and scant evidence of the
effectiveness of impact mitigation or adaptation strategies. With a focus on economic and societal
dimensions of algae events, we introduce emerging opportunities within the blue economy for
bloom utilization. The findings highlight the crucial need for harmonized monitoring protocols,
robust cost-benefit analysis of management and adaptation options, and evidence of pathways to
valorisation of algae biomass.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013003
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Author(s)

Cite this