G. sanguineum is a red tide species associated with fish and invertebrate kills. Cardwell et al. (1979) reported the acute toxicity of this species to larval stages of two species of oysters in Puget Sound, Washington State. And G. sanguineum is believed to be responsible for at least one reported fish mortality event in Peru.
Tindall et al. (1984) and Carlson and Tindall (1985) demonstrated one isolate of this species to be potentially toxic; however, the toxin principles have yet to be elucidated.
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