We are pleased that our article (Castle and Rodgers, 2009) is generating discussion on the role of toxin-producing algae in Phanerozoic mass extinctions and appreciate the interest by Martin R. Smith (Smith, 2011). Our reply to Smith's discussion will first address his comments pertaining to the geologic record, followed by our response to his comments related to toxicology of modern algae.

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Smith begins by stating that “Castle and Rodgers (2009) propose that toxins produced by photosynthetic microbes (“algae”) were factors in the five major Phanerozoic mass extinctions.” His statement is incorrect because we emphasized that...

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