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algae definition biology

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algae definition biology

Algae exist in environments ranging from oceans, rivers, and lakes to ponds, brackish waters, and even snow. Furthermore, they also do not have vascular tissues to circulate essential nutrients and water throughout their body. Also called cyanobacteria, these organisms live in moist or aquatic environments just like other algae. Other algae live in more complex arrangements. The wide variety algae makes them hard to classify. B., Facey, D. E., & Bowen, B. W. (2009). These organisms do not share a common ancestor and hence, are not related to each other (polyphyletic).”. Algae, as a group, produce a vast majority of the oxygen on Earth. 2. Some algal species form symbiosis with other organisms. Micrasterias sp. They are distinguished mainly by the presence of two specialized flagella wherein one has mastigonemes and the other is smooth. Evolution of Sex. This unintended spillover of nutrients into the ocean causes the algae to grow rapidly, leading to the oxygen deprived conditions described above. Hence, these are also called nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Algal bloom is the rapid increase in the algal population in a water body such as rivers or lakes. pp. These include dams, rivers, reservoirs, creeks, lakes and oceans. The asexual phase is when the organism is in diploid condition whereas the sexual phase is when it is in haploid condition. Other pigments that provide green colouration (such as chlorophyll a) are present. Multicellular examples of algae include the giant kelp and brown algae. EGEE 439: Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources. In the 5-kingdom scheme of classification, the algae, together with the protozoa, belong to Kingdom Protista. Reproduction in algae occurs in both asexual and sexual forms. Retrieved from Psu.edu website: Introduction to the Green Algae. These organisms can thrive where there is no sunlight, furthering the range of algae as a group. They serve as food for aquatic animals. Biologydictionary.net Editors. It is similar to the other biofuels made from corn and sugar-cane. You might be surprised, but there are even algae which have colonized the terrestrial environment. The colony of algae below rely on each other, but still function as individuals for the most part. While they contain all the necessary biochemical pathways to photosynthesize, they do not have membrane-bound organelles or a nucleus. Biologydictionary.net Editors. like centrioles and flagella, found only in animals. Biologydictionary.net, April 17, 2019. https://biologydictionary.net/algae/. Nevertheless, algae have a cell wall similarly made up largely of cellulose. All species are photosynthetic and they have a relatively simple anatomy compared with the other phototrophic eukaryotes. Mixotrophic algae obtain energy both via photosynthesis and organic carbon uptake (e.g. This algae has a thick pellicle, which spirals around the cell for protection. Algae Definition “Alga is a term that describes a large and incredibly diverse group of eukaryotic, photosynthetic lifeforms. Green algae are a group of algae characterized by their greenis… Such losses have also occurred in embryophytes, adding to the complexity of trying to define these lineages in functional terms. They are characterized by their reddish colour due to the presence of accessory pigments, such as phycoerythrin, phycocyanin and allophycocyanins in phycobillisomes, aside from the chlorophyll. Nevertheless, they are similar to other algal species in being photosynthetic due to the presence of chlorophyll. © 2001-2020 BiologyOnline. Algae is a term used to describe a large, diverse group of eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms. An algal bloom is defined as the rapid growth or accumulation of algae in aquatic ecosystems. (2018). They can either be neurotoxic (affects the respiratory or nervous system, causing paralysis) or hepatotoxic (causes the liver to fail). First and foremost, algae represent the most potent source of oxygen in the atmosphere. Refer to these notes for reference. While many algae species are found as free-living unicellular organism, others take the form of colonies or multicellular organism. There are also green algae that live on terrestrial habitats (e.g. Algae are free-living, although some can form a symbiotic relationship with other organisms. Hence, they need to be near a moist or watery environment to survive. O. such as chlorophyll a) are present. Where is the least likely place to find algae? The algae comprise of a large heterogeneous assemblage of plants which are diverse in habitat, size, organisation, physiology, biochemistry, and reproduction. Ecologically, some species of blue-green algae are significant to the environment as it fixes the nitrogen in the soil. Thus, while photosynthesis was likely the shared feature of evolving algae, advanced derived forms have sometimes lost the need for it. Often, it is characterized by discolouration of the water and a peculiar odour. The content on this website is for information only. Retrieved from Ufl.edu website. Retrieved from Berkeley.edu website: Algae – Plant Management in Florida Waters. Algae, like plants, are photosynthetic organisms. Some references include blue-green algae. 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