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Page history last edited by Mr. Driedger 6 years, 12 months ago

The Algae page by Leah Benabou




  Algae is a type of plant. They are simple plantlike organisms that live in water or wet/damp land. They have a pretty simple structure. Some types of Algae are microscopic, however some are quite large. For example, large marine algae will be called seaweed. Fish and other marine animals feed on algae. They are also used as food and other products for humans. Algae are generally associated with plants, but they do have some traits similar to those of animals; some algae can move and consume other organisms. They have no roots or leaves, which makes them different from most plants, instead some simply drift through the water, while others cling to rocks in the water. There are over 25,000 different known species of algae, around half of which are single celled organisms. Algae can have green, red, yellow or brown pigmentation. Many types of algae are soft, while others form hard, outer shells, and others form harder parts on the inside.





     Algae live in lakes, rivers and oceans. A few types of algae live on land. They will grow on things like trees, other plants, rocks, and soil. Some algae even live on certain animals like sloths and turtles. Algae is abundant in coral reefs. There are several different groups of algae, each of which is more common in certain environments. One example is brown algae, which are along many seashores where the weather is calm. Another example would be green algae, most are found in lakes, streams, and ponds. 



Feeding Habits


     Like most plants, (flowers, trees, etc...) algae is photosynthetic, meaning that they take in sunlight, and convert it into energy, this means that in a food web, they would be the producers, while their predators (such as the Angelfish) would be the consumers. Algae will also take in nutrients from the water that they are in through their cell walls. Many types of algae are single cell organisms, however those that are multicellular organisms need to live close to the surface of the water so they can absorb the chemicals needed for them to survive since they don't have a vascular system.




     Algae are fed on by fish and several other aquatic animals such as shellfish, algae eaters (bottom-dwelling fish), Clownfish, who get their food by eating it off of other animals, and AngelfishAlgae is also often eaten by larger fish like groupersparrotfish, and Surgeonfish , who use their teeth to remove algae from things like coral and rocks. Those were just a few examples of aquatic animals that feed on algae, however there are many others out there in the ocean who eat this plantlike organism.





 Symbiosis is defined as the long term interaction between different species. There are three possible types of symbiotic relationships. The first is parasitism, where one organism benefits while the other suffers. The second is commensalism, where one organism gains, and the other neither gains nor suffers. The third is mutualism, where both organisms benefit. Algae will often live inside other organisms in a symbiotic relationship. One example of this relationship is that between the fern called Azolla, which lives on the surface of ponds and wetlands, and the blue-green algae called Anabena which live inside the leaves of the Azolla. This relationship would be classified as commensalistic since the algae bring no harm to the fern, nor do they benefit from it, they are simply protected by the ideal habitat provided by the Azolla. Another example of symbiotic relationships that algae has with other organisms is that formed between algae and worms. The worms eat the algae, and once inside the worms, the algae multiply to nearly 25,000 algae cells per worm. Both species benefit from this relationship, making it mutualistic. Many other species (such as the Coral Polyp)have similar symbiotic relationships involving algae. 

   The azolla


Species Comparison: Moss



          Both algae and moss are nonvascular plants. Much of the "moss" we see on rocks and trees is in reality green algae. Unlike most plants, the two organisms lack leaves, and roots. Another thing these two organisms have in common is the fact that both absorb water and nutrients, though moss does it through the air, and algae does it through the water it lives in. Both organisms will grow in large quantities close together and form mats. 



          Moss lives only in wet or damp areas on land, however algae lives in the ocean, in rivers, lakes, etc... but can be found in wet or damp areas. Another difference between these two organisms is that many types of algae can reproduce asexually, while moss reproduces sexually. Moss is even able to grow and thrive in very dry conditions, while algae needs much more moisture to live.










ALGAE. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 23 May 2013.http://quest.eb.com/images/138_1096140

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Walters,M. "Algae" Life Sciences. Marshall Cavendish Digital, 2013. Web. 23 May 2013. 


"algae." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 23 May. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/14828/algae>.

 Pond Covered With Azolla Filiculoides An Invasive Water Fern. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 2 Jun 2013.http://quest.eb.com/images/119_1805688

Barnes-Svarney, P. "Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts." Life Sciences. Marshall Cavendish Digital, 2013. Web. 03 June 2013. <http://www.marshallcavendishdigital.com/articledisplay/8/245/8052>.

Algae. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 3 Jun 2013.http://quest.eb.com/images/132_1190031

Vitt, Dale H. "Moss." World Book Student. World Book, 2013. Web. 3 June 2013. 

"Algae", Ocean-the world's last wilderness revealed, 2006 ed.





Comments (1)

Andrew Ratcliff said

at 8:05 pm on May 29, 2013

my Surgeonfish eats your algae ;) lol

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