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Algae and Microinvertebrates. ENVIRON 311 / EEB 320 Winter 2006. Habitat & Communities. Phytoplankton. Phytoplankton – microscopic plants and some types of bacteria which obtain their energy via photosynthesis. Important to the ecosystem because Part of the primary producing community

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algae and microinvertebrates

Algae and Microinvertebrates

ENVIRON 311 / EEB 320

Winter 2006

phytoplankton
Phytoplankton
  • Phytoplankton – microscopic plants and some types of bacteria which obtain their energy via photosynthesis.
  • Important to the ecosystem because
    • Part of the primary producing community
    • Assist in recycling elements such as carbon and sulfur which are required elsewhere in the community.
phytoplankton4
Phytoplankton
  • Basis for aquatic food chain
  • Huge impact on global primary production
    • Estimated at 105 – 106 g C/year
  • More abundant in well-lighted areas with higher temperatures
  • Relatively unspecialized physiology, but are evolved to maintain buoyancy
  • Very little competitive exclusion
  • May be unicellular or multicellular
phytoplankton5
Phytoplankton
  • Asexual reproduction keep numbers high
    • Cyanobacteria can double several times/day
    • Diatoms are slower, but can double every 1-2 weeks
phytoplankton6
Phytoplankton
  • Phylogenetically diverse
  • Important groups:
    • cyanobacteria
    • dinoflagellates
    • euglenoids
    • green algae
    • diatoms
diatoms
Diatoms

Gyrosigma obtusatum

Pleurosira laevis

Nitzschia levidensis

community descriptions
Community Descriptions
  • Neuston – organisms floating in surface film of water
  • Pleuston – organisms living at thin air-water interface (bodies project into air)
  • Periphyton – organisms living attached underwater surfaces
periphyton
Periphyton
  • Sessile organisms, such as algae and small crustaceans, that live attached to surfaces projecting from the bottom of a freshwater aquatic environment.
  • Major groups include:
    • cyanobacteria
    • diatoms
    • filamentous green algae
algae and microinverts
Cyanophyta

Chlorophyta

Euglenophyta

Heterokontophyta

Xanthophyceae

Chrysophyceae

Bacillariophyceae

Phaeophyceae

Rhodophyta

Pyrrhophyta

Oomycetes

Cnidaria/Coelenterata

Rotifera

Ectoprocta/Bryozoa

Hydrozoa

Eucopepoda

Cladocera

Acari

Algae and Microinverts
blue green algae
Blue-Green Algae
  • Phylum Cyanophyta
  • Habitat: widespread in marine and fresh water
  • Notes:
    • Prokaryotic; no nuclear membrane or organelles
    • Lacks cellulose cell walls and flagella
    • Uses chlorophyll A, biliproteins, and carotenoids
    • May be colonial, filamentous, unicellular
    • Moves by extruding mucus
blue green algae19
Blue-Green Algae
  • Heterocysts fix N2 from atmosphere
green algae
Green Algae
  • Phylum Chlorophyta
  • Habitat: widespread in marine and fresh water
  • Notes:
    • Very diverse group, hard to generalize about their ecology
    • May be unicellular, filamentous or colonial
green algae21
Green Algae

Notes:

  • Cell walls of cellulose and nuclear membrane present
  • May possess 2 or 4 flagella
green algae22
Green Algae
  • Notes:
    • Utilize cholorphyll A/B and carotenoids
    • Store energy as starch
    • Some forms are large (e.g. Chara spp.) and at first glance resemble a higher plant
green algae23
Green Algae
  • Notes:
    • Some are good indicators of either nutrient rich (Cladophora spp.) or poor (Desmidae) environments
euglenoids
Euglenoids
  • Phylum Euglenophyta
    • Habitat: freshwater
    • Notes:
      • Mostly unicellular with 1-3 flagella
      • Nuclear membrane but no cell walls
euglenoids25
Euglenoids

Notes:

  • Found mostly in still water
  • Can be auto- or heterotrophic
  • Abundance of heterotrophic forms may be indicative of pollution
phylum heterokontophyta
Phylum Heterokontophyta
  • Algae having chlorophyll a and usually c, and flagella of unequal lengths
  • Terminology supersedes Chrysophyta in some classifications
  • Classes
    • Xanthophyceae
    • Chrysophyceae
    • Bacillariophyceae
    • Phaeophyceae
yellow green algae
Yellow-Green Algae
  • Class Xanthophyceae
    • Habitat: Primarily in freshwater, but some marine.
    • Abundance: Not abundant
    • Notes: Contains chlorophyll c (NO chlpyll b)
golden algae
Golden Algae
  • Class Chrysophyceae
    • Habitat: fresh water
    • Notes:
      • With or without chloroplasts; chloroplast yellowish green or yellowish brown due to a large amount of beta carotin and xanthophyll, also contains chlorophyll a and c
      • Facultative heterotrophs (in the absence of light)
diatoms29
Diatoms
  • Habitat: Marine & freshwater
  • Notes:
    • ~20-25% of all organic carbon fixation carried out by diatoms
    • Single celled
    • Produces a frustule made of silica.
      • Bilateral symmetry
      • Radial symmetry

Class Bacillariophyceae

diatoms order centrales
Diatoms: Order Centrales
  • Characterized by centric and often circular form
  • Note also the numerous punctae (pores)
diatoms order pennales
Diatoms: Order Pennales
  • Usually elongate
  • Characterized by numerous striae (grooves) that may run both parallel and perpendicular to the axis of the organism
brown algae
Brown Algae
  • Class Phaeophyceae
    • Habitat: mostly marine and littoral eukaryotic algae
    • Notes:
      • Some of the kelps can grow to enormous sizes, forming “kelp forests,” and hosting a unique fauna
      • Multicellular
      • Contains slimy mucilaginous materials
water molds
Water Molds
  • Class Oomycota

“Egg fungus”

    • Habitat: Freshwater
    • Notes:
      • Does not contain chlorophyll
      • Are heterotrophic
      • Produces gametes
      • Cell wall composed of a mix of cellulosic compounds
      • Nuclei are diploid (not haploid as in fungi)

End Phylum Heterokontophyta

red algae
Red Algae
  • Phylum Rhodophyta
    • Habitat: primarily marine but some fw
    • Notes:
      • Uses Chlor A/D, carotenoids and biliproteins
      • No flagellated life stage
      • Able to photosynthesize at very low light levels and wide range of the spectrum
red algae35
Red Algae

Notes:

  • In MI, found in bogs/attached to logs in streams—can be locally common
dinoflagellates36
Dinoflagellates
  • Phylum Pyrrhophyta

“Whirling flagella”

    • Habitat: Mostly marine, some freshwater
    • Notes:
      • Unicellular protists
      • 2 dissimilar flagella
      • Many are photosynthetic
dinoflagellates37
Dinoflagellates

Notes:

  • Heterotrophic dinoflag feed on diatoms or other protists
  • Marine “blooms”
    • Red tides
rotifers
Rotifers
  • Phylum Rotifera

“Rotating wheel”

    • Habitat: Fresh water
    • Notes:
      • Heterotrophic
      • Corona of cilia provide movement and means to move food toward the mouth.
rotifers39
Rotifers

Notes:

  • Sessile, anchors itself with foot
  • May enter dormancy and form cyst when env. conditions unfavorable
    • Cysts last up to 50 years
bryozoa
Bryozoa
  • Phylum Ectoprocta

(=Bryozoa)

  • “Moss animals”
    • Habitat: Marine and both lotic/lentic freshwaters
    • Notes:
      • Sessile; can be epiphytic, epilithic or epidendric
      • Colonial; a number of clones inhabit one structure
      • Extend ciliated tentacles to filter food from water
      • Often host a number of smaller organisms
cladocera
Cladocera
  • Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Suborder Cladocera
  • Water fleas
  • Habitat: widespread; very important in lentic habitats
  • Notes:
    • Uses antennae to swim
    • Many populations react to diurnal cycles, making vertical migrations each day
    • May be predacious or herbivorous
    • Head varies considerably from rounded to hooded but eye spot is always distinctive
    • Body laterally compressed
cladocera42
Cladocera
  • Notes
    • Parthenogenetic:
      • most eggs are diploid females (asexual repro)
      • occasional diploid males fertilize haploid eggs produced by females for sexual reproduction
copepods
Copepods
  • Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Subclass Copepoda
  • Habitat: widespread in marine and fw; may be benthic or pelagic
  • Notes:
    • may be parasitic, predacious or detrivorous
    • often seen carrying egg sacs on both sides
    • develop through several stages as nauplii before reaching maturity
    • Characterized by conspicuous 1st pair of antennae and single anterior eye
acari water mites
Acari (Water Mites)
  • Phylum Arthropoda, Superclass Arachnida, Order Acari
  • Habitat: most abundant in lotic waters
  • Notes:
    • Have 6 legs when young, 8 when mature
    • Many are parasitic but a few are predaceous
    • Possess no antennae
    • Related to terrestrial spiders
phylum cnidaria coelentaria
Phylum Cnidaria/Coelentaria
  • Corals, hydroids, sea anemones, & jellyfish
    • Habitat: Marine, freshwater (Hydra)
    • Notes:
      • Radial symmetry
      • Nematocysts
      • Two staged life cycle
        • Polyp (“juvenile”)
        • Medusa (“adult”)
      • Symbiosis w/plants in corals.
phylum cnidaria coelentaria47
Phylum Cnidaria/Coelentaria

Notes:

  • Freshwater ecosystems: Hydra