Marine Algae NSF Grant DRL-1316782
Think … Pair … Share To which kingdom do you think algae belongs and WHY? Explain how algae get their energy? What are some examples of marine algae?
Kingdom Protista • They are not plants because they lack true leaves, stems, and roots • Most are photosynthetic • Include: • Bacillariophyta • Dinophyta • Chlorophyta • Rodophyta • Phaeophyta
Basic Structure of Marine Algae Pneumatocysts Thallus
Thallus is the complete body and all portions can photosynthesize Kelp Forest, California
Common Sea Lettuce Blades are leaf-like portions - increase surface area - no veins
- Some algae have pneumatocysts, or gas-filled bladders allowing the seaweed to stay at the surface • Cool Fact: some pneumatocysts contain carbon monoxide (CO) Macrocystis pyriferaGiant Kelp
- in some seaweeds holdfasts are structures that secure the thallus to the bottom
2 blades Several sea palms at the Pillar Point Marine Reserve. Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, California 3 stipe 1 holdfasts Question time: List the name of the part and it’s function 1. 2. 3.
Phyla of Algae * Glaaucophyta = freshwater *Xanthophyta = almost all freshwater
Red algae • Multicellular • Important to coral reefs because it helps cement the reef together • Phycoerythrins- red pigment which allows red algae to live deeper in the water Chelidonura Sea Slug
Most abundant and widespread macro-algae with over 4,000 species Examples: Irish Moss (left) and Gigartina (right)
Cyanophyta • Blue-green algae • Photosynthetic Major producers – produce most of Earth’s oxygen • Unicellular • Prokaryotic cells • No true nucleus Hyellastella: lives in Marine Limestone
Phylum Chlorophyta • Multicellular • Green algae and land plants have chlorophyll a&b • Chlorophyll a- absorbs different colors of light and used for photosynthesis • Chlorophyll b- helps to capture light • Cell walls made of cellulose
Chlorophyta Examples • only 10% of all 6,000-7,000 species are marine • some species are endophytes, or plants that live within the tissues of other plants Sea Lettuce(UlvaLectuca) Cladophorasericea-Invasive species on West Maui, Hawai’i
Phylum Chrysophyta • Unicellular, Golden colored, some free-floating others colonial • Most productive phytoplankton • Cell walls made of silica
Chrysophyta Examples • Coccolithophores – often used to study climate change, ocean acidification, & eutrophication • Class Bacillariophyta = diatoms • Diatom bloom- sudden increase of diatoms • usually during summer when there is an increase in nutrients
Phylum Phaeophyta • Brown algae varies from olive-green to dark-brown in color due to yellow pigments • Multicellular • Holdfast- anchors the plants • Blades (like leaves) • Pneumatocyst: gas-filled bladders
Phaeophyta Example • Kelp is the most complex group of brown algae • harvested for food in some parts of the world • can be 100 m long and grow to 50 cm per day • lots of pneumatocysts • form kelp beds or kelp forests in colder waters of the N. and S. Pacific Kelp harvester in California Diver in Kelp forest at Ship Rock Catalina Island, California
Sargasso Sea • Nuestonic community (organisms that float on top of the water) • Drifting rafts of sargassum (brown algae) • Found in the North Atlantic Ocean Question time: What are the biotic and abiotic factors that would affect this area?
Dinophtya / Pyrrophyta* *from Greek meaning “flame-colored” • Also Called Dinoflagellates • Unicellular • Use flagella to swim • 2nd most productive group of primary producers
Dinoflagellate Examples Noctiluca and Symbodinium
Dinoflagellate Algal Blooms • Algae Blooms • Toxins: Ciguatera: • causes seafood poisoning (red snapper, grouper) • HABs (Harmful Algae Blooms) cause Red Tide • Overabundance of algae that is harmful to the marine organisms, humans, a environment.
Bioluminescence • the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy. • Found in the phylum dinophyta (Pyrrophyta) • Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life is estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another.
Bioluminescent algae NoctilucaScintillans at Camp Cooinda on the Gippsland Lakes
Importance of Marine Algae • Oxygen production (90%) • Habitat • Food • Marine Organisms • Human • Gelatin (thickening agent) • Toothpaste • Sushi