Algae

What are Algae?

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/algae/lakes/OtherFreshwaterAlgae.html

Algae are a diverse group of organisms that occur in various shapes and sizes and have different ecological roles. Thousands of species of algae occur world-wide in both fresh and marine waters. Many species of freshwater algae float in the water, but others are attached to submerged rocks or aquatic plants. Most freshwater species are inconspicuous and do not create problems for humans. There are only a dozen or so, so-called "bad actors" that are considered problem-causing algae. 

Algae typically serve as an important and welcome part of a lake or pond ecosystem. They form the base of the food chain and are a vital component of lakes. Algae provide a source of food, energy, and shelter for zooplankton (tiny water animals), fish, and other lake organisms. They can play a crucial role in the ability of a ecosystem to absorb nutrients and heavy metals.

The most commonly encountered groups of freshwater algae are green algae, diatoms, and blue-green algae (more correctly known as cyanobacteria). A large and varied group called green algae are the likely ancestors of terrestrial plants. Green algae contain bright, grass-green pigments, and are more abundant than all the other groups. The cells of green algae may occur singly, as spherical colonies, or as filaments. Sometimes filamentous green algae can create problems when it grows in "cotton candy" type clouds in the water. Generally most green algae are highly palatable and a good food source for zooplankton.

Diatoms appear as yellow-green or yellow-brown algae that occur singly or more rarely in colonies. The cell wall comprises two separate valves or shells formed of silica (a major component of glass). The two shells fit together as do the two halves of a petri dish. Because of the silica valves, diatoms often occur in beautiful shapes when viewed under the microscope. Diatoms reproduce through cellular division and also sexually. Each time an existing diatom divides, the silica valves get smaller. Over time, individual cells of a diatom population become smaller and smaller. Luckily for diatoms, their sexually produced offspring are able to secrete entirely new cell walls. World-wide, diatoms provide a major food resource for zooplankton and also produce atmospheric oxygen (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/chromista/diatoms/diatomlh.html). Some marine diatoms can produce a toxin called domoic acid. Domoic acid can accumulate in shellfish and poison humans http://hjs.geol.uib.no/diatoms/Hazards/index.html-ssi). Freshwater diatoms do not produce this toxin. In Washington, diatoms are often the first algae to bloom in early spring. See photographs of diatoms at: http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/biology/

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) contain green, blue, and often red pigments. Blue-greens create problems when their excessive growth produces algae blooms, and few people view them as beneficial organisms in a lake environment.  

Other types of algae found in lakes include: Euglenoids, dinoflagullates, brown algae, stoneworts/brittleworts, and desmids. This list is not inclusive of all the kinds of algae that are found in freshwater. Most freshwater algae do not cause problems in lakes. Because they provide a food source for zooplankton, they tend to be rapidly consumed and rarely cause the prolonged blooms that can occur with blue-green algae.

 

Algae are simple plants that can range from the microscopic (microalgae), to large seaweeds (macroalgae), such as giant kelp more than one hundred feet in length. Microalgae include both cyanobacteria, (similar to bacteria, and formerly called “blue-green algae”) as well as green, brown and red algae. (There are more varieties of microalgae, but these are the main ones.)

Algae can be grown using water resources such as brackish-, sea-, and wastewater unsuitable for cultivating agricultural crops. When using wastewater, such as municipal, animal and even some industrial runoff, they can help in its treatment and purification, while benefiting from using the nutrients present.

Most microalgae grow through photosynthesis – by converting sunlight, CO2 and a few nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous, into material known as biomass This is called “autotrophic” growth. Other algae can grow in the dark using sugar or starch (called “heterotrophic” growth), or even combine both growth modes (called “mixotrophic” growth).

Algae are very diverse and found almost everywhere on the planet. They play an important role in many ecosystems, including providing the foundation for the aquatic food chains supporting all fisheries in the oceans and inland, as well as producing about 70 percent of all the air we breathe.

- See more at: http://allaboutalgae.com/what-are-algae/#sthash.5gljPPtx.dpuf

Algae are simple plants that can range from the microscopic (microalgae), to large seaweeds (macroalgae), such as giant kelp more than one hundred feet in length. Microalgae include both cyanobacteria, (similar to bacteria, and formerly called “blue-green algae”) as well as green, brown and red algae. (There are more varieties of microalgae, but these are the main ones.)

Algae can be grown using water resources such as brackish-, sea-, and wastewater unsuitable for cultivating agricultural crops. When using wastewater, such as municipal, animal and even some industrial runoff, they can help in its treatment and purification, while benefiting from using the nutrients present.

Most microalgae grow through photosynthesis – by converting sunlight, CO2 and a few nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous, into material known as biomass This is called “autotrophic” growth. Other algae can grow in the dark using sugar or starch (called “heterotrophic” growth), or even combine both growth modes (called “mixotrophic” growth).

Algae are very diverse and found almost everywhere on the planet. They play an important role in many ecosystems, including providing the foundation for the aquatic food chains supporting all fisheries in the oceans and inland, as well as producing about 70 percent of all the air we breathe.

- See more at: http://allaboutalgae.com/what-are-algae/#sthash.5gljPPtx.dpuf

Lake News APR 24th

NYSFOLA Annual Conference May 5-6. 2017 "Lake Ecology and Human Impacts"

The 34th Annual NYSFOLA Conference will be held May 5-6, 2017 at White Eagle Conference Center in Hamilton, NY.  To view the draft agenda, CLICK HERE.

Registration is now closed for rooms and meals.  You may register at the door for sessions only.  There may be a very limited number of meal tickets available on a first come/first serve basis, but we cannot guarantee numbers since our head counts have been submitted to the chef at White Eagle. 

 

THANK YOU to our friends at Alpha Boats Unlimited /Barber Welding of Weedsport, NY for sponsoring our tote bags this year.

http://www.alphaboats.com/

http://www.barberweldinginc.com/  

And to SOLitude Lake Management for their sponsorship of the conference

http://www.solitudelakemanagement.com/

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