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 OCT 9th

23rd Western Regional Conference October 21, 2017

Join us on Silver Lake in Wyoming County.  The gathering includes a buffet style lunch and great talks. TO REGISTER:  GO TO THE EVENTS TAB AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE.  AND SCROLL DOWN TO REGIONAL CONFERENCES.  

The deadline for registration will be Oct 12th, 2017.

Program:

1. Panel Discussion - Faculty and staff  from SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, the University of  Buffalo, and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will discuss ways that lake associations can use college programs and expertise  more effectively.

2. Dr. Joseph Atkinson, Chair , Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Buffalo will talk about ongoing research on harmful algal blooms in Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario.

3. Doug Conroe, Chautauqua Lake Association, talks about collaborative efforts with academic institutions..

4. Meg Wilkinson, Invasive Species Database Program Coordinator, NY Natural Heritage Program, shows how to use the IMAP Invasive System smartphone app. Assisting her in the “show and tell “ program will be students from  the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and the RIT. 

 

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