EEB 109 Week 1 Lab Manual - EEB 109 LAB INTRODUCTION TO...

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EEB 109 LAB INTRODUCTION TO MARINE SCIENCE Summer 2007 ALGAE AND SURF GRASSES Introduction Photosynthetic marine plants, as primary producers, are the base of the marine food web. They convert solar energy into chemical energy, fixing inorganic to organic carbon, a form useable by themselves and by other marine organisms. Their importance to the biological economy of the sea cannot be overstressed. The purpose of today’s lab is to become familiar with both micro- and macro-algae. These organisms are considered to be photosynthetic protists, and are not classified as plants. The algae are really a very diverse assemblage of unrelated organisms, whose classifications will continue to change Microscopic planktonic algae Phylum Heterokontophyta Class: Bacillariophyta – diatoms Phylum Dinoflagellata – dinoflagellates The diatoms comprise one of the most important planktonic primary producers in the ocean. They contain the chlorophyll pigments a and c and the accessory pigments , xanthophylls and fucoxanthin . Diatoms are usually single celled, but often occur in chains of cells. The cell shapes of different species vary greatly, but some generalizations may be made. Diatom body forms follow two basic plans, centric and pinnate . Centric diatoms exhibit some form of radial symmetry. In contrast, pinnate diatoms are bilaterally symmetrical and have a structure called a raphe , which is an organ of locomotion. Pennate diatoms are often found on a solid substrate, such as rocks, animals, or larger algae. Both types of diatoms have an external cell wall, or test, composed of SiO 2 (silicon dioxide, similar to the rock crystal opal). The test is usually in two parts, with a slightly larger epitheca fitting snugly over the hypotheca , like a miniature pillbox. The cell contents are contained completely within the SiO 2 test. Most diatoms exhibit fine lines or striae on the test surface. These striae are actually rows of very small pores. Each pore is an outer opening of a hexagonal structural unit called the aerolus .
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  • Winter '08
  • CASSANO
  • benthic algae, diatoms Phylum Dinoflagellata, Microscopic planktonic algae, Macroscopic benthic algae

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