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MarBiolMacroalgae_higher_plants

MarBiolMacroalgae_higher_plants - Macroalgae Plus...

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Macroalgae Plus Seagrasses, Marsh Cordgrass, and Mangroves
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Seaweeds are Macroalgae and are related to the phytoplankton Macroalgae are primary producers and use light energy to perform photosynthesis They serve as a food and as a refuge for other marine organisms Best if you don’t use the term seaweeds as these organisms aren’t weeds! Macroalgae are multicellular and also are eukaryotes
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Macroalgae lack true leaves, stems and roots as well as flowers which are present in higher plants The complete plant body is known as a thallus
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Pneumatocysts are gas filled bladders that help suspend some species of macroalgae in the euphotic zone Not all macroalgae have them. The flattened portions of the thallus are known as blades (don’t call them leaves)
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Macroalgae often attach to a substrate with a holdfast . They don’t have roots . Holdfasts only hold the alga to the substrate. They don’t transport nutrients or water as roots do. The holdfast just anchors the alga
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The stipe is the stem-like structure between the holdfast and blades Unlike the stem of higher plants, the stipe lacks tissues for transport of nutrients or water. Basically it just connects the holdfast and blades
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You don’t have to learn the life cycles of the macroalgae (unless you are a total masochist…..very complicated) Just know that they can reproduce both sexually and asexually Also know that they are primitive plants and don’t have flowers or seeds!
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There are three major types of Macroalgae These are easy to remember, as they go by colors: Green, Brown, Red
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Green algae have a simple thallus consisting of a flat or rounded body Chlorophyll a is the dominant pigment and gives the distinctive green color Ulva (sea lettuce) commonly grows where there is sewage pollution Common in SF Bay
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Green Algae It is thought that land plants evolved from green algae as the photosynthetic pigments and energy reserves are the same
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Some green algae are important in coral reefs because they have deposits of calcium carbonate The calcium carbonate is also what makes up the hard part of stony corals, and Halimedia is important in building reefs by depositing more CaCO 3
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Brown algae are brown to olive green in color and have a lot of yellow-brown photosynthetic pigments ( fucoxanthin ) which obscures the chl a Many have stipes and flotation bladders and are more complex than the simple thallys that green algae have
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Almost all Brown algae are marine. They are the main group on temperate rocky coasts. Flotation bladders ( pneumatocysts ). help keep the plant vertical and closer to the surface where the blades can photosynthize.
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Macrocystis is the giant kelp . Often seen on Cal ocean beaches. Some are 100 m (330 ft) long, as tall as a redwood. They can grow 50 cm (20 in) in length in 1 day.
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