CHARACTERISTICS OF ALGAE - generations 3 Nutrition—algae...

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CHARACTERISTICS OF ALGAE Algae are simple eukaryotic photoautotrophs. Most are found in the ocean. Algae can be  unicellular or multicellular.  1. Vegetative structures—the body of a multicellular alga is called a thallus. This would include  such algae as seaweed. The thalli consist of branched holdfasts to anchor the algae in place,  stemlike stipes and leaflike blades. The cells covering the thallus carry out photosynthesis, and  algae also can absorb nutrients from the water. Some algae are buoyed by a floating, gas-filled  bladder called a pneumatocyst.  2. Life Cycle—all algae can reproduce asexually. Multicellular algae can fragment. Unicellular  algae divide by mitosis and cytokinesis. Some algae also reproduce sexually. In some of these  asexual reproduction is most common and sexual reproduction only occurs under special  conditions. Other species alternate, reproducing asexually and then sexually in alternating 
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Unformatted text preview: generations. 3. Nutrition—algae are photoautotrophs and are found in the photic (light) zone in bodies of water. Chlorophyll and sometimes other pigments are responsible for the colors of algae and their ability to carry out photosynthesis. Algae are classified according to their rRNA, structures, pigments, and other qualities. ROLES OF ALGAE IN NATURE 1. Algae are important in the food chain. 2. In carrying out oxygenic photosynthesis, it is estimated that algae produce up to 80% of earth’s oxygen. 3. Much of the world’s petroleum was formed from diatoms and other plankton. 4. Many unicellular algae live in symbiosis with animals. 5. Algal blooms occur and are responsible for red tides and the associated toxins. When the large amounts of algae die, their decomposition depletes the water of oxygen....
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