Green Algae

Green Algae (Division Chlorophyta)

Green Algae occur widely wherever there is water.

Chlorophytes range in size from microscopic cells and filaments to large colonies several feet long and quite broad.

Green Algae typically contains chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B together with various carotenoid and xanthophyll pigments contained in chloroplasts.

Some green algae may not appear green due to the masking of chlorophyll by one or more of the accessory pigments. Manufactured food is stored principally as starch. Also cellulose is present in the cell walls.

The green algae are especially common in a variety of body forms. Single celled forms such as chlorella are sometimes common in lakes and ponds, often in numbers sufficient to color the water.

Desmids are green algae which occur as single cells or sometimes as small colonies in filamentous and filaments of minute cells. Desmids are photosynthetic.

They often exhibit intricately beautiful patterns of body form. Desmids may be found on objects in the lake or freely floating as important constituents of phytoplankton.

Colonial green algae are common in lakes and ponds. The thallus or body of other green algae may appear as a continuous filament or as a partitioned or septate branching filament. Some species unbranched filamentatious forms.

The filament of each plant is a very small, threadlike structure attached to the substrate by a specialized cell called a holdfast. Except for the holdfast cell, all the cells of the filament are identical and are arranged end to end in a single series. Each cell contains a single nucleus and a single large chloroplast.

Other attached green algae use rizoid like structures at the bases of filaments which trail out as tassels into the current. In many of the filamentatious Chlorophyceae tassels may become very long and in some cases may exceed a meter in length.

Stonewarts are large algae possessing whirls of branches along a stemlike filament and holdfast to anchor the plants on the substrate. The common name is derived from the brittle, stony texture of the algae caused by deposits of lime frequently found on the plant surface in highly calcareous streams or lakes.

Next Topics about Algae…
Yellow-Golden-brown Algae and Diatoms
Brown Algae
Red Algae
Significance of Algae

Next Topics…
Fungi
Liverworts and Mosses
Vascular Plants

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Biological Water Quality
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