Algae are living and aquatic organisms that can perform photosynthesis and belong to Kingdom Protista. The word 'Algae' is also used as a term for all the aquatic living organisms that are able to perform photosynthesis. Sizes of algae vary from microscopic to macroscopic (like in the case of giant kelp, which also has a leafy appearance). All the algae species lack a vascular system for circulating nutrients in their body, and most of them are found to be unicellular, but some of them also exist in multicellular form. Algae always need sunlight and water along with chlorophyll to survive. Phytoplankton, which produces almost 70% of total oxygen, are the first organisms that produced oxygen on Earth. Therefore, they are the leading primary microorganisms that help continue the oxygen cycle on earth.
Examples of Algae
The Algae group consists of thousands of different species, and all of them are aquatic organisms. Some of them are described below:
Stylonema, an algae species common in Australian waters, is a genus of the red algae group and found in the marine habitat. Stylonema genus, which was first discovered in 1875, can be distinguished from other genus and species of red algae by its filaments. The width of filaments of the thallus of algae species belonging to this genus is comparatively small because the thallus has only one cell across. Following are some common species names that belong to the Stylonema genus of red algae:
Following is the complete hierarchical distribution of the Stylonema genus:
Marimo, an algal species belonging to the green algae group, is an unusual growth type of Aegagropila linnaei in which the algal body grows into large green balls and gives a velvety appearance. Marimo, commonly found in Lake Akan of Japan, is also known as lake ball, moss ball, or Cladophora ball, and it is a filamentous species of green algae group. Colonies of Marimo balls have been found in Iceland and many lakes of Japan, but it is reported that their population has been declining rapidly in the past few years.
Following is the complete hierarchical scientific distribution of the Marimo species:
Sargassum, a genus of the brown algae group, is found in the marine environment and is commonly known as Seaweeds. Multiple species of the Sargassum genus have been distributed over tropical and temperate oceans of the world, making their distribution pattern very uncommon among brown algae group species. The Sargassum genus is widely known for its free-floating (commonly called planktonic) species, and species of this genus generally inhabit coral reefs and shallow water. The species of brown algae group are predominantly present in the cold-water environment, but the Sargassum genus is an exception because it doesn't benefit from nutrients upwelling and is commonly found in hot water habitats.
Following are some common species names that belong to the Sargassum genus of brown algae:
Vaucheria, a genus of yellow-green algae or Xanthophyceae algae group, is an algae species found in the freshwater environment. The type species of the Vaucheria genus is Vaucheria disperma, and it is one of the only two genera present in the Family Vaucheriaceae of yellow-green algae group. Vaucheria genus species, which is found in either freshwater or terrestrial environments, exhibits an apical growth from the tip of the filaments present in the thallus of the algal body and form mats. Following are some common species that belong to the Vaucheria genus of yellow-green algae:
Nerocystis, a monotypic genus of subtidal kelp, is a brown algae species found in the marine environment and commonly known as giant kelp. Nerocystis genus name is taken from Greek, and it stands for mermaid's bladder and this name is given to this genus because of its appearance and giant size. Following are some other English names of the Nerocystis genus:
Because of all these English names of the Nerocystis genus, bull kelps sometimes get confused with southern bull kelps, which belong to a completely different genus and are found in Southern Hemisphere.
Porphyridium, a genus of the red algae group, is commonly found in the marine environment and belongs to the family Porphyridiophyceae. The algae species belonging to the Porphyridium genus are the potential source of several nutrients and other products such as pigments, polysaccharides, cellulosic cell walls, lipids, and fatty acids. The structure of species belonging to this genus gives rise to some most unique properties, which can be used for multiple pharmaceutical & industrial applications, and polysaccharides of these species are sulphated. Following is the complete scientific hierarchical distribution of the Porphyridium genus of red algae group:
7. Ulva intestinali
Ulva intestinali, a green algae species that belongs to the family Ulvaceae, is commonly known as grass kelp, gutweed, or sea lettuce. Following is the complete scientific distribution of the Ulva intestinali species:
Fucus, a genus of brown algae group, is commonly found in salt marshes and on rocky seacoasts of the northern hemisphere and is also known as rockweeds. Fucus genus, which consists of perennial algae species, have a life span of only two to four years, and they are an important source of colloidal extracts that have multiple industrial uses.
Spirogyra, a filamentous species-genus of the green group, have multiple common names, including blanket weed, mermaid's tresses, and water silk. Species of the Spirogyra genus belong to the order Zygnematales, which is named after its spiral and helical arrangements of chloroplasts in the algal body.
Porphyra, a genus of the Red Algae group, is an algal species-genus known as coldwater seaweeds and grows in shallow & cold seawater. The species of Porphyra genus grows between the splash zone and the upper tidal zones of cold seawaters, also known as the intertidal zone. Following are some common species that belong to the Porphyra genus:
Ulothrix, which is commonly found in marine and freshwater environments, is an algae genus that belongs to the family Ulotrichaceae of the green algae group. Species belonging to the Ulothrix genus are multicellular and eukaryotic organisms, and they get attached to the surface by a modified holdfast cell when they thrive in the low temperatures of winter and spring.