Aquatic Plants Algae [VERIFIED]
Aquatic plants are a food source for animals and other aquatic creatures; they provide habitat for aquatic organisms and cover for smaller fish. Aquatic plants help keep the sediment at the bottom of a lake, improving water clarity.
Aquatic Plants Algae
Algae are photoautotrophic cells that contain chlorophyll and have simple reproductive structures. They are similar to aquatic plants but lack roots, stems, leaves, and vascular tissue. Like aquatic plants, algae conduct photosynthesis for energy. To prosper, they both need sunlight and nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen).
There are over 30,000 species of algae. Yet, we only learn of them when they become a nuisance and impact water quality, recreation, aesthetics, or when they cause unpleasant taste and smells. The most common species encountered in lakes and ponds are filamentous, planktonic, and macrophytic algae.
These blooms hinder plant growth, as they provide shadow in the water. Less light for plants means less dissolved oxygen within the body of water. HABs also disturb the pH and other water quality parameters.
Herbicides and algaecides are a short-term, unsustainable solution to a long-standing problem. The optimal solution against unwanted blooms is the enforcement of better policy control for nutrient load. However, this depends on regulatory measures, which normally take years before enforcement is properly in place and even longer for visible improvements.
Algae growth reduces water clarity, inhibiting plant growth and lowering dissolved oxygen levels. Fish die and aerobic bacteria are reduced. As there is less competition for algae, nutrient levels increase, leading to decreased water quality and the proliferation of HABs.
Ultrasound can recover damaged water ecosystems; it reduces algae counts by 90%, leaving enough algae for a healthy water ecosystem. This results in increased water clarity and plant growth, leading to increased dissolved oxygen, aerobic bacteria, and fish.
Algae is one of the most common occurrences in ponds, including planktonic and filamentous algae species. Unlike filamentous types, planktonic algae provide important benefits, including supporting the base of the food chain in the pond.
Pennsylvania ponds and water gardens can also host various invasive species, including plants, pathogens, and animals. As they often out-compete native plants, it is important to pay special attention and develop a proper plan of action.
Abundant plant and algae growth is a serious issue that can cause eutrophication and water ecosystems impairment. Nearby fertilizer applications, septic systems, wildlife, and animal manure can all add significant amounts of nutrients, resulting in excessive plant growth.
Note: While applying aquatic herbicides can provide rapid control, misusing them can cause severe environmental damage. You should use them only after considering physical and biologial control alternatives, and a specific permit is required.
Ponds and water gardens are ideal for wildlife and can be the perfect addition to your garden or farm. The foundation of a successful pond or water garden is excellent planning. Some of the most important factors to consider are pond size, location, and type of aquatic plant.
Choosing the right location is critical for ensuring adequate maintenance and managing aquatic algae growth. The desired size of the pond typically depends on the landscape and what you want to grow in it. Before getting started, consider any plant or fish size requirements, as well. Tips on Pennsylvania-native plants can be found in the Mid-Atlantic pocket guide to water garden species. A how-to video on the process of cleaning aquatic plants before adding them to a water feature is available.
Keep in mind that in a pond, having 20% - 30% plant coverage is considered ideal for promoting habitat and maintaining an ecological balance between plants and aquatic life. Slightly higher vegetation may be advised to pond owners interested in wildlife viewing or fishing.
Plants are familiar examples of photosynthetic autotrophs. Most plant species are found in terrestrial habitats. Humans depend heavily on land plants such as wheat, corn, and tomatoes for food. Many plants also thrive in the water. Aquatic plants are plants that live in shallow coastal zones, wetlands, rivers, and lakes. Aquatic plants provide important food and habitat for other organisms.
Coastal aquatic plants such as mangroves (Fig. 2.2 A) and marsh grasses (Fig. 2.2 D) can tolerate wet conditions that would typically drown terrestrial plants. Many of these coastal species have also adapted to survive in salty seawater or brackish water. Some aquatic plant species have even adapted to live completely submerged in seawater (Fig. 2.2 B) or freshwater lakes (Fig. 2.2 C) away from their required sunlight and carbon dioxide gas.
The term algae (singular: alga) refers to a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms that thrive in aquatic environments (Fig. 2.3). The term algae includes over 350,000 species with representatives in multiple different phyla. Algae range from single-celled microbes floating in the water (Figs. 2.3 A and 2.3 B) to towering giant seaweeds (Fig. 2.3 D). All algae and plants are photosynthetic autotrophs.
Algae are difficult to define because the term describes such a wide diversity of organisms. Many species of algae, like larger seaweeds and giant kelp, appear similar to plants (Figs. 2.3 C and D). However, these algae are not true plants. Algae lack the vein-like vascular system found in most plants.
Algae are considered the most important photosynthetic organisms on Earth. Without algae, life in the ocean would be very different than it is. Small, microscopic algae serve as the base for most marine food webs (Figs. 2.3 A and 2.3 B). Larger, macroscopic algae provide food and three-dimensional habitats for other organisms (Figs. 2.3 C and 2.3 D). This role of algae in the ocean is similar to the way trees provide both food and habitat in a forest (Fig. 2.3 D).
Identifying and classifying algae species is difficult. Most textbooks and field guides have divided algae into broad groups based on the type of photosynthetic pigments they contain. Large plant-like seaweed algae, or macroalgae, are generally classified into three groups: Chlorophyta (green algae), Rhodophyta (red algae), and Phaeophyceae (brown algae). Microscopic algae include diatoms and dinoflagellates. Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae) are technically bacteria. However, cyanobacteria are included with algae because they photosynthesize and form large colonies.
The main differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes are shown in Table 2.1. The cells (the term cell is defined in the Properties of Life topic) of eukaryotes are generally more complex than the cells of prokaryotes (Fig. 2.6). Most algae are eukaryotes, although the term algae is also used to describe photosynthetic prokaryotes such as cyanobacteria.
Aquatic plants and algae live in the water and are autotrophic, which means they can produce their own food. All other living organisms rely on autotrophs for energy and nutrients. Many marine animals also rely on aquatic plants and algae as habitat. All animals also depend on the oxygen produced by autotrophs.
Aquatic plants are often dealt with on a local scale, when in reality they impact wide areas outside of the traditional lake or river habitat. They can affect aesthetics, drainage, fishing, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, flood control, human and animal health, hydropower generation, irrigation, navigation, recreation, and, ultimately, land values. The authors of this paper emphasize the necessity for the skillful management of nuisance aquatic plants and algae, and they hope regulators, managers, stakeholders, and legislators gain scientific insights about this important issue. Chair: Kurt Getsinger, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems. Nitrogen is also the most abundant element in the air we breathe. Nitrogen and phosphorus support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish, shellfish and smaller organisms that live in water.
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Large growths of algae are called algal blooms and they can severely reduce or eliminate oxygen in the water, leading to illnesses in fish and the death of large numbers of fish. Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.
Many ponds have more than one type of aquatic plant, and care must be taken to identify all the aquatic plants inhabiting the pond. Some pond plants may be beneficial to local or migratory wildlife, and therefore, may want to be encouraged or at least not eliminated. Click on whichever group of aquatic plants that you feel your specimen may belong to and work through the examples until you find it.
Algae are very primitive plants. Some algae are microscopic (planktonic algae). Others are thin and stringy or hair-like (filamentous algae). While still others are large and resemble higher plants but without true roots (chara).
True floating plants are not attached to the bottom. Floating plants come in sizes from very small (duckweed) to over a foot in diameter (water hyacinth). Most, but not all, have roots that hang in the water from the floating green portions.
The script allows to highlight aquatic plants and algae in lakes and lagoons. Applying the script, vegetation and algae in the water is displayed from turquoise colour to bright green and denser vegetation cover in bright yellow. The presented script is globally applicable to water bodies all over the world. 041b061a72