This article will let you study about marine algae examples, its types, characteristics, and benefits.
Marine algae are algae that can only be found in marine or saltwater habitats. These are multicellular algae with a vibrant color appearance that can be depicted with the naked eye underwater.
Algae absorb the pigment chlorophyll for photosynthesis, just like plants, but they also have additional pigments that appear red, brown, blue, green, or gold. However, because they are not plants, they are classified as protists.
For survival, sustenance, and growth, seaweeds and algae require salty or brackish water, sunlight, and a surface to stick to.
Types of Marine Algae:
Various forms of marine algae are found in the ocean, but the three most common types have been characterized. Rhodophyta (red algae), Chlorophyta (green algae), and Phaeophyta (brown algae) are three marine algae with distinct coloration generated from other pigments.
a) Red Algae or Rhodophyta
Rhodophyta, like red algae, is marine and freshwater algae. It contains the pigments chlorophyll A, phycoerythrin, and phycocyanin. Because of all of those pigments, these algae appear to be red in appearance.
b) Green Algae or Chlorophyta
Green algae, also known as Chlorophyta, are a form of marine and freshwater algae that include photosynthetic pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, xanthophyll, and carotene, which give them their green color.
c) Brown algae or Phaeophyta
Brown algae also known as Phaeophyta, are a type of marine algae that are generally filamentous or thalloid in morphology and have a brown color due to the presence of fucoxanthin.
Marine Algae Characteristics:
The characteristics of marine algae that describe its existence are listed below.
- Size of Marine Algae- In the saltwater ecosystem, more than 35000 species of marine algae exist, ranging in size from microscopic to massive marine algae. It can be either multicellular or unicellular, depending on its cell design.
- The color of marine algae- It is one of the most distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from freshwater algae. These marine algae can be green, brown, golden, red, or green-yellow. Because chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-b, carotene, xanthophyll, zeaxanthin, phycoerythrin, fucoxanthin, and phycocyanin are pigments found in these marine algae.
- Nutrition of Marine Algae- The mode of nutrition that marine algae receive to feed themselves determines their nutrition and growth. Most marine algae are autotrophic, meaning they produce their food through photosynthesis. These organisms eat nutrients from the fluid medium in which they dwell, and their nutrition differs depending on whether they have chlorophyll.
- Reproduction in Marine Algae- Marine algae can reproduce sexually, asexually, or vegetatively based on the specialized male and female reproductive cells.
Marine algae benefits:
- Some marine algae are beneficial as a food supplement because they are high in vitamins and minerals. It is a delicacy that is implemented in various cuisines.
- Some marine algae, such as kelp seaweed, are beneficial to the skin because they hydrate it and help to reduce wrinkles, spots, and acne problems.
- It has a wide range of health benefits and major human body supplements for a higher quality of life.
- The pH of marine water is maintained by marine algae, which gradually balances the oxygen content in the water and ecosystem.
Marine algae Example:
Gracilaria is a red marine alga belonging to the Gracilariaceae family. Many countries use it as an agar form of food delicacy. It grows in warm-temperature water and is used as an aquarium decoration.
2. Irish Moss
Chondrus crispus, often known as Irish Moss, is a red alga found in marine environments. It is a member of the Gigartinaceae family. It offers nutritional benefits and is used in many cosmetics.
3. Coralline Algae
Coralline algae are a form of marine algae belonging to the Rhodophyta division. The most common color of these algae is pink or a shade of red. This alga is so tough that it can attach to the seabed’s ground and stay put even despite fierce waves.
Eucheuma is a red-brown alga that thrives in marine environments and belongs to the Rhodophyta division. It is vital to the global economy since it is utilized in various cosmetics, food, and industrial manufacturing.
Polysiphonia is a type of marine algae belonging to the Rhodophyta division. It is a filamentous alga with many species with comparable traits and appearance and ecological significance.
Galdieria is a unicellular red marine alga that grows in a warm maritime habitat. It is well-known for its diverse metabolic abilities, including photosynthesis and heterotrophic development.
Gloiopeltis is a type of red algae found in the ocean that belongs to the Rhodophyta division. In the ocean habitat, it resembles reddish-brown to golden yellow colored algae.
Myriogramme is a genus of red algae that belongs to the Rhodophyta division. Since phycoerythrin is present in its chloroplast, it possesses a reddish color pigment.
Chondria is a red alga in the Rhodomelaceae family that lives in saltwater environments. It has a gorgeous reddish-pink color pigment that stands out in the blue marine environment.
Gelidiaceae belong to the Rhodophyta division. Agar powder is made from many species of this algae as a food ingredient.
Rockweed (also known as Bladderwrack and sea grapes) is a brown alga that belongs to the Phaeophyceae division. When the algae are yellowish, they are edible marine algae. It can also be powdered and drunk as tea.
Kelp is a big brown alga belonging to the Ochrophyta phylum. Because it is high in nutrients, it is one of the most popular edible marine algae. It is occasionally mistaken for a plant, but it is an alga.
Sargassum is a brown marine macroalga belonging to the Sargassaceae family. It thrives in mild temperate and tropical oceans, providing a haven for marine fish species.
Wakame is a type of nutritious seaweed that ranges in color from green to brown and belongs to the Laminariales order. It’s most frequently sold in soups and salads.
15. Padina pavonica
Padina pavonica, often called peacock’s tail, is a tiny brown alga in the Dictyotaceae family. It is high in macronutrients, which is beneficial to one’s wellness.
Ectocarpales is a brown alga that belongs to an order that includes the majority of brown algae found in marine environments. It also lacks necessary oogamy activity.
Sphacelariales is a brown algal order found in the marine environment. A huge, thick, brown, apical, meristematic cell supports its growth.
Marimo is a low-maintenance green alga that can be found in rivers and lakes, and coastal environments. It is a green filamentous algae species. It’s shaped like a ball and is also used as aquarium decoration.
19. Sea lettuce
Ulva algae, sometimes known as sea lettuce, is a marine green alga. It’s edible and can be used in meals, including salads. It also serves as a shelter for a variety of small sea critters.
Chlamydomonas is a genus of unicellular marine and freshwater green algae belonging to the Chlorophyta division. It does have photosensitive red eyespots and reproduces both sexually or asexually.
21. Bryopsis plumosa
The green algae Bryopsis plumosa thrives in saltwater environments. Hair algae is a familiar name for it.
22. Helmida tuna
The green seaweed Halimeda tuna belongs to the Bryopsidales family. It’s a single-celled alga that’s mistaken for a plant.
Spirogyra, often known as water silk, is a green marine and freshwater algae belonging to the Chlorophyta division. A mucilaginous coating protects it.
Dinophyceae is a unicellular algae species with two flagella for movement. Freshwater, marine water, and brackish water environments are all possible habitats.
Ceratium is a marine and freshwater dinoflagellate that belongs to the Gonyaulacales order. Flagellates enable it to migrate in a maritime environment.
The Goniodomataceae family of algae can be found in marine environments. It belongs to the dinoflagellate species.
27. Oblea rotunda
Oblea is a tiny marine dinoflagellate algae colony. It has flagellates so that it can move around.
28. Gonyaulax catenella
The genus Gonyaulax catenella belongs to the Gonyaulacaceae family of dinoflagellate algae. It can be found in freshwater, brackish water, and marine environments.
29. Noctiluca scintillans
Noctiluca scintillans is a red or green dinoflagellate alga found in the marine. The melanin determines its color in its vacuoles.
Laurencia is a form of red algae belonging to the Rhodophyta division. It grows in temperate and tropical environments and is found in marine habitats.
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