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Algae

QUICK FACTS SHEETS GUIDE FOR ALGAE
Common Name Algae (Informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic organisms)
Included Organisms Unicellular Microalgae, Diatoms, Multicellular Forms (Giant Kelp, Large Brown Alga)
Scientific Name Protista
Weed Type Aquatic
Occurence

Ponds, Lakes, Rivers or anywhere that contains water

Main Causes

Excess nutrients in the water

Impact Harmful algal blooms (HABS), Hypoxic conditions

 

What is Algae?
Algae is the name for a range of aquatic plant organisms that can be found in water environments ruch as ponds and lakes. Algae is able to photosynthesise and does this to produce sugars for energy. Algae can be a problem if it is found in drinking water supplies, swimming pools and water treatments plants

Identification & Occurence of Algae:
Filamentous and planktonic algae are the 2 most common basic types of algae generally found in a pond or lake. Filamentous is a greeny or browny algae which attaches itself to the substrate, borders, stones and plants. It is often called thread algae or pond scum as the fine, green threads which have formed floating mats. Planktonic algae is microscopic single celled algae. Blue-green algae is a smeary blue-green or brownish costing the top of the lake

Why is Algae a problem?
During warm weather, the amount of Algae in stagnant water can significantly increase which can not only smell, but also be a risk to health. Algae grows rapidly in stagnant water when exposed to daylight and warmer weather. 
Algal blooms are the result of too many nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, available in the water for the plants to grow and thrive. High concentrations of these nutrients directly cause increased growth of algae and green plants. Their microscopic spores are spread easilly by the wind and rain.

Algae is a problem as it suppresses other aquatic life using up oxygen. Sudden algal die-offs can cause oxygen depletion. Older lakes and ponds are more susceptible to algal problems as more nutrients will have accumulated as a result off run-off from the surrounding land that drains into the water basin.

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) are toxic and pose a more serious threat on human health, aquatic ecosystems and the economy. If you notice smelly, green scummy water then keep away from it and keep pets away also.


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