algae at spillway, pond dam, claypit park
This green algae was found in a sample of plant material taken from the middle of the Colorado River.
Photo: University of Wisconsin
This sample of Spirogyra was found in a small wetland, behind the dam of Proctor Lake, along the edge, less than one foot deep, with different grasses growing around and small organisms swimming around.
Spirogyra is a filamentous, free-floating, green algae found in freshwater environments. They are named for their spiral chloroplasts. They float near the surface of streams and ponds due to oxygen bubbles released during photosynthesis.
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, (2015). Spirogyra Microorganism. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved November 16, 2016 from https://www.britannica.com/science/Spirogyra
This was found on the shoreline amongst a run portion of the watershed. The water was slightly turbid with a heavy amount of algae presence in certain pool areas. Spirogyra are a genus of charophyte green algae with more than 400 species. They are found in freshwater environments world-wide. They are named for their spiral chloroplasts and are filamentous algae that consist of thin unbranched chains of cylindrical cells. They can form masses and float near the surface. They can produce both sexually and asexually.
References: "Spirogyra." Brittannica Online. 9 Sept 2015. Web. www.brittannica.com/science/spirogyra.
This Spirogyra specimen was found in Proctor Lake. The water was stained, visibility was less than one meter, and the water depth was approximately 12 feet.
Spirogyra is a genus of free-floating green algae that are found all across the world in freshwater habitats. Spirogyras are filamentous algae that possess spiral-shaped chloroplasts. These algae are made up of thin, unbranched chains of cylindrical chains that can come together to form large, floating mats. These mats are kept afloat during the day by oxygen produced during photosynthesis ("Spirogyra." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.). After the sun sets and photosynthesis ceases, the mats will sink to the bottom of the water body and begin using oxygen for cellular respiration; carbon dioxide is released as a byproduct. This can cause changes in the pH of the water, and thus, can cause stress to other aquatic organisms ("Spirogyra." Encyclopedian Dictionary (Aquaculture). Encyclopedian Dictionary, 2007. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.).
As an algae, Spirogyra species provide oxygen to the rest of the water body, as well as to the surrounding atmosphere. These algae are also prime food sources for aquatic organism, such as fish. On the other hand, if Spirogyra growth gets out of control, it can be detrimental; overgrowth can produce large nuisance mats that can lead to oxygen deficiency and fish kills.
The Charophyta are a division of green algae, that includes the closest relatives of the embryophyte plants. In some groups, such as conjugating green algae, flagellate cells do not occur. The latter group does engage in sexual reproduction, and motility does not involve flagella, since they are totally lacking. Flagellate cells in the form of sperm are found in stoneworts (Charales) and Coleochaetales.