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Practical Plant Diversity . By studying the morphological characteristics as well as adaptations to the mode of life of different species of algae in this experiment, it gives us a chance to discover more about the significant of algae contributing to our

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Organisms and Environment Practical Plant Diversity No.1 The Algae Introduction: Algae are simple living organisms which are photosynthetic protists. They capture light energy and convert inorganic substances into simple sugars using the captured energy. Some of them are plant-liked while some of them are more animal-liked. Thus , they are defined as groups of eukaryotes that are classified in 12 phyla according to their morphological characteristics. Algae range from single-celled organisms to multi-cellular organisms.They range in size from 50 um in diameter, to giant one whose length may even exceed 60m.Algae are usually found in damp places or bodies of water , so they are common in terrestrial as well as aquatic environments. However, terrestrial algae are usually not easy to find and far more common in moist and tropical regions than dry ones as they do not have vascular tissues and other adaptations to live on land. Objectives: * To study the general and unique morphological characteristics of the five major phyla of algae, and * The adaptations to their mode of life The followings are the five major phyla of algae that were studied: Phylum Bacillariophyta (Diatom) Phylum Dinophyta (Dinoflagellate) ...read more.


Nucleus can be seen in the middle of each cell. Moreover, a large vacuole can also be observed. 3. First, they are most similar to plants as they exhibit apical growth, their bodies are differentiated into nodal and internodal regions and whorls of short branches also arise in the nodal regions. Second, they have root-liked structures which are called rhizoids for anchorage. These rhizoids have the similar function to roots in plants. Third, they have a similar reproduction system with plants. Male gametes are produced in antheridia (contain sperm), while female gametes are produced in oogonia (contain eggs) which are surrounded by several types of sterile accessory cells. These sex organs make just like those in some plants which carry our sexual reproduction. 4. For similarities, both of their fronds are soft, translucent and membranous with no definite shape.Second, they both have rhizoidal holdfast for attachment to the substratum.Third, they both are thallus. For differences, Ulva is bright green as it contains chlorophyll a and b whereas Porphyra is red which contains chlorophyll a and Phycobilins. Second, for the size of each frond, Ulva is relatively much bigger than Porphyra. The thallus of Ulva is flat and broad(>1m long) ...read more.


For example, phytoplankton such as diatoms and dinoflagellates act as the food source for zooplankton. Aquatic animals such as shrimps feed on diatoms and dinoflagellates and fishes which at a higher trophic level will further feed on shrimps. Algae such as laminaria ,Ulva and porphyra are also the food for human which is nutritious to us. Thus, they are significant in ecosystem. Without it, the ecosystem will be upset. The mucilage called algin extracted from brown algae such as Laminaria can act as a stabilizer and emulsifier for food industry. And the mucilage extracted form red algae can also used to make agar which can be used as a laxative, a vegetarian gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in jellies, ice cream and Japanese desserts such as anmitsu, as a clarifying agent in brewing, and for paper sizing fabrics. As Kelps are the largest known algae which form Kelp forest in marine, it can acts as the shelter for other small organisms. Conclusion: By studying the morphological characteristics as well as adaptations to the mode of life of different species of algae in this experiment, it gives us a chance to discover more about the significant of algae contributing to our life as well as the ecosystem. Reference: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjan99/gyra.html http://www.mbari.org/staff/conn/botany/reds/lisa/chem.htm Biology of Plants ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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