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natural history: algae


This is to show a few algae we have come across on the Blue Tier (and elsewhere nearby). Out atempts to identify them have not been very successful so far. It is unlikely we will expand this page greatly.

Our interest in this group is based upon the belief that algae is the ancestor to all plants we know today. Some primitive algae went on to become seaweeds including the giant kelp growing to 60 m in length while others slowly adapted to life on land. A small group of plants, the bryophytes, have retained the link by requiring at least a film of water for sexual reproduction.

chlorophyta (green algae)

A1 is of a terrestial specimen while A2 is aquatic.

unidentified green algae
A1. 90613A
unidentified green algae
A2. 120226

bacillariophyta (diatoms)

These are aquatic. While related to plants they form shells of silica and have limited movement.

diatom 120410A
B1. diatom 120410A
Tabellaria sp.?
diatom 120410B
B2. diatom 120410B
Cymbella sp.?

rhodophyta (red algae)

These are mainly marine species but we were fortunate to collect one of the more common freshwater species, Batrachospermum. The first specimen resembles the earlier stage of development while the other two are of a mature specimen at different magnifications.

Batrachospermum sp.
C1. 130106D
Batrachospermum sp.
C2. 130106D
Batrachospermum enlarged
C3. 130106D
(C2 magnified)

- Entwisle TJ, Sonneman JA & Lewis WH Freshwater Algae in Australia, Sainty & Associates P/L, ISBN 0646314084 is considered to be a good introductory book for identification but we have (so far) not found it very useful for the Blue Tier specimens
- Kreutz M & Foissner W The Sphagnum Ponds of Simmelried in Germany: A Biodiversity Hot-Spot for Microscopic Organisms provides a fascinating record of various aquatic micro-organisms in a pond. Available as a book or as an inexpensive digital file

- Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney has a collection of freshwater algae images.
- Notes on diatoms

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