It is estimated that more than 100,000 algal species exist! Although all algae contain chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants), other pigments are often present and and make some algae different colors. Green algae are green because of chlorophyll, but diatoms and dinoflagellates are brown because xanthophyll pigments are present in higher concentrations than chlorophyll. The blue-green algae (also called the cyanobacteria, not technically an algae) contain phycocyanin, a blue pigment that, along with chlorophyll, gives the cells a bluish-green color.
|Chara, a genus of macroalgae.|
We often don't think algae are present in the water, but the truth is, we often don't even notice them until they grow rapidly (called a bloom). Blooms can often be associated with "yucky" looking water. It is these algae thatoften need to be managed because of the problems they can cause, including fish kills through the depletion of oxygen.
|Lyngbya wollei, a problematic cyanobacteria|
To learn more about the algae group, visit our best management practices handbook. Chapter 13 (page 97) explores the biology of algae and some basic methods for management while Chapter 14 (page 105) covers noxious algae management. Click HERE for the BMP manual.
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Excerpts, photos, and information source - BMP Manual Third Edition