Green algae on the waters of a lake
In the past, algae was classified as a primitive sub-kingdom in the plant kingdom. Most of it is currently classified within the Protist realm, or in another major group called eukaryotes, which includes more developed animals and plants.
Main characteristics of algae
Algae have chlorophyll and are capable of producing their own food through the photosynthesis process.
Within the oceans, they are scattered throughout much of our planet. They are also found in freshwater and even out of water. However, almost all algae are marine.
Algae that thrive in polluted water are often toxic and multiply very quickly. This process causes an exaggerated increase in their number and, consequently, a serious imbalance in the ecosystem.
Seaweed is the primary producer of nutrients that supply the entire system, and they are also of great importance for their ability to supply all marine life with oxygen through photosynthesis.
Did you know?
- The branch of biology that studies algae is called ficology or algology.