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Green algae: list of main species and description

Green algae are a vast group of living microorganisms, the tissues of which are practically not subject to any differentiation, so they are still referred to the group of lower plants, including, in addition to the designated species, bacteria, lichens and fungi.

Green algae are considered lower organisms along with bacteria and fungi.

The Chlorophyta department includes a huge list of green algae, which according to preliminary estimates by research scientists amounts to thousands of plant species (their approximate number varies in an extremely wide range from 13 to 20 thousand).

That is why it is impossible to determine the exact number of their species today, and the main reason for this is the difficulty in differentiating these plant organisms.

Almost all types of thallus can be found among green algae. Representatives of this department are not only the simplest single-celled and multicellular colonial algae of plankton type, unable to resist the flow of water masses, but also single- and multicellular phytobenthos, whose distinctive feature lies in its habitat – ocean, sea or river soil.

Not all members of the green algae class are green.

The only exception is single-and multicellular plants of the rhizopodial type with their complex structure and excellent thallus.

Nevertheless, it is the department in question that is officially recognized as the most extensive in the entire plant world of reservoirs. Despite the name, far not all representatives have a green shade.

For example, such a representative of the species, as trentepoliya, has cells of orange-red pigment, due to the accumulation of carotene and all sorts of derivatives of this useful substance.

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Due to the complexity of identifying the thalli of plant organisms belonging to the green algae department, as well as more than an impressive number of them, scientists have so far failed to create some kind of single registry or detailed classifier. However, it is currently isolated five main classes of green algae, which include:

  • ulvificatee;
  • bripsod;
  • chloroform;
  • trebuksevye;
  • Prazinovye.

Representatives of the class Ulvophyceae live mainly in sea water

The class Ulvophyceae includes at least a thousand species of plants, mostly inhabiting the marine environment. It is noteworthy that this class includes not only filamentous and lamellar algae, but also some species of lichen.

As for its marine representatives, of which the absolute majority, their characteristic feature is the presence of calcareous microparticles. In turn this the class is divided into two orders:

  1. Ulotriksovye, most often living in reservoirs with fresh water, attaching to any objects and forming numerous colonies in the form of stunted bushes. Asexual plants of this order tend to multiply in two ways, the first of which involves dividing one strand into several, while the second is characterized by the formation of zoospores in the mother cells with their further release and distribution.
  2. Ulvovye, which are found in all the seas of the world, preferring primarily salt water with warm water. A distinctive characteristic of these bright green algae with thallus is the presence of a leg for attachment to the sea ground, as well as a variety of structure (the thallus of plants can have either a tubular or bag-like or lamellar form).

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Class Bryopsidophyceae It has about five hundred species of plant organisms possessing non-cellular thallus. All these algae belong to the same order of the same name, Briopse, prevailing in fresh water.

In turn, this order is divided into three main types: briopsis, codium and caulerpa, which differ from each other not only in structure, but also in their habitat.

Class of unicellular algae Chlorophyceae It has about 2500 species that belong to the same Volvox order. At the same time, it is divided into two genders: chlamydomonad (at least 500 species) and volvox (about 2 thousand).

The first genus, which is also asexual, tends to multiply by cell division. At the same time, Volvox, which is rightly considered the most highly organized representative of this group, is able to organize huge colonies numbering thousands of living organisms.

Chlamydomonad belongs to the class of green algae

One more class Trebouxiophyceae It consists of 170 species of single-celled organisms, which are predominantly coccoid, and can live both on earth and on the bottom of fresh lakes and rivers.

This class is classified in two orders of magnitude on chlorella and trebuksiyevye algae, and if the first type is fixed balls, for which the habitats are water, then the second is part of the lichen occurring on the tree bark or leading a free lifestyle.

Last name class Prasinophyceae translated from the ancient Greek language as “green” and this time it is also talking about single-celled organisms with a coccoid, flagellate or palmelloid type of structure. This class is divided into two orders: pyramonadic, which often provoke the flowering of fresh and saline waters, and chloro-tender mobile and stationary types with slimy legs for attachment to hard surfaces.

The algae of the last order often have the same red pigment due to the presence of carotene. In addition, they can parasitize, all life dwelling in the body of marine worms.

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Despite the huge number of green algae species that are striking in their diversity, scientists were able to identify several common characteristics of these living plant organisms.

Plastid cells that make up algae are most often cupped, and, in addition to classic green, they include yellow (lutein) and red-orange carotene pigments (zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, neoxanthin, etc.). Chloroplast itself has a special internal inclusion – pyrenoid, which is permeated by 2–6 membranes limited by compartments called thylakoids.

At the same time, green algal plastids have dual membranes, which is characteristic of red algae and other more developed plant organisms.

The cells of most species of the group in question have contractile vacuoles, which are single-membrane organelles with a cell sap in the middle. It is also possible that stigma is an intracellular organoid with bright red spots, due to which the organism is able to move towards or from a light source.

Flagella practically identical in their structure often have different lengths, while there may be two or more of them. These isoconts do not have lateral hairs (mastigonyem), however, this does not mean at all that algal flagella are completely absent in any hairs or scales.

The factor of enhanced algae growth is an increase in the temperature of their habitat.

The life cycle of these plant organisms directly depends on their species and habitat. In total, scientists emit three main cycles of their development:

  • Haplobiont (zygotic reduction), which is characterized by the release of the gamete through the pore of the mother cell and its further merging with another gamete through the tube. Next, there is a transformation into a zygospore, in which, after a period of rest, 4 zoospores are formed, followed by the formation of a polyhedron in each of them.
  • Haplo-diplobiontny (sporic reduction), in which the gametes released from the mother cell merge in water, forming not two, as in the haplobiotic cycle, but chetyrehgutkovye zygotes, freely floating in the water masses. The next stage involves the attachment of the zygote to any solid surface and its coating with a dense layer, after which the formation of codiolum takes place, leaving for prolonged rest. Reactivation of these club cells, as a rule, becomes possible upon the occurrence of favorable conditions. As a result, from 4 to 16 spores are distinguished from the Kodiolum, which form new threads and everything is repeated again.
  • Diplobiont (gametic reduction), characterized by the division of a large nucleus, which is formed when planozygous subsides and forms a separate filamentous thallus.

The most favorable factor for the development of algae is an increase in temperature, so it is not surprising that their rapid growth can be observed in warm waters and with the onset of spring and summer seasons.

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