27 September 2008

More algae

Today we have been looking at some water we collected from a ditch yesterday. It was full of various sorts of algae (primative plants). The most frequent in the sample was this rather beautiful feathery-looking one (Draparnaldia sp.), seen here under the microscope.

Very long, fine hairs can be seen extending from the ends of the branches.

Among the strands of this alga were numerous desmids, such as the large round green one in this picture (Micrasterias sp.), diatoms, and other small algae.

Here is a larger picture of Micrasterias, showing its structure.

For more desmids, see also 28 August 2008.

5 comments:

Adam said...

These cells look a lot like Elodea cells I have been studying in school. It is amazing how complex plants can be isn't it? I am very interested in biology. What do you think about these cells. Tell me more at http://adamjosephboyle.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

Adam, many thanks for your comment. These algae are much smaller than Elodea, which is why I had to use a microscope to see them. They were hardly visible to the naked eye. Also, Elodea is a flowering plant so it is much more complex in its structure.
Draparnaldia has large cells forming its main filament, with branches made of much smaller cells and with long bristles at the ends, which you can see in my picture. It grows in still and moving water. I found it growing in a gelatinous mass formed by all the algae that were growing together, and this was in shallow water in a ditch.

Indianboyle said...

What kind of a plant would you suggest to use for an aquarium?

Indianboyle said...

Also, do you know how photosynthesis actually works. A better explanation than just it uses sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make sugar. How does it work chemically on the quantum level? Also, do you like any other kind of sciences?

Sarah said...

Sorry, we are not professional botanists, nor do we have much experience of keeping an aquarium.

You should find the sort of information you need on photosynthesis by Googling for "photosynthesis quantum" which will direct you to sites such as
http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/PBD-quantum-secrets.html

Sites such as the following may be helpful about aquarium plants:
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/browse.php?section=plants
http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide.php

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