Chesapeake & Coastal Bay Life 

algae_frontbook.jpgAlgae are actually the most well known of a group of organisms called phytoplankton. Algae can best be described as small or microscopic plants. These organisms are photosynthetic, meaning that they function as plants, producing their own food from sunlight. Phytoplankton are the basis of most aquatic food chains, and are one of the primary producers of the oxygen we breathe. There are several different types of phytoplankton living in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Choose from the following classifications:


Type1:Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
Scientific Name:Microsystis aeruginosa
Fast Fact:During heavy blooms, M. aeruginosa can form green clots similar in appearance to latex paint. First identified in 184
Photos:Microsystis aeruginosa
Photos.desc:Microsystis aeruginosa
Other Names:M. flos-aquae (Wittr.) Kirchner; M. ichthyoblabe Kutetzing
Seasonal Dominance:Summer
Distribution:Freshwater. Found predominantly in the Potomac (above Indian Head) and in the Upper Bay.
References:Presscott, G. W. 1951. Algae of the Western Great Lakes. Wm.C. Brown Co. Dubuque, Iowa. page 456.

Rabenhorst's, L. 1932. Kryptogamen-Flora Cyanophyceae (Geitler, L.). Johnson Reprint Corp. New York. page 137.