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:

Scientific Name:Prorocentrum minimum
Fast Fact:The highest recorded concentration of this species was found in the Wicomico River on March 2, 1982 (841,455 / ml).  Most recently high concentrations have been observed during late May 2003 in the Lower Patuxent River at Jack’s Bay (234,000 cells/ml) and St. Thomas Creek (up to 186,570 cells/ml).
Photos:Prorocentrum minimum
Photos.desc:Prorocentrum minimum
Other Names:
Seasonal Dominance:Spring
References:Campbell, P. H. 1973. The Phytoplankton of Gales Creek with emphasis on the Taxonomy and Ecology of Estuarine Phytoflagellates. University Microfilms, Xerox University Microfilms, Ann Arbor Michigan, USA page 118.
Dodge, J.D. 1982. Marine dinoflagellates of the British Isles. Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London.
Hasle, G. R. & Syvertsen, E. E. 1996 Dinoflagellates. In: Tomas, C. R.(ed.) Identifying Marine Phytoplankton. Academic Press, Inc. San Diego, Calif. page 422-425.
Wood, E. J. F. 1968. Dinoflagellates of the Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Areas. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables Florida. page 123.