Algae



any of numerous groups of chlorophyll-containing, mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms ranging from microscopic single-celled forms to multicellular forms 100 feet (30 meters) or more long, distinguished from plants by the absence of true roots, stems, and leaves and by a lack of nonreproductive cells in the reproductive structures: classified into the six phyla Euglenophyta, Crysophyta, Pyrrophyta, Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta.
Contemporary Examples

Newt Gingrich has been scoring points ridiculing the idea of algae as a fuel of the future.
Gas from Algae? Hilarious! David Frum March 15, 2012

algae, sponges and coral now cover nuns, small children, and the elderly upper class.
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s Underwater Sculptures Are a Sight to Sea Justin Jones April 6, 2014

“We resemble a successful lichen, a ravaging bloom of algae, a mold enveloping a fruit,” reads the text.
The Hottest Show on Earth Olivia Cole December 9, 2009

The rainbow of life in a coral reef is founded on the partnership between polyps and algae.
Here on Earth, The Forgotten Founding Father, and Other Reviews The Daily Beast April 29, 2011

We would have considered an algae bloom to be a welcome sign of ecological renewal.
Toledo: The Town Too Tough for Toxic Water P. J. O’Rourke August 3, 2014

Historical Examples

The color is chiefly due to a species of algae which seems common in springs of this sort.
Steep Trails John Muir

The simplest form of vegetation is algae which grows on the sides of the tank.
Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America

He was author of several botanical works, principally on algae.
The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II (of II) Charles Darwin

He regarded a bowl of algae as if about to make it disappear.
Greener Than You Think Ward Moore

The colour fades in captivity owing to the disappearance of the algae.
The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia Frank Evers Beddard

plural noun (sing) alga (ˈælɡə)
unicellular or multicellular organisms formerly classified as plants, occurring in fresh or salt water or moist ground, that have chlorophyll and other pigments but lack true stems, roots, and leaves. Algae, which are now regarded as protoctists, include the seaweeds, diatoms, and spirogyra
n.

(plural), 1794, from alga (singular), 1550s, from Latin alga “seaweed,” of uncertain origin, perhaps from a PIE root meaning “to putrefy, rot.”

algae al·gae (āl’jē)
pl.n.
Any of various chiefly aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from single-celled forms to the giant kelp.
alga
(āl’gə)
Plural algae (āl’jē)
Any of various green, red, or brown organisms that grow mostly in water, ranging in size from single cells to large spreading seaweeds. Like plants, algae manufacture their own food through photosynthesis and release large amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere. They also fix large amounts of carbon, which would otherwise exist in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Algae form a major component of marine plankton and are often visible as pond scum and blooms in tidal pools. Land species mostly live in moist soil and on tree trunks or rocks. Some species live in extreme environments, such as deserts, hot springs, and glaciers. Although they were once classified as plants, the algae are now considered to be protists, with the exception of the cyanobacteria, formerly called blue-green algae. The algae do not form a distinct phylogenetic group, but the word alga serves as a convenient catch-all term for various photosynthetic protist phyla, including the green algae, brown algae, and red algae.
algae [(al-jee)]

Primitive organisms that contain chlorophyll but do not have structures, such as xylem and phloem, to transport fluids. Algae sometimes contain only a single cell, and nowadays they are not considered members of the plant kingdom.

Note: The most familiar algae are the greenish scum that collects in still water.

Note: Algae supply a considerable part of the world’s oxygen.

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