What is Blue Green Algae?

Blue-green algae are generally seen as simple water plants that are present naturally in habitats for example rivers, lakes, moist soil, tree trunks, hot springs and snow. They can differ significantly in shape, color and size.

Functions of Blue Green algae:

  • In spite of their name, blue-green algae are in fact kinds of bacteria referred to as Cyanobacteria.
  • They are akin to algae in external form and their necessities for light, nutrients and carbon dioxide are similar to that of blue algae.
  • They more often than not appear green and at times may assume a bluish tinge when scums are dying.
  • Problems pertaining to taste and odor of water usually take place when the concentrations of blue-green algae are dense and since certain types of blue green algae are known to produce toxins.
  • Blue-green algae are extremely minute organisms and can be observed with the help of a microscope. They appear as solitary cells, collection of cells (colonies) or filaments of cells (trichomes). Specific sorts of blue-green algae possess minute gas vesicles in their cells. This enables them to glide to the surface or go down to the floor of the water body. This change in their position depends on changing light and nutrient accessibility. This method that controls their buoyancy provides the blue-green algae with a useful gain in acquiring the much needed light and nutrients.

    How Blue Green Algae can help?

    ‘Bloom’ is a widespread term employed to depict a rise in the number of algal cells to a stage in which they tend to discolor the water, develop scums, create obnoxious tastes and stench, have an effect on shellfish and fish populations or else make an annoyance and critically diminish the quality of water.

    Species of blue-green algae may a dominating factor and augment exceptionally in water when the nutrient accessibility, predominantly phosphorus and nitrogen are adequate to promote the population expansion. The phenomenal increase in blue green algae also happens when weather conditions are constant for a prolonged period. Calm water devoid of turbulence is also responsible for augmenting the presence of blue green algae.

    Blue-green algal blooms frequently continue for a number of weeks, occasionally months with the weather or flow conditions being the deciding factor. Weather that is cool or breezy coupled with enhanced water flow may lessen or stop blooms from occurring.

    When the bloom cease to live, the cells are likely to become ‘leaky’. If the bloom includes species that generate toxins, it will be responsible for discharging contaminants into the adjoining water. Once freed, certain contaminants may remain in excess of three months prior to sunlight and the natural population of bacteria in the water disintegrating them.

    Blue green algae have the honor of being the oldest acknowledged fossils, in excess of 3.5 billion years old. Blue green algae are still prevalent and are one of the major and most vital groups of bacteria on earth.