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Red Algae

By: Ariana Perez, Jessica Simonetti and Carolyn Huff
by

Ariana Perez

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Red Algae

Structural Adaptation: Red algae are non-vascular plants meaning they lack a vascular system (xylem and phloem). The absorb water directly through their cell walls and then the water moves from cell to cell via osmosis. Red algae do not need vascular tissue because they live in a constantly wet environment and don't need to transport food and nutrients internally. Since they lack vascular tissue, red algae are rather small, most range from 2-10 inches tall. This allows for it to be successful in its habitat because there is a constant stream of water into and out of the plant that would render these excess parts (xylem and phloem). Also, this allows it to carry out life processes such as photosynthesis. Red Algae has had many adaptations overtime that allow it to be successful in its environment. It has many advantages that help it to survive deep in the water. Without these adaptations, red algae would have most likely died off because of its harsh living conditions. Examples of red algae's adaptations for success include:

Environmental Adaptation: The red color of the algae allows for the plant to blend in with the ocean surroundings. This adaptation helps the algae from being completely consumed by creatures. This red color also helps the plant survive under the water because it is able to best absorb sunlight allowing it to do the process of photosynthesis. Red algae contains chlorophyll and other pigments including physoerythrin, phycocyanin, and phycobilin. These pigments allow for the algae to grow at far greater depths than the brown and green algae because the spectrum of sunlight which they can absorb is greater.
can survive 660 feet under water Red Algae Red Algae has many evolutionary advantages that helped its species survive in a certain environment overtime. This includes the structure, reactions and chemical build of the plant. Without these advantages, red algae would’ve had a high chance of not surviving, especially in such a harsh environment so far underwater where little light is accessible and water conditions are disruptive at times. Here are three examples of how evolutionary advantages have helped the ongoing survival of Red Algae: Evolutionary Advantages Reproductive Advantages The reproduction of red algae can occur both sexually and asexually. However, like most nonvascular plants, it mostly reproduces sexually. This process involves several advantages that help make reproduction of red algae efficient and successful. Adaptations for Success in Habitat Taxonomy of Plant Works Cited Burns, Timothy. “What Are the Adaptations of Algae?” eHow. Demand Media, Inc. 1999. Web. 13
December 2012.
Cole, Kathleen M. Biology of the Red Algae. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of
Cambridge, 1990. Print.
“Get the Facts!” Seaweed Facts. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Google Images.” Google Images. Web. 13 December 2012.
“How does photosynthesis work underwater?” Science Questions. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Marine Plants.” Algae Lecture. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Properties of Algae.” Oilgae. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Red Algae.” Oilgae. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Red Algae.” Plant Life. Web. 11 December 2012.
“What is Red Algae?” Wise Geek. Conjecture Corporation. 2003. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Why can red algae live in deeper water than green algae?” Answers. Web. 11 December 2012. Structure:
Blade- leaves; function is to provide a large surface for sunlight absorption
Air bladder- hollow structure; function is to keep them light weight, enabling them to absorb the sun’s energy
Stipe- stem; function is to support the plant
Fruiting bodies- leathery structure; function is it’s used for protective purposes by sending out powdery spore puffs through a hole at the top of the seaweed when it’s disturbed
Holdfast- root with hapteras (stems off of holdfast); function is to take in water and nutrients and to hold the plant in place Scientific Name- Phylum Rhodophyta Evolutionary History The exact history of Red Algae has been hard to concretely determine. However, they have been classified as the most ancient eukaryotic organisms. Many studies have been done to try and figure out Red Algae’s exact ancestry root. Genetic encoding showed that Red Algae was most likely born before the origins of animals, fungi and green plants, and scientists were able to determine an ancestral relationship with these green plants based on its plastids. However, in a more recent study, some scientists looked at the main gene in Red Algae’s nucleus and concluded that Red Algae falls in a different family from the green algae, plants and etc. Overtime they have formed deep underwater on rocks, shells, and on other algae, depending on the type of Red Algae. Red Algae has five main groups, four of which are Gelidium, Chondrus, Plumaria, and Rhodymenia palmate. Red Algae is mostly found in the coastal regions of New Zealand and Australia. Today there are globally about 8000 species of Red Algae.
The red algae plant lives in water and has developed there since its evolution because a constant source of water is needed in order for the plant to carry out its necessary life processes (photosynthesis). Due to its lack of xylem and phloem, water cannot be transported through the plant. Therefore, red algae has to live within water to obtain the necessary amount of water which is why it has always survived in some type of water habitat. Work Cited Burns, Timothy. “What Are the Adaptations of Algae?” eHow. Demand Media, Inc. 1999. Web. 13
December 2012.
Cole, Kathleen M. Biology of the Red Algae. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of
Cambridge, 1990. Print.
“Get the Facts!” Seaweed Facts. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Google Images.” Google Images. Web. 16 December 2012.
“How does photosynthesis work underwater?” Science Questions. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Marine Plants.” Algae Lecture. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Phylum Rhodophyta.” Non-Vascular. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Properties of Algae.” Oilgae. Web. 11 December 2012.
Raven, Peter H. Biology of Plants. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2005. Print.
“Red Algae.” Oilgae. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Red Algae.” Plant Life. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Red Algae Revise Early Life History.” Science AAAS. Web. 16 December 2012.
“Red Algae.” WWF. Web. 16 December 2012.
"Red Algae Reproduction." Cartage.org. Web. 12 December 2012.
Stiller, John W. and Benjamin D. Hall. The Origin of Red Algae: Implications for plastid evolution.
Chicago: University of Chicago, 1997. Print.
“What is Red Algae?” Wise Geek. Conjecture Corporation. 2003. Web. 11 December 2012.
“Why can red algae live in deeper water than green algae?” Answers. Web. 11 December 2012.
"The Red Algae, Division Rhodophyta." Wet Web Media. Web. 16 December 2012. As an aquatic plant, Red Algae faces at times high water currency, but unlike other aquatic species that might’ve died off from this condition, Red Algae uses its flexibility to cope with this condition it’s been living in. Its structure being so flexible allows it to survive in the ocean over time, because water currents no longer serve as a limiting factor to its survival. This prevents nutrient depletion, by preventing the plant from breaking down from the water hitting against it at such a high force. Without this evolutionary advantage, Red Algae would have a higher chance of becoming extinct in such environmental conditions. Flexible Dipe and Blade Structure Flat Structure Unlike other plants, Red Algae has a flat structure. This serves the purpose of providing a greater surface area for absorbing water and even sunlight more easily. Being an aquatic plant, it needs to be able to absorb more water, so a higher surface area helps maintain the plant’s equilibrium of water content (the amount of water absorbed and the available area levels out). This is an evolutionary advantage for Red Algae, because without a flat structure, the plant would’ve died out from living in such water conditions and being so far under the ocean’s surface level where sunlight is easily accessible. Chemical Structure Even though it lives so far under water compared to the other types of algae, Red Algae still preforms the process of photosynthesis, using chlorophyll and three different types of pigments. These include phycoerythrin, phycocyanin, and phycobilin. These pigments broaden the spectrum of sunlight that they can absorb for the process of photosynthesis. For example, Phycoerythrin absorbs blue light which travels to deeper depths of the ocean than other longer wavelengths. (Fun Fact: Phycoerythrin is what gives Red Algae its red color). Because of this evolutionary advantage, living up to 260 meters below sea level doesn’t serve as a burdening factor for Red Algae, because they are able to get sufficient amounts of sunlight anyways. This allows Red Algae to survive over time, because it was able to still perfom photosynthesis needed for any plant’s life processes. . . . Adapting to Stress: Red algae has adapted over time to the physical environment. It has proven to be very resilient. Due to red algae's harsh environment, they have grown calcium carbonate in their cell walls. This makes the algae resistant to the currents so they don't get destroyed. This adaptation allows for success in its habitat because no matter the conditions, it can survive. Even under harsh conditions, it is still able to absorb gases and nutrients from the water.
Over time, red algae has been able to live in different environments in water due to this adaptation to stress within aquatic habitats. One reproductive advantage of red algae is the development of the gametes within structures known as gametangia. These structures within the plant have jackets of cells that protect the gametes. These structures are advantageous to reproduction because they prevent the gametes from drying out as they develop. The develpoment of both the male and females gametes is important to the reproduction cycle because in order for gametes to join together they must develop well on their own. These structures allow the gametes to develop properly and give the plant reproductive success. If these gametes were not developed properly before joining together in the reproductive cycle, the male gametangium (antheridium) produces sperm which then joins with the egg from the female gametangium (archegonium). This stage of reproduction would not be possible without the moist environment maintained in the gamentangia beforehand. Gametangia Structures Another important advantage of reproduction of red algae is the process of alternation of generations. This involves two distinct generations that alternate. The two generations normally associated with plants are the haploid (gametophyte) and the diploid (sporopyhte). Also in nonvascular plants, the dominant generation is the gamephyte because the sporophyte is smaller and doesn't live as long in nonvascular plants.
However, a unique aspect of alternation of generations in red algae reproduction provides a reproductive advantage for the plant. It has three distinct phases
1) haploid (gamoephyte)
2) diploid (carposporophyte)
3) another diploid phase (tetrasporophyte)
The carposporophyte generation is seen as another way to gain a greater amount of genetic products during sexual reproduction. This is especially helpful to red algae when fertilization rates are not very high. The ability to produce many carposporophytes allows reproduction to take place at a steady pace within red algea and compensates for the lack of flagella which would normally cause lower reproduction rates. Through this third generation not seen in other nonvascular plants, the red algae achieves reproductive success despite some of its other limitations.

Alternation of Generations Ability to reproduce asexually and sexually Although most nonvascular plants reproduce mainly through sexual reproduction, the ability to also reproduce asexually gives red algae some advantages. There are both advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction. In many cases plants reproduce based on the environment in which they live. Most red algae reproduce through sexual reproduction because during this process the sperm need water to travel from their gametangia structure to that of the female in order to fertilize the egg. Since red algae live in water, particular deeper down in water, there is a constant current of water available. This makes sexual reproduction a more efficient form of reproduction for the red algae. However, if water was not always present, the plant would still be able to reproduce asexually. This would allow the plant to continue procreating, despite changes in its environment. It would not be as successful as sexual reproduction, but many red algae obtain reproductive success through this form of reproduction. by: Carolyn Huff, Ariana Perez, Jess Simonetti
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