Marine microalgae


The microscopic plant components of the sea, excluding the macroscopic seaweeds, form the microalgae or phytoplankton. They arc the primary producers synthesizing the basic food for all the larval forms in a marine ecosystem. They belong to the Class Algae, which besides chlorophyll possess other characteristic pigments. The important components of microalgae are: Diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), Dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae), Bluegreen algae (Cyanophyceae), Phytoflagellatcs (Chlorophyceae, Haptophyccac, Cryptophyceae) and Nanoplankters (Chiarella, Nannachlaropsis). Besides, two other subclasses - Silicoflagellates and Coccolilhophores also belong to the microalgae since they are autotrophic organisms. Culture of microalgae is an essential component in any type of hatchery system. Blooms of toxic phytoplankton causes severe hannful effects to the aquatic system and sometimes causes mass mortality of fishes in coastal waters. Based on the productivity of an ecosystem, potential harvcstable resources can be estimated. Recent estimates based on phytoplankton production indicated that vast exploitable resources are available from the Indian seas

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