MARINE BOTANY FALL 2009 BIOL 202-MARINE BOTANY COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Mitra
WHAT IS MARINE BOTANY? • Study of marine plants in their natural habitats. • Floras---Algae and Angiosperms Seagrasses, Mangroves Marsh plants Macroalgae/seaweeds microalgae Green, Red, and Brown green, blue-green, diatoms, dinoflagellates
CLASSIFICATION OF MARINE PLANTS • MONERA prokaryotes, absence of membrane-bound organelles, DNA is not organized into chromosomes. • PROTISTA photosynthetic, presence of many pigments besides chlorophyll a, no protective tissue around gametic cells, variations in life cycles. • PLANTAE photosynthetic, vascular tissues present, chlorophylls are dominant. Marine group has mostly angiosperms. Gymnosperms are non-marine, and very few species of mosses and ferns are marine. • FUNGI • ANIMALIA
BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE • Taxonomic Unit Ending of Unit Division --phyta Class --phyceae Subclass --oideae Order --ales Family --aceae Name (Genus and species)
BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE • Binomial nomenclature—Ulvalactuca • Binomial Nomenclature was proposed by Linnaeus in 1753. Cited in Species Plantarum. • Type Specimen—The specimen from where the description is made. Collected and placed in a herbarium. Herbarium label—species name, location, date of collection, habitat, name of collector and identifier)
COURSE ORGANIZATION—MARINE BOTANY • MARINE PLANTS---MICROALGAE (PHYTOPLANKTON) • MARINE PLANTS---MACROALGAE (BENTHIC) • MARINE PLANTS AND ECOSYSTEMS—SAV, MANGROVES, SALT MARSH, CORAL REEFS • IMPACTS ON THE ECOSYSTEMS—NATURAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC
Why are marine plants important? • Primary producers---important component in the food chain; utilizing carbon-dioxide for photosynthesis; oxygen is produced as a result of photosynthesis; • Habitats for other plants and animals; • Filter pollutants from water—improve water clarity; • Stabilize the sediments (mostly marine angiosperms); • Bioabsorption and Bioremediation; • Algae as superfood---health benefits (antioxidants, brain-boosting nutrients (ex: Phosphatidylserine), treatment of skin infections, antimicrobial, prevention of allergies, lower cholesterol levels, combat diabetes and other chronic diseases).
EXAMPLES OF ALGAE WITHHEALTH BENEFITS • Chlorella (Green Alga—Chlorophyta) • Spirulina (Blue-Green Alga—Cyanophyta) • Seaweeds---Fucus vesiculosus (Phaeophyceae), Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta), and Gracilaria tikvahiae (Rhodophyta)
Chlorella Source: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/47350/chlorella2.gif
Spirulina Source: botit.botany.wisc.edu
Seaweeds Photos are by Dr. Mitra’s Research Group.These pictures are not to be used for any purpose without Dr. Mitra’s approval.
ECOSYSTEM APPROACH Eelgrass with the macroalga Gracilaria tikvahiae Photo by Dr. Mitra
Coral Reef in Belize: Picture taken by a former Marine Botany student