Control aquatic plant growth
What are algae?
Algae are a diverse group of plants that live in a wide range of environmental habitats. They are photosynthetic plants that contain chlorophyll, and have simple reproductive structures. Their microscopic spores are continuously introduced into pools and other bodies of water by wind, rain showers, etc. They grow rapidly in stagnant waters when exposed to sunlight and temperatures above 4º C. Phosphates and nitrates in the water encourage their growth. They are classified in three basic categories :
- Microscopic unicellular plants that float freely in water.
- Make the water turn green or, less often, yellow or reddish brown.
- Sometimes referred to as “thread algae” or “pond scum
- Fine green threads form floating mats, often moved around by wind
- Commonly found attached to rocks, submerged trees, other aquatic plants and boat docks
- Resemble true plants (appear to have stems and leaves).
- Are attached to the body of water’s bottom.
Problems caused by algae
- Can starve or strangle other aquatic plants, or block out sunlight needed for their growth.
- Give unpleasant taste and odor to water.
- Filamentous and macrophytic Algae can prevent fishing, swimming, and other water activities.
- Restrict sunlight penetration and limit the production of oxygen and food necessary for good fish growth.
What are cyanobacteria?
What are often called blue-green algae are in fact bacteria, more accurately cyanobacteria. Even smaller than unicellular algae, their distinction lies with their photosynthesis ability.
What are toxins?
Some strains of cyanobacteria can produce toxins, bacterial cellular density is high.
Absorption of these toxins can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, stomach aches, etc. Simply touching them can provoke allergic reactions: rashes, swelling, skin irritations, conjunctivitis, ear and throat inflammations, respiratory difficulties resembling allergic asthma, hay fever, pneumonia, as well as fever. Consequences can be severe.