Friday, June 28, 2013

Mossy Algae under a Microscope

If you have ever walked along a river or stream you have probably noticed a mossy green alage on the rocks. If you try to step on the rocks, it is slippery.

Image: W. Bourland
This green, soft algae is referred to as cladophora. Cladophora is also known as "river weed" and in Laos it is even eaten as a delicacy in the form of dry sheets, similar to Japanese nori.

Cladophora is a filamentous bloom, meaning it is an algae with longer tendrils. It is often found on rocks in streams or rivers and growing around waterfalls. When viewed under a high power biological microscope, then longer tendrils have multiple fingers that shoot off of each branch.

Image: W. Bourland