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CyanobacteriaThe more common name for cyanobacteria is blue-green algae.  This name can be deceptive, however, because these organisms are not algae at all.  Although they appear to be similar to algae in both appearance and ecological function and importance, cyanobacteria are actually a simpler life form, more closely related to bacteria than to algae.   Most cyanobacteria are photosynthetic, and they can be found in nearly every type of habitat imaginable: freshwater, salt water, hot springs, and underneath the ice on frozen lakes; some species have even evolved to live terrestrially.  This guide will concentrate on the species found in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.