Chesapeake & Coastal Bay Life 

algae_frontbook.jpgAlgae are actually the most well known of a group of organisms called phytoplankton. Algae can best be described as small or microscopic plants. These organisms are photosynthetic, meaning that they function as plants, producing their own food from sunlight. Phytoplankton are the basis of most aquatic food chains, and are one of the primary producers of the oxygen we breathe. There are several different types of phytoplankton living in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Choose from the following classifications:

Scientific Name:Heterosigma akashiwo
Fast Fact:Potentially toxic species but never observed toxic in Maryland as of fall 2002.
Photos:Heterosigma akashiwo
Photos.desc:Heterosigma akashiwo
Other Names:<em>Olisthodiscus luteus</em>
Seasonal Dominance:Summer, but not a dominant organism.
Distribution:Most frequently observed in Maryland's Coastal Bays, occasionally in Chesapeake Bay tributaries with moderate salinity.
References:Connell, L. and M. Jacobs 1997. Anatomy of a Bloom: Heterosigma akashiwo in Puget Sound 1997.

Hargraves and Maranda 2002. Potentially toxic or harmful microalgae from the northeast coast. Northeastern Naturalist. 9(1): 81-120.

Li, Y. and T.D. Smayda. 2000. Heterosigma akashiwo (Raphidophyceae): On prediction of the week of bloom initiation and maximum during the initial
pulse of its bimodal bloom cycle in Narragansett Bay. Plankton Biol. Ecol. 47:80-84.