Did You Know? 64 Red Algae Facts That Will Amaze You | Kidadl


Did You Know? 64 Red Algae Facts That Will Amaze You

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Do you know why climate change is affecting the growth of red algae?

Red algae and other groups of algae are considered as one of the important components of the marine ecosystem. The algae growth maintains the level of water temperature and protects the marine species.

Coral reefs, seaweed, and other groups also have an important role to play in the evolution and health of marine bodies. Consuming red algae has proven health benefits and gives immunity. However, they are also threatened because of climate change and the excessive carbon released into the air. Let us learn some red algae facts that will help to understand their characteristics and conservation. Red algal diversity is also a visual treat to look at in freshwater.

Read on to know more about the food that these creatures from kingdom Protista consume.

An Introduction To Red Algae

Algae is a plural term for eukaryotic organisms that belong to the kingdom Protista. These organisms form a vast community with different types of species of algae.

Algae live on photosynthesis and this process helps red algae form. They are a tiny group of organisms that live on surfaces underwater or above the ground. There are different types of algae like seaweed, diatoms, multicellular algae, and unicellular microalgae, chlorella, etc. They can grow and reach around 198 ft (60.3 m) covering the surface and are formed under the water. Kelp forests are known to have the biggest population of algae. Algae can be classified based on their colors like green algae, red algae, and brown algae.

Red algae consists of delicate and intricate seaweed that can be easily seen in a tiny body of water like a pool. The algae gets the color red because of the presence of chlorophyll by red pigments called phycobilins. This pigment is absent in the green algae. The marine animals and fishes survive by feeding on the red algae thus red algae forms an important food source for the marine ecosystem.

Categorizing further the group of red algae, there is a special group called coralline algae. They are the most crucial species that build corals. Coralline algae secrete a compound called calcium carbonate around their cell walls. These secretions result in calcareous depositions that turn hard and become rock.

These rocks form the base where the coral reefs can grow. In fact, this process of deposition by the coralline algae has resulted in the formation of islands over a million decades. Parrot fishes, sea urchins, and limpets also feed on coralline algae. Red algae can be found in both typical Mediterranean and Asian foods and are often used in puddings, ice cream, toothpaste.

Some Of The Benefits Of Red Algae

Red algae are also commonly called Rhodophyta. The name comes from the ancient Greek period. The name Rhodophyta suggests that the oldest group of eukaryotic algae is called Rhodophyta.

Facts about red algae have shown that there are numerous benefits of consuming this Rhodophyta red alga in different forms. This particular seaweed helps in treating our hair, skin, and nails to keep them healthy.

Rhodophyta red algae act as an antiviral agent and keep harmful viruses and infections at bay. It can also be used as a dietary supplement. People who want to lose weight can consider consuming red algae which offer a range of benefits. It also helps improve thyroid function and balances the metabolism of your body. It fights fungal infections and helps to stay healthy.

Red algae also improve your vision and is a substantial source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is found in red algae. This vitamin can boost your immunity and strengthen the organs and blood flow activity in your body. Rhodophyta red algae are enriched with proteins and dietary fiber that helps smoothen digestion.

Another benefit of Rhodophyta red algae is that it is used to make a popular ingredient called agar-agar. This is most common in the decoration of foods and dishes and is available in powder form. Agar-agar is also a rich source of potassium, calcium and dietary fiber, magnesium, carbohydrates, and vitamin A and vitamin C.

While using agar-agar you just need to add water to it and mix it. The majority of red algae has proven health benefits and is enriched with minerals, calcium, antioxidants that produce growth hormones and collagen in your body.

This promotes hair growth and is naturally suitable for all skin types. Collagen also strengthens the texture of nails and helps improve brittle nails. It's important to note that not all types of red algae are edible, so make sure you are careful before selecting your red algae. It is also found that red algae consumed with the brown algae family also gives immense health benefits. Red algae can also be used in many forms in cuisines to make salads and soups that will help to keep our diet balanced. It helps to diversify the food plate.

Red algae consists of delicate and intricate seaweed that can be easily seen

Are there any harmful effects of red algae?

Although red algae is a rich source of minerals, dietary fibers, vitamins, and proteins, they need to be consumed in the right amounts.

Since algae grow under the ocean, they also carry some unsuitable metals of the ocean, which are not good for the human body. This means some people may experience allergic reactions or harmful side effects that can cause serious issues in your body.

The first precaution that you can take is to consume the processed and packaged red algae rather than eating straight from the ocean. We always test processed algae in food labs and check for their suitability for the human body to make sure they can be safely eaten. In case if you are already suffering from any disease or severe gut illness, then it's probably best not to consume any algae or consult your family doctors before doing so.

It's advisable not to eat algae if you are suffering from bowel problems and stomach ulcers, as consuming red algae can affect your stomach. Since children have a weaker immune system, we should give them limited quantities of moss products. Overeating red algae can cause headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness so make sure you have portion control of red algae in your food. Consult your dietician for guidance if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

People who suffer from high blood pressure and are taking medication should not consume any sea moss products or red algae without prior consultation. Any food substance that includes excessive consumption can cause harmful side effects.

Weather Conditions Suitable For Red Algae

In order to preserve the natural growth of algae, you need to make sure that the water bodies remain pollution-free and pure. Algae grow in water bodies that have higher quantities of pH levels. The ideal level of pH is between seven to nine.

For red algae, the maximum pH required is 8.2 to 6.7. However, in the case of lower pH levels or neutrality of water, the growth of algae is hindered. Along with pH levels, the amount of sunlight also becomes important. Since algae photosynthesize they need sunlight. Therefore, summer is ideal for the growth of algae. The warm sunlight promotes photosynthesis and promotes vast algal blooms.

When a water body is polluted and mixed with harmful pollutants or oil spills, these pollutants rise and collect on the surface of the water. This forms a layer of pollutants that restricts the sunlight from entering the water. The algae under the sea doesn't receive any sunlight and thus the temperature falls and decreases the growth of algae.

Changing human activities and weather patterns due to climate change are heavily affecting the growth of algae. It also results in the formation of harmful and invasive species of algae. The toxic blue-green algae thrive in warm temperatures and sometimes warm water bodies also favor harmful algae. Climate change leads to frequent droughts that make the freshwater saltier.

This results in marine algae invading the freshwater ecosystems. Toxic marine algae also kill the fish and other marine species of the ecosystem. Algae also need high amounts of carbon dioxide to survive, but the excessive quantities of carbon produced may boost the rapid growth of algae, resulting in crossbreeding and the formation of toxic and harmful algae.

Changes in rainfall patterns also affect the growth of algae. Algal growth not only affects their own community but also other marine species who feed on them. Excessive growth of kelp forests results in the death of many fish as they feed on these harmful invasive algae. Yet another reason why keeping our planet and ocean clean is so important. Not only is a healthy ocean important for marine life, but given we as humans rely on consuming so much from the ocean it's important for our own health too.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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