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 Introduction to the Rhodophyta

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mulie



Posts : 10
Join date : 2007-10-26
Location : Makassar, Indonesia

PostSubject: Introduction to the Rhodophyta   Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:52 am

Red algae are red because of the presence of the phycoerythrin; this pigment reflects red light and absorbs blue light. Because blue light penetrates water to a greater depth than light of longer wavelengths, these pigments allow red algae to photosynthesize and live at somewhat greater depths than most other "algae". Some rhodophytes have very little phycoerythrin, and may appear green or bluish from the chlorophyll and other pigments present in them. [/size]
In Asia, rhodophytes are important sources of food, such as nori. The high vitamin and protein content of this food makes it attractive, as does the relative simplicity of cultivation, which began in Japan more than 300 years ago.
Some rhodophytes are also important in the formation of tropical reefs, an activity with which they have been involved for millions of years; in some Pacific atolls, red algae have contributed far more to reef structure than other organisms, even more than corals. These reef-building rhodophytes are called coralline algae, because they secrete a hard shell of carbonate around themselves, in much the same way that corals do. study [/size]
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