MadSci Network: Botany
Query:

Re: Why does the algae pleurococcus need shade and moisture to grow ?

Date: Fri Oct 15 23:15:22 1999
Posted By: Evelyn Tsang, Staff, Plant Science, McGill University (Mac Campus)
Area of science: Botany
ID: 938340927.Bt
Message:

Hello, 

You asked why the green algae Pleurococcus needs shade and moisture to 
grow.
Plants such as trees and flowers need water and sunlight, among other 
things, to photosynthesize, and so do less-evolved plants like green 
algae. 

The other nutrients, mainly minerals, that plants need are dissolved in 
the water.  Trees and flowers grow roots to absorb water, but green algae 
have to make do with what moisture comes in contact with them.  As well, 
green algae havenít developed water-saving protection like the higher 
plants (e.g. waxy leaves and stomata). In fact, what we see as green algae 
is actually a huge colony of one-celled organisms.  These tiny plants 
would dry out if they grew in full sunlight.  

As for sunlight, there is enough light in the shade of a tree for 
Pleurococcus to grow.  The green algae contain chlorophylls A and B; these 
pigments allow the plant to collect light from a wide range of 
wavelengths, including the wavelengths that pass through the leaves of the 
tree.

To sum it up, Pleurococcus is a green algae that lives in the shade on 
tree trunks.  It gets enough light from sunlight that comes down through 
the leaves of the tree for photosynthesis, and it receives water from 
moisture in the air, usually from rain.  Thatís why you will often find 
≤moss≤ growing on the shady-side of a tree!

Keep asking your questions!
Evelyn Tsang



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