By Nutri People
When some people think of algae, they are reminded about the unsightly green bloom that covers ponds in summer. However, algae are crucial to life. For example, they carry out nearly half of all photosynthesis on the planet. Many contain chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and protein, so make a highly nutritious food. They are amazingly resilient, and can withstand both very hot and freezing cold temperatures, such as hot springs and polar ice.
Algae were one of the first forms of life on Earth. There are literally hundreds of thousands of species. Algae are the main plants to be found in seas and in many lakes and rivers. They can even grow on soil, rocks and trees. Despite being called a plant, algae do not have roots, leaves, flowers, seeds or stems. Most are too small to be seen by the naked eye; these are called micro-algae. Chlorella, Spirulina and Haematococcus pluvialis are examples. Micro-algae are at the bottom of the food chain in the oceans, providing food for a variety of fish. Seaweeds are also algae, of which there are a vast array of shapes, colours and sizes. Kelps (seaweed) are an important source of food around the world.
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