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Freshwater algae

Algae are abundant in many freshwater habitats, especially in standing waters.

Most species of algae in freshwater lochs are microscopic in size, though some types of algae – stoneworts – form larger growths or colonies.

Microscopic algae may be either:

  • free-floating
  • attached to the sediment, stones or vascular plants

These algae are so small they’re invisible to the human eye. Yet they can support entire ecosystems.

They can do this as algal cells contain various pigments that are used for photosynthesis. In this process, light energy is transformed into carbohydrate, a source of energy for animals.