Overview

Brief Summary

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, grow in any type of water and are photosynthetic (use sunlight to create food and support life). Cyanobacteria live in terrestrial, fresh, brackish, or marine water. They usually are too small to be seen, but sometimes can form visible colonies, called an algal bloom. Cyanobacteria have been found among the oldest fossils on earth and are one of the largest groups of bacteria. Cyanobacteria have been linked to human and animal illnesses around the world, including North and South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia, and China.

  • Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Ecology

Associations

Plant / associate
gregarious apothecium of Byssonectria fusispora is associated with Cyanophyta

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Known predators

Cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae) is prey of:
Suidasia
Tegula funebralis
Littorina planaxis
Littorina scutulata
Acmaea digitalis
Acmaea pelta
Acmaea scabra
Cyanoplax dientens
Dynamenella glabra
Allochertes ptilocerus
Diaulota densissima
Syllis vittata
Syllis spenceri
Paracoenia turbida
Lamproscatella dichaeta
Microcoelepis
Chironomidae
Amphipoda
Tipulidae
Austroperla cyrene
Cricotopus II
Cristaperla
Deleatidium
Hudsonema aliena
Hydora nitida
Neozephlebia scita
Lumbriculidae pink
Oligochaeta
Paracalliope fluviatalus
Paracalliope pale
Paucispinigera approximata
Polypedellum II
Zelandoperla fenestrata
Zelandotipula
Lumbriculidae blue
Polypedellum green type
Cambaridae
Deleatidium lilli
Eriopterini
Scirtidae
Orthocladiinae
Polypedellum
Oligochaeta type weak-long-short
Pycnocentrodes evecta
Cristaperla fimbriae
Isopoda
Paracalliope purple
Stictocladius
Epeorus dispar
Homoplectra
Leucrocuta
Leuctra
Promoresia
Tallaperla maria
Aeolosoma
Amphinemura wui
Stenelmis
Aoteapsyche
Aphrophila noevaezelandiae
Austroclima jollyae
Austrosimulium australense
Baraeoptera roria
Diamesid Blond
Tanytarsini
Coloburiscus humeralis
Helicopsyche albescens
Hudsonema amabilis
Oligochaeta II
Olinga feredayi
Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Pycnocentria
Zelandoperla
Zephlebia spectabilis
Orthoclad Blue Black
Orthoclad Blue Blond
Naonella
Maoridiamesea
Oniscigaster
Pycnocentrodes
Austraclima jollyae
Hydrobiosella
Eukiefferiella
Ephydrella
Aelosoma
Antocha saxicola
Baetis
Chironomini
Dicrotendipes
Gyraulus
Lumbriculidae
Metriocnemus
Simulium
Stempelinella
Lumbriculiid type I
Lumbriculiid type III
Lumbriculiid Type Skinny
Paracalliope
Aoteapsyche raruraru
Lumbriculiid type II
Acroperla
Nesameletus ornatus
Brillia
Bryophaenocladius
Cricotopus
Eukiefferiella naonella type
Hydrobia
Stempellinella
Amphipoda type purple
Zelandobius confusus

Based on studies in:
USA: California, Monterey Bay (Littoral, Rocky shore)
USA (Temporary pool)
New Zealand: Otago, Broad, Lee catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Dempster's Stream, Taieri River, 3 O'Clock catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Little Kye, Kye Burn catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Stony, Sutton catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Akatore, Akatore catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Berwick, Meggatburn (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Catlins, Craggy Tor catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Narrowdale catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, North Col, Silver catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Sutton Stream, Taieri River, Sutton catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Venlaw, Mimihau catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Healy Stream, Taieri River, Kye Burn catchment (River)
New Zealand: Otago, Kye Burn (River)
USA: North Carolina, Coweeta (River)
USA: Maine, Troy (River)
USA: Maine, Martins (River)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • N. C. Collins, R. Mitchell and R. G. Wiegert, 1976. Functional analysis of a thermal spring ecosystem, with an evaluation of the role of consumers. Ecology 57:1221-1232, from p. 1222.
  • P. W. Glynn, Community composition, structure, and interrelationships in the marine intertidal Endocladia Muricata - Balanus glandula association in Monterey Bay, California, Beaufortia 12(148):1-198, from p. 133 (1965).
  • Thompson, RM and Townsend CR. 2005. Energy availability, spatial heterogeneity and ecosystem size predict food-web structure in streams. OIKOS 108: 137-148.
  • Thompson, RM and Townsend, CR. 1999. The effect of seasonal variation on the community structure and food-web attributes of two streams: implications for food-web science. Oikos 87: 75-88.
  • Thompson, RM and Townsend, CR. 2003. Impacts on stream food webs of native and exotic forest: an intercontinental comparison. Ecology 84:145-161
  • Townsend, CR, Thompson, RM, McIntosh, AR, Kilroy, C, Edwards, ED, Scarsbrook, MR. 1998. Disturbance, resource supply and food-web architecture in streams. Ecology Letters 1:200-209.
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© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Classification

Under subkingdom Negibacteria or Gracilicutes, but this is not in the Catalogue of Life.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Microbes aggregate sediment: blue-green algae
 

Cyanobacteria grow large layered clumps of rock and algae, called stromatolites, by trapping sediment in mucus and filaments.

   
  "Half dead, half alive, stromatolites represent a partnership between microorganisms and rock. The spongy coating is made of cyanobacterial filaments that secrete a sticky mucus. Grains of sediment get trapped in the mucus and stick together to form a crust of rock. As the filaments grow longer, they trap more sediment and add a new layer to the exterior. What’s left on the inside is dead zone." (Monastersky 1998:74)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Monastersky R. The rise of life on earth. National Geographic. 193(3): 54-81.
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© The Biomimicry Institute

Source: AskNature

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