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Sargassum Algae UPSC NOTE

 


Sargassum algae

  • Sargassum is a type of seaweed, or brown algae, that spends its life on the ocean’s surface and floats in large masses.

  • Unlike red tide and blue-green algae, sargassum isn’t harmful.

  • it’s an important fish habitat that provides food and refuge for fish, birds, crabs, shrimp and many other marine organisms.

  • After sargassum loses its buoyancy, it sinks and provides energy in the form of carbon to organisms in the deep sea.

  • Washed-up sargassum also helps sustain shorelines, as the algae helps with erosion and provides beach plants with nutrients.

Problems associated with it:

  • Too much sargassum can be a bad thing.

  • Large blooms can block sunlight and kill the seagrass growing below.

  • When the sargassum dies and decomposes, the decaying organic matter removes the oxygen from the water, which can cause fish kills. 

  • It doesn’t smell very good from land, either.

Problems associated with it:

  • Researchers have found they contain a high concentration of the dangerous Vibrio bacteria, which can stick to the plastic entangled in the sargassum. 

Vibrio bacteria

  • Vibrio, (genus Vibrio), any of a group of comma-shaped bacteria in the family Vibrionaceae.

  • Vibrios are aquatic microorganisms, some species of which cause serious diseases in humans and other animals.

  • Vibrios are microbiologically characterized as gram-negative, highly motile, facultative anaerobes (not requiring oxygen), with one to three whiplike flagella at one end.

  • Three species of vibrio are of significance to humans: V. cholerae is the cause of cholera, and V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus both act as agents of acute enteritis, or bacterial diarrhea.

  • V. anguillarum is found in diseased eels and other fishes.

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