(ORDO NEWS) — “Although they have no mouth or ears, algae still communicate with their own kind and with other organisms in their environment.
They do this with the help of volatile organic compounds that they release into the water.
Algae are some of the oldest organisms on Earth, and chemical communication is the very first form of information exchange in the history of evolution,” says Dr. Patrick Fink, aquatic ecologist and lead author of the study.
These chemical signals are called BLOS (biogenic volatile organic compounds).
A scientific article about this was published in Biological Reviews, the study was reported in the Association of German Research Centers. Helmholtz.
For example, some species of cyanobacteria repel daphnia by releasing BLOS into the water. This signal appears to act as a repellant.
Some freshwater algae that grow as biofilms on rocks or mollusc shells release BLOS to lure pond snails. However, it is still not clear why algae need this.
An example from the ocean: Diatom blooms are a treat for copepods. This rich supply of nutrients should ensure the subsequent growth of their population.
However, this does not happen. If the crustaceans eat well, they then begin to devour their offspring.
Some large algae reproduce by releasing germ cells into the water. Male and female gametes secrete pheromones to find each other in the vastness of the ocean.
Among other things, the study will help to better protect artificially cultivated algae from parasites. It is possible to use naturally occurring chemicals and reduce the use of pharmaceuticals in aquaculture.
The study notes that the process of chemical communication of seaweed is disrupted due to ocean acidification due to climate change.
“This is changing delicately balanced processes that have remained stable for millions of years and could have major implications for aquatic ecosystems,” Fink warns.
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