Algal balls in bogs

algal balls 2

During the course of Sligo wetland survey 2010 (undertaken in September) these wierd algal balls were found. They belong to Ophyrdium versatile is a eukaryotic single-celled ciliate from the kingdom Protoctista that forms gelatinous colonies. Colonies of Ophyrdium are found 3-10 feet deep in the photic zone of slightly acidic bogs and ponds. The photic zone is the portion of water where sunlight is able to penetrate. Colonies may be lying on top of the sediment in shallow waters, drifting in the water column or attached to aquatic plants such as milfoil (Myriophyllum) of pondweed (Potamogeton), or as shown opposite on Bladderwort (Utricularia).

algal balls
© Peter Foss 2012