Cladophora

Algae

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Cladophora

Cladophora Kuetzing: Blanketweed, string algae. Cladophoraceae. 

Green algae. Common filamentous or thread-like algae made up of long chains of single cells that regularly branch or divide into two, as can be seen with magnification. Bright to deep green, they tend to grow in shallow, clear, nutrient-rich, hard water, attached to inert substrates or as free-floating and mat-forming colonies. They commonly attach to rocks or other hard substrates by means of a root-like holdfast, and are able to survive in fast-flowing water, often as strands up to 3.3 ft (1 m) long. These algae have no obvious mucilaginous coating and feel coarse, wiry, or springy; the filaments spring back when crushed in the hand, or spring out individual threads or strands when a mass is taken out of the water. They may feel rough or gritty due to build up of salts or accumulation of debris. Cladophora can be very problematic in cement-lined irrigation and drainage canals where they establish attached populations. When filaments die or break loose from their support they can compact together to form dense floating mats or rafts. Along shorelines or in open water these hinder swimming and fishing, and when mats decompose they lower oxygen levels in water and contribute to increases in bacteria counts.