Chara sp. an Unfamiliar Algal Element in our Biodiversity

E. Julian Duncan, Judy Rouse-Miller


Chara, is a freshwater, green algal genus with cosmopolitan distribution, a species of which can be found in abundance in the limestone ponds at Mayo, central Trinidad.  The alga, a member of the Charophyta – a group considered to be ancestral to land plants - has many features of interest, among which are a protective jacket around the reproductive organs (a feature of land plants); true oogamous reproduction; a highly differentiated thallus; and the capacity to deposit calcium carbonate in the water in which it grows. It is also known to produce a substance that is toxic to mosquito larvae.


Charophyta; limestone ponds; Trinidad; biological control; calcium carbonate

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