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Economic importance of Algae

Algae, although are the primitive thallophytic, autotrophic and aquatic organisms, they count a number of great economic importances in the present world.

Some of the economic importances of algae are as follows:

  • Algae are the healthy source of carbohydrates, fats , proteins, vitamins A, B , C and E as well as the minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese and zinc .They are popular in developed countries as sea foods.
  • Algae are also used as fodder to feed livestocks such as cattle and chickens.
  • In fish farming, algae plays a very important role because many fish species consume algae as food and hence help in production process.
  • Algae help in maintaining the health of marine ecosystem as they absorb excessive CO2
  • Algae are rich in mineral, nutrients and are considered as good liquid fertilizer.
  • Blue green algae help to reduce alkanity of soil.
  • Water pollution is checked with the help of Algae like Euglena and Chlorella, that can easily change their colour. Algae are sensitive to pollution.
  • Many seeweeds such as Laminaria japonica and L.religiosa contain high percentage of iodine. This is why  they are used as medicine in powdered form for the treatment of goitre.
  • Lots of red algae such as Corallina are used to treat worm infections.
  • Laminaria and Ascophyllum (marine brown algae) possesses the antibiotic property.
  • Many aquatic algae are used to commercially produce agar- agar, an artificial nutrient media (carbohydrates) from it's gelatinous mucillage of outer body.