The topic of distribution of algal species has been fairly well studied since the founding of phytogeography in the mid-19th century AD. Algae spread mainly by the dispersal of spores analogously to the dispersal of Plantae by seeds and spores. Spores are everywhere in all parts of the Earth: the waters fresh and marine, the atmosphere, free-floating and in precipitation or mixed with dust, the humus and in other organisms, such as humans. Whether a spore is to grow into an organism depends on the combination of the species and the environmental conditions of where the spore lands.
The spores of fresh-water algae are dispersed mainly by running water and wind, as well as by living carriers. The bodies of water into which they are transported are chemically selective. Marine spores are spread by currents. Ocean water is temperature selective, resulting in phytogeographic zones, regions and provinces.
To some degree the distribution of algae is subject to floristic discontinuities caused by geographical features, such as Antarctica, long distances of ocean or general land masses. It is therefore possible to identify species occurring by locality, such as "Pacific Algae" or "North Sea Algae". When they occur out of their localities, it is usually possible to hypothesize a transport mechanism, such as the hulls of ships. For example, Ulva reticulata and Ulva fasciata travelled from the mainland to Hawaii in this manner.
Mapping is possible for select species only: "there are many valid examples of confined distribution patterns." For example, Clathromorphum is an arctic genus and is not mapped far south of there. On the other hand, scientists regard the overall data as insufficient due to the "difficulties of undertaking such studies."
Read more about this topic: Algae
Other articles related to "distribution":
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Famous quotes containing the word distribution:
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—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
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