Algal Flora of the South Western Cape

This first compilation of algal photomicrographs were compiled from samples collected from a variety of Western Cape vleis and dams during the 1990s. The phytoplankton of the south Western Cape are generally poorly described and no studies exist of the phytoplankton of the principal storage reservoirs of the Western Cape, with the exception of limited observations. The Cape Flats vleis are representative of varying degrees of anthropogenic perturbation, ranging from the mesotrophic Zandvlei estuary, to the hypertrophic Zeekoevlei.

Additional data specifying where collected and the associated water chemistry will be added in due course. This first set is part of several hundreds of images that are being added to on a regular basis.

  • Cryptophyta


    Cryptomonas is the only biflagellate genus within the Cryptomonadaceae. They are unicellular, free-swimming cells with two flagella at the anterior end within a clearly-evident gullet. Taxonomy of the genus is unclear.

  • Bacillariophyta


    The Bacillariophyceae, or diatoms, are a Class of the Division Chrysophyta. They are probably the most fascinating and certainly the most valuable indicators of aquatic conditions.

  • Chlorophyta


    Chlorophyta, also known as the green algae, are the most common algal division. They provide useful indicators of conditions in lotic vs lentic environments.

  • Chrysophyta


    This collection, apart from the separately displayed diatoms, includes only two species of Chrysophytes, Mallomonas and Tribonema.

  • Cyanophyta


    The Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are the most notorious algae but are also extremely common and cosmopolitan.

  • Euglenophyta


    Most of the species in this Division are free-swimming cells have between 1 and 3 flagella.

  • Pyrrophyta


    These are the brown algae, including the dinoflagellates.

  • Rhodophyta


    The Rhodophyta are the red algae. There are a few freshwater representatives of a group that are mainly marine algae.