The Algae

  • Lothar Krienitz


The algae are a group of primitive creatures with a bewildering variety. In the nutrient-rich, saline wetlands populated by the Lesser Flamingo, they develop an unusually high photosynthetic activity and form the food base of this food specialist. The Lesser Flamingo prefers to feed on the cyanobacterium Arthrospira , which grows by the tons in the soda lakes of East Africa. But this strong microscopic organism cannot thrive everywhere and has to fight the competition of other microphytes. Often, these competitors are unsuitable as flamingo food. Tiny green and yellow-green algae are too small to be picked up by the filter lamellae of the birds. On the other hand, slimy cyanobacteria in large colonies can block food intake tools. Alternatively, diatoms can be consumed by the Lesser Flamingos, but the energy these algae provide is not as high as that of Arthrospira.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lothar Krienitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental LimnologyLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesStechlinGermany

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