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Pigments harvest light energy

Chlorophylls: algae trap light energy using chlorophylls, helped out by accessory pigments.

Fucoxanthins are xanthophyll accessory pigments found in brown macroalgae and diatoms.

Phycobilins: these pigments are on membrane surfaces of red algae and cyanobacteria, redistributing light energy to the chlorophylls beneath.

Blooming lovely: the swirls of algal blooms are visible from space, often detected by increased chlorophyll in the sea. Phytoplankton bloom when nutrients, light and temperature are optimal (some are blooming poisonous).

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