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Re: Algae

> Subject: Algae
>    Hello
>    Anyone know of a good website or book on the various types
> of algae?

I think you'll find better luck at the library. There are a few
sites, one in the UK is good. Don't recall the site offhand.
Graham has a good general algae text. Prescott, although dated,
has a decent key. There is no all encompassing text. 

>    How is the taxonomy arranged for them?

1)Pigment type, green , red, brown etc
2)Type of food storage
3)Cell wall material
4)No#, kind and position of fagella(try counting them in a light
microscope sometime for fun and excitement)
5)A hodgepodge of cell structure differences, such as eye spots,
shape of chloroplast etc
6)DNA and RNA molecuar markers 

> It would seem the
> types would
> be very difficult to identify as they seem to change their
> form to suit the
> conditions..

That's the case to some dgree but it's not that bad actually.
Kelps will become undulated if growing in still water, smooth
and flat if in high current etc. Generally you can simply grow
the algae out to see what it is.

>    Is it true there are no true plants in the ocean? Just
> highly evolved 
> forms of algae?

Answer: False. SeaGrasses are very important group of

> If so, what separates true plants from algae?

What's a true plant?:-)Or ask the counter, what's a false plant?
Bryophytes are non vascular(mosses, liverworts etc) plants but
called "plants"(there are no marine Bryophytes). Some folks want
to call all green algae "plants" as well. Some algae live on
land. Some green algae have the reproductive cells that are
structured with two whiplashed fagellae just like green land
plant's sperm cells. Most land plants have a cuticle but some
Bryophytes such as Riccia are not well endowed.
Compare Cladophora algae balls to Riccia. Now try and figure out
what makes one an algae and the other a plant. 

See if you can make a decent argument for one or the other of
these examples being placed in Plant or Algae(Riccia vs
Cladophora). I leave this question for you as a teaser:-) 
Tom Barr 

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