Last updated

AB Logo 300.png

AlgaeBase is a global species database of information on all groups of algae, [1] as well as one group of flowering plants, the sea-grasses. [2]

Algae Photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms

Algae is an informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms that are not necessarily closely related, and is thus polyphyletic. Included organisms range from unicellular microalgae, such as Chlorella and the diatoms, to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp, a large brown alga which may grow up to 50 m in length. Most are aquatic and autotrophic and lack many of the distinct cell and tissue types, such as stomata, xylem, and phloem, which are found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine algae are called seaweeds, while the most complex freshwater forms are the Charophyta, a division of green algae which includes, for example, Spirogyra and stoneworts.

Flowering plant Class of flowering plants (in APG I-III)

The flowering plants, also known as angiosperms, Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families, approximately 13,000 known genera and 300,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants. However, they are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within the seeds, and the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant that produces seeds within an enclosure; in other words, a fruiting plant. The term comes from the Greek words angeion and sperma ("seed").

Seagrass Group of plants, with the same habit

Seagrasses are flowering plants (angiosperms) which grow in marine environments. There are 60 species of fully marine seagrasses which belong to four families, all in the order Alismatales. Seagrasses evolved from terrestrial plants which migrated back into the ocean about 75 to 100 million years ago.


AlgaeBase evolved from Michael Guiry's seaweed website, and has grown into a database of algae from throughout the world, and in freshwater, terrestrial, and brackish as well as marine habitats. [1] By 2005, the database contained about 65,000 names, [1] and by September 2006, 122,240 species and infraspecific names were in the database, with 5,826 images, 38,290 bibliographic items, 138,706 distributional records.[ citation needed ] Currently, the data for the marine algae, particularly seaweeds, are the most complete.[ citation needed ] About 30,000 species of algae are included, of which the Rhodophyta (6000 species), marine Chlorophyta (1500 species), and Phaeophyceae (1755 species) are the most complete. The diatoms and the smaller freshwater green algae are currently (August 2010) the most incomplete groups.

Michael Dominic Richard Guiry, is an Irish botanist, who specialises in phycology (algae). See for example the articles. He is the founder and director of the algal database, AlgaeBase.

Chlorophyta phylum of algae

Chlorophyta or Prasinophyta is a taxon of green algae informally called chlorophytes. The name is used in two very different senses, so care is needed to determine the use by a particular author. In older classification systems, it refers to a highly paraphyletic group of all the green algae within the green plants (Viridiplantae) and thus includes about 7,000 species of mostly aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. In newer classifications, it refers to the sister of the streptophytes/charophytes. The clade Streptophyta consists of the Charophyta in which the Embryophyta emerged. In this sense the Chlorophyta includes only about 4,300 species. About 90% of all known species live in freshwater. Like the land plants, green algae contain chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b and store food as starch in their plastids.

Programming is carried out by VisualID ( (Pier Kuipers and Caoilte Guiry) and the compilation of the data was funded by the Irish government Department of Education and Science's PRTLI 3 and 4 programmes (

See also

Related Research Articles

Ulvophyceae class of algae

The Ulvophyceae or ulvophytes are a class of green algae, distinguished mainly on the basis of ultrastructural morphology, life cycle and molecular phylogenetic data. The sea lettuce, Ulva, belongs here. Other well-known members include Caulerpa, Codium, Acetabularia, Cladophora, Trentepohlia and Monostroma.

<i>Chondrus crispus</i> species of edible alga

Chondrus crispus—commonly called Irish moss or "sea moss from other Caribbean Islands" or carrageen moss, although it is not a true moss —is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. In its fresh condition this protist is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown. The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its dry weight. The organism also consists of nearly 10% dry weight protein and about 15% dry weight mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. When softened in water it has a sea-like odour and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.

<i>Fucus vesiculosus</i> species of Phaeophyceae

Fucus vesiculosus, known by the common names bladder wrack, black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack is a seaweed found on the coasts of the North Sea, the western Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was the original source of iodine, discovered in 1811, and was used extensively to treat goitre, a swelling of the thyroid gland related to iodine deficiency.

<i>Fucus</i> Genus of algae

Fucus is a genus of brown algae found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores almost throughout the world.

<i>Palmaria palmata</i> species of edible alga

Palmaria palmata, also called dulse, dillisk or dilsk, red dulse, sea lettuce flakes, or creathnach, is a red alga (Rhodophyta) previously referred to as Rhodymenia palmata. It grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is a well-known snack food. In Iceland, where it is known as söl, it has been an important source of dietary fiber throughout the centuries.

<i>Porphyra</i> genus of seaweed

Porphyra is a coldwater seaweed that grows in cold, shallow seawater. More specifically, it belongs to red algae phylum of laver species, comprising approximately 70 species. It grows in the intertidal zone, typically between the upper intertidal zone and the splash zone in cold waters of temperate oceans. In East Asia, it is used to produce the sea vegetable products nori and gim. There are considered to be 60 to 70 species of Porphyra worldwide and seven around Britain and Ireland where it has been traditionally used to produce edible sea vegetables on the Irish Sea coast. Porphyra is a chief source of plant-based vitamin B12.

<i>Pelvetia</i> genus of seaweed

Pelvetia canaliculata, channelled wrack, is a very common brown alga (Phaeophyceae) found on the rocks of the upper shores of Europe. It is the only species remaining in the monotypic genus Pelvetia. In 1999, the other members of this genus were reclassified as Silvetia due to differences of oogonium structure and of nucleic acid sequences of the rDNA.

Fucales order of brown algae

The Fucales (fucoids) are an order in the brown algae. The list of families in the Fucales, as well as additional taxonomic information on algae, is publicly accessible at Algaebase.

Schmitzia hiscockiana is a small, rare, red seaweed or marine alga of the phylum Rhodophyta or red algae. It was discovered and named in 1985.

The history of phycology is the history of the scientific study of algae. Human interest in plants as food goes back into the origins of the species and knowledge of algae can be traced back more than two thousand years. However, only in the last three hundred years has that knowledge evolved into a rapidly developing science.

<i>Ulva intestinalis</i> species of alga

Ulva intestinalis is a green alga in the family Ulvaceae, known by the common names sea lettuce, gutweed and grass kelp. Until they were reclassified by genetic work completed in the early 2000s, the tubular members of the sea lettuce genus Ulva were placed in the genus Enteromorpha..

<i>Trentepohlia aurea</i> species of alga

Trentepohlia aurea is a species of filamentous terrestrial green alga with a worldwide distribution. It grows on rocks, old walls and the trunks and branches of trees such as oaks and the Monterey cypress where the tree occurs in coastal central California. The orange coloration results from carotenoid pigments in the algal cells. It is probably the most widespread and abundant species of Trentepohlia in the Britain and Ireland.

<i>Bonnemaisonia hamifera</i> species of alga

Bonnemaisonia hamifera is a species of red alga in the family Bonnemaisoniaceae. Originally from the Pacific Ocean, it has been introduced into the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, where it is considered invasive on European coasts. It exists in two phases which, at one time, were thought to be different species; a medium-sized feathery form attached to other seaweeds, and a small tufted form known as Trailliella.

<i>Cystoseira foeniculacea</i> species of Phaeophyceae

Cystoseira foeniculacea is a species of brown alga in the genus Cystoseira.

Palmariaceae family of algae

Palmariaceae is a family of algae. It includes the edible seaweed dulse.

Palmariales order of algae

Palmariales is an order of marine algae. It includes the edible seaweed dulse.

Marine algae and plants are a diverse collection of marine life that, together with cyanobacteria, form the main primary producers at base of the ocean food chain. Marine primary producers are important because they underpin almost all marine animal life by generating most of the oxygen and food that animals need to exist. Some algae and plants are also ecosystem engineers which change the environment and provide habitats for other marine life.

Entwisleia is a genus in the red algae family, Entwisleiaceae. There is just one species in this genus, Entwisleia bella, from southeastern Tasmania and represents both a new family and a new order in the Nemaliophycidae.


  1. 1 2 3 Michael Guiry (2005). "AlgaeBase – listing the world's algae". The Irish Scientist : 74–75. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  2. M. D. Guiry. "What is AlgaeBase?". AlgaeBase. Retrieved 29 June 2007.

Further reading

Digital object identifier Character string used as a permanent identifier for a digital object, in a format controlled by the International DOI Foundation

In computing, a digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.