Talk:Red algae

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Background Section and perhaps Morphology added[edit]

I think the quick statement about the early branching of the red algae in the tree of life should be expanded a bit, or in with the fossil record. What do people think? A bit of restructuring of the overall paragraph may clarify what it saying. Mention of secondary endosymbiosis involving the engulfing of an ancestral red alga can highlight this groups relationship to many other photosynthetic lineages, and to aid in introducing the section about red algal secondary plastids below. It might be good to add more to morphology here or in the section below, such as morphology of seaweeds and other macrophyte features (e.g., whorls in freshwater groups), and unicellular members. Je402115 (talk) 00:44, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

I further evaluated the lead section, and I think it has appropriate references and is not biased. However, I think some general information is missing and the overall paragraph should be restructured to make it clearer. Je402115 (talk) 20:13, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

First Picture[edit]

Would anyone be ok with me changing the picture to a red alga that would be more commonly observed? If not, maybe we can add more to that, or include pictures of different groups below (until new pages are created for various groups) Je402115 (talk) 00:46, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Number of species[edit]

this page should say how many species are in this phylum. --Savant13 20:27, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

The number was already there, on the first line in the "Species" section, although now someone has added a (substantially different) number to first sentence of the article. -R. S. Shaw 19:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't know where either of these numbers are now, I don't think I deleted either! However I have now added the number "5000 - 6000" Hope this is OK Osborne 15:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

"There are over 10,000 described species of red algae. How many real species there are, however, remains an unanswered question. Estimates vary by over 100%..." ref.Woelkerling, W.J. Introduction in Biology of red algae. Cole,K.M. and Sheath, R.G. (Eds) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Osborne 08:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

"estimates vary by over 100%" is badly stated (as in the source) as it doesn't specify what the 100% is of - estimates varying by a factor of more than two is clearer. I also think that there's a need to distinguish between species names and species - the existence of synonyms means that there are fewer species than names; the impression I get from the article is that 10,000 is the number of names. Lavateraguy (talk) 11:56, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

The paragraph for the diversity of the red algae is confusing. I think would be a reputable website for the total number of currently known red algal species. Of course this number is constantly in flux due to unresolved taxonomy, but algaebase is constantly updated based on changes in the literature. Currently 7,134 species are described in the Rhodophyta. Much of the discussion for the actual number of species can remain, but maybe reworded. Emphasis should be placed on the greater diversity observed in the Florideophyceae over other groups. Je402115 (talk) 23:26, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Many of the articles used for referencing the number of known species are reputable; however, many are now quite old and red algal systematics has continued with new revisions and taxonomic changes. Therefore, current sources would help clear this up, and this section would just need to be recurrently updated. Je402115 (talk) 20:19, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Merge with Red alga[edit]

Rather than use the "move" tab at the top of the article, a month or two ago someone copied the text of Red alga and pasted it into Red algae. Since then various edits have been done to both of these now-separate articles. They need to be merged back together (finding and moving the changes of one into the other, then redirecting one).

Which title should survive seems a bit contentious. My vote would be for the "algae" form because it is the commonly used name. I think that overrides the fact that it is plural rather than singular. -R. S. Shaw 03:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for making sense of this. I agree that a move to Red algae would be in order (there is currently a redirect from Red Algae to Red alga), so Red algae would be the article and Red alga the redirect. As to the use of the plural form, I'm not a biologist, but as an editor, the plural form makes more sense since most of the statements in the article are about algae in the aggregate. Sunray 18:26, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Since your proposal has been there for a week and all those who have commented agree, we might as well proceed. Do you want to do the honors? Sunray 06:20, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Or I can do it if you like. Sunray 20:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I've done it. Not much change, actually. I noticed the current article doesn't mention the singular form, alga. Maybe it should. -R. S. Shaw 20:59, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Why is the topic "Red tide" included under the "See Also?" There appears to be no disclaimer anywhere that Red Tides are caused by Dinoflagellates, not by Red Algae, just this option to move from the Rhodophyta to another phylum without a reason for doing so. This is misleading.

I've added a note to reflect your concern. I do think that it is good to have a link to "Red tide" as many non-biologist types may be interested to know that they are different. Please check the note to make sure I've got it right. Sunray 18:22, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

It should be a "Note: Red Tides are caused by Dinoflagellates and not by Red Algae," not a "See Also," as this latter implies additional information on the correct topic. However, if your topic is the Rhodophyta, "Red Tides" is NOT additional information, it is spurious information. Correcting misinformation or pointing out difficulties in vernacular nomenclature that confuses the layman is always useful. This is also why it would be clearer to title the articles by their scientific names rather than their common names, Rhodophyta over Red Algae as an example. "Algae" may mean only the eukaryotic photosynthetic protists. But it also may include the photosynthetic bacteria. It is not a scientific term and lends itself to confusion. Rhodophyta, on the other hand, describes a specific monophyletic group of eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms that share a common origin. KP

Uninformative photograph[edit]

The photograph of red alga iridescence is uninformative because it's scale is unclear. Is it a satellite photo or a photomicrograph? Is it an algal outbreak or a single cell? (talk) 17:15, 14 November 2009 (UTC)New user

Besides the fact that the picture name says "seagrass" I think it is a nice picture to show. I do agree that it seems out of place and could maybe be included elsewhere, perhaps in general information or in it's own section. Je402115 (talk) 00:33, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


Red algae are either a separate division in the Kingdom Plantae (Rhodophyta or Rhodophycophyta) or a separate phylum in the Kingdom Protoctista (Rhodophyta). Ref p.1 Woelkerling, W.J. in Cole, K.M. and Sheath, R.G. 1990. Biology of the Red Algae. Osborne 15:45, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Anything written in 1990 is seriously out of date as regards classification, and should be mentioned only for historical reasons. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:58, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

I think more could be added on the overall taxonomy of the red algae. More evidence (e.g., monophyly of the proposed Eurhodophytina, multi-gene analysis from Yoon et al (2006), ultrastructural characteristics) from each of the main articles, as well as review articles (Maggs, Verbruggen, and De Clerck 2007) should be presented instead of just stating there's discrepancy in the taxonomy.

A brief history of the taxonomy would be appropriate to add I think: starting with studies of female reproductive structures and development (most notably Kylin, others) and then the incorporation of molecular markers and combination of these characters up to the point of where it stands now. Je402115 (talk) 00:25, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


I couldn't find any information in this article whether they can reproduce vegetatively (for example by the slicing of the plant) or not. I would like to complete the Hungarian article, so if you can help me with this, I will thank you!:) Kenadra (hunwiki) 21:58, 18 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I would like to add general reproductive features of the red algae, but I would like to focus on reproductive structures and life cycles for the Florideophyceae. Je402115 (talk) 00:27, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Serious problem with Lee 2008 classification[edit]

I don't currently have access to the Lee 2008 source, but if the summary in the table in the Taxonomy section of the article is correct, it creates serious consistency problems. The red algae are put in the Chromalveolata. However, the current text of the linked Chromalveolata article makes it clear that the group cannot possibly include red algae. For the present, I've removed the link. Can anyone please confirm that the extract from Lee 2008 is correct? If it is, the Chromalveolata article needs some changes! Peter coxhead (talk) 09:16, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

The world of algae would need some major changes, too. Like the structure of the chloroplast endoplasmic reticulum would need to move back 3 by. Until then, the article can wait precise confirmation or another 3 by. --Kleopatra (talk) 02:05, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
The Lee 2008 page in question should be available through Google Book Search at this link. (Google Book Search often doesn't work as well from outside the US.) The mention of Chromalveolata was added in this edit [1] in June of 2008 by User:Smith609. The word "Chromalveolata" appears nowhere in the Lee book. I support the removal of the mention of Chromalveolata from this page. --Arcadian (talk) 06:35, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I wish we had seen this sooner, though. Lee doesn't use the word "Chromalveolate," but does have this clade, minus the name and the non-photosynthetic organisms. --Kleopatra (talk) 07:37, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Habitat Section[edit]

I would like to add information for vertical distribution patterns in the intertidal zone for marine reds, and possibly some descriptions of different habits, such as coral forming coralline species, and endophytes. It would be good to separate the freshwater habitats and provide a little bit of information there (e.g., Sheath, 1984). A general, small paragraph for the highly distinct Cyanidiales distribution in extreme habitats should also be noted (Ciniglia et al., 2004). Je402115 (talk) 03:08, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

There is a substantial amount of relevant information missing for this section. It is too generalized. Sources would help strengthen this section. Je402115 (talk) 20:20, 27 October 2016 (UTC)


This section can be expanded now. More information on the select nuclear genomes. Over 50 plastid genomes have been completed for the entire Rhodophyta, and we can divide these numbers into the different recognized orders (and include supraordinal information from both Saunders and Hommersand 2004 and Yoon et al 2006). We can include recent applications with these data. Je402115 (talk) 00:44, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

There is information in this section (i.e., number of species) that is repeated elsewhere and not necessary here. Furthermore, those references are outdated and need to be revisited. Je402115 (talk) 20:21, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Relationship of Chromalveolate Chloroplasts[edit]

I think the title needs to be changed to "Evidence of Secondary Endosymbiosis Involving Red Algal Plastids" followed by information of what is postulated to have occurred and which photosynthetic lineages arose from it, including the heterokonts, etc (Chromalveolata). A link to the wikipedia page for the Theory of Endosymbiosis would be good. Je402115 (talk) 00:50, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Some of the sources don't seem credible, or were interpreted wrong. Additional sources may help. Je402115 (talk) 20:22, 27 October 2016 (UTC)