red algae

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red algae Taxonomic group (phylum) of reddish algae, the Rhodophyta. They are numerous in tropical and subtropical seas. Most are slender, branching seaweeds that form shrub-like masses. Some become encrusted with calcium carbonate and are important in reef formation. Rhodophytes have red and purplish pigments, which absorb light for photosynthesis. They also have chlorophyll. They have complex life cycles with two or three stages, involving alternation of generations.

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red algae The common name for algae of the group Rhodophyta. While the majority of marine species are indeed some shade of red, freshwater species may be brown or blue-green. They are known from the Cambrian and were abundant in the succeeding Ordovician.

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red algae See Rhodophyta.

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red algae See RHODOPHYCEAE.