algal taxonomy

Wed Nov 12 11:19:00 EST 1997


Dinophyta is used fairly commonly for the group - e.g. a recent and 
authoritative-seeming text, van den Hoek et al's Algae: an introduction to 
phycology (Cambridge UP, 1995), uses this term for the division name.

By "macroalgae" you mean browns and reds?  If so, they have no business in 
the Plant kingdom (by which I mean green algae + bryophytes + vasculars) in a 
system based on evolutionary relationships.  They share a grade of 
organization (cell differentiation, tissues) with higher plants, but are not 
part of a monophyletic group including plants.  I suppose you could therefore 
put them in the Protista, which is a garbage can already. But perhaps a more 
realistic approach is to recognize more than five kingdoms.  (Although that's 
not very heuristic for beginning students, it's not so much harder than 
trying to explain the Protista as a coherent group.)

And while we're at it, are slime molds and oomycetes part of Kingdom Fungi or 
not?  (Rhetorical question.)

Dave Hicks			djhicks at
Biology, Manchester College

I am reviewing a textbook and have questions about some of the taxonomy in
the text.

What is the currently accepted division/phylum name for the
dinoflagellates?  This text refers to them as the dinophyta.  I have never
heard this name before.

What is the commonly accepted kingdom for the macroalgae?  Are they plantae
or protista?  Why?

Scott Shumway

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