Algae & Kelp


Although a lot of people think of red and brown algae as plants, many biologists include them in groups outside of the kingdom Plantae. The green algae are still considered by many to be part of the kingdom Plantae.

The body (thallus) of many large algae consists of: holdfast, stipe, pneumatocyst, and blade.

Algae, at the base of the food chain, are important primary producers. Some algae are of great economic importance as they used to create many products we use daily. Some include ice cream, cheese, rubber and latex products, pharmaceuticals and lotions in cosmetics.

In Southern California intertidal, you will see the giant brown kelp Macrocystis. Each section below will show you examples of each type of kelp you may see in your visit to the intertidal zone.

Kingdom Chromista - Phylum Phaeophyta - Brown Algae

Kingdom Chromista - Phylum Rhodophyta - Red Algae

Kingdom Plantae - Phylum Chlorophyta - Green Algae

A very good informative site specializing in algae can be found at

Department of Botany on Algae at the Smithsonian Institution

Zonation | Intertidal Pools | Collection Etiquette

Kelp & Algae | Fungi | Porifera | Cnidaria

Mollusca | Echinodermata | Osteichthyes

Tides | References