Here is some information on what are currently the policies and methodologies that drive AlgaeBase and its associated sites.

Inclusion of names

We are endeavouring to add as many names as possible to AlgaeBase, although in a number of instances no data are provided other than the names and the nomenclatural authorities. In other instances, the synonyms and current names and synonyms have not been connected up (and are labelled as "Provisional"). We think it important that searchers for names find them, and links are provided to GenBank, Index Nominum Algarum, and other sources that may provide additional information.

Organisms included

Marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae, although currently the data for marine organisms are the most complete. Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), rhodophytes, phaeophytes, chlorophytes, euglenophytes, charophytes, diatoms, dinoflagellates, cryptophytes are all treated, together with a number of smaller groups. For convenience, we have included sea-grasses, although these are flowering plants and not algae. The taxon Fungi appears in the Taxonomy Browser partly because of Mastodia, a genus of lichenized fungi first based on an Antarctic alga and partly because of generic names being used originally for algae and fungi.

What is included in “The Algae”?

Algae are best defined as "oxygenic photosynthesisers other than embryophyte land plants" (Cavalier-Smith European Journal of Protistology 56: 255, 2016). In general, we have used botanical endings for phyla, classes, orders and families (-phyta, -phyceae, -ales, -aceae) where the organisms conform with this definition and zoological endings (-zoa, -ea, -ida, -idae) where they do not. Of course, one might ask why include these animals at all? The answer is generally that these organisms were or are treated by some as algae. This is particularly apparent in the flagellate groups, particularly the euglenoid flagellates.


Data on this site are based mainly on published information. The accuracy of this information should always be verified by you, the user, prior to use, as is the normal practice. Distributional data are recorded on the basis of the name used in the publication in question, and some of these names may be misapplied. We are annotating such records as we become aware of them, but this is a slow and difficult process.

Currently in AlgaeBase: