Brown algae exist in a wide range of sizes and forms. The smallest members of the group grow as tiny, feathery tufts of threadlike cells no more than a few centimeters long. Some species even have a stage in their life cycle that consists of only a few cells, making the entire alga microscopic. Other groups of brown algae grow to much larger sizes. The rockweeds and leathery kelps are often the most conspicuous algae in their habitats. Kelps can range in size from the two-foot-tall sea palm Postelsia to the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, which grows to over 45 m (150 ft) long and is the largest of all the algae. In form, the brown algae range from small crusts or cushions to leafy free-floating mats formed by species of Sargassum. They may consist of delicate felt-like strands of cells, as in Ectocarpus, or of foot-long flattened branches resembling a fan, as in Padina.
Regardless of size or form, two visible features set the Phaeophyceae apart from all other algae. First, members of the group possess a characteristic color that ranges from an olive green to various shades of brown. The particular shade depends upon the amount of fucoxanthin present in the alga. Second, all brown algae are multicellular. There are no known species that exist as single cells or as colonies of cells, and the brown algae are the only major group of seaweeds that does not include such forms. However, this may be the result of classification rather than a consequence of evolution, as all the groups hypothesized to be the closest relatives of the browns include single-celled or colonial forms.
Read more about this topic: Brown Algae
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Morphology may mean:
- Morphology (linguistics), the study of the structure and content of word forms
- Morphology (biology), the study of the form or shape of an organism or part thereof
- Morphology (molecular), study of how the shape and form of molecules affect their chemical properties, dynamic reconfiguration and interactions
- Morphology (astronomy), the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies, or other extended objects
- Morphology (folkloristics), the structure of narratives such as folk tales
- Geomorphology, the study of landforms
- Mathematical morphology, a theoretical model based on lattice theory, used for digital image processing
- Morphology (Architecture and Engineering), a research, which is based on theories of two dimensional and three dimensional symmetries, and then uses these geometries for planning buildings and structures.
- River morphology, the field of science dealing with changes of river platform
- Urban morphology, the study of growth and development of functions in cities
- Morphological analysis (disambiguation)
- Morphology (materials science), the study of shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.
- Morphology (ideology), the study of the conceptual structure of ideologies, and the rules defining the admissibility of meanings into concepts.
- Morphology (journal), ISSN 1871-5621
Famous quotes containing the word morphology:
“I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language.... To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.”
—Frantz Fanon (19251961)