Assessing red algal supraordinal diversity and taxonomy in the context of contemporary systematic data

TitleAssessing red algal supraordinal diversity and taxonomy in the context of contemporary systematic data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
Refereed DesignationRefereed
AuthorsSaunders, G. W., & Hommersand M. H.
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume91
Pagination1494-1507
Abstract

The wondrously diverse eukaryotes that constitute the red algae have been the focus of numerous recent molecular surveys and remain a rich source of undescribed and little known species for the traditional taxonomist. Molecular studies place the red algae in the kingdom Plantae; however, supraordinal classification has been largely confined to debate on subclass vs. class level status for the two recognized subgroups, one of which is widely acknowledged as paraphyletic. This narrow focus has generally masked the extent to which red algal classification needs modification. We provide a comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to the antiquity, diversity, and systematics of the red algae and propose a contemporary classification based on recent and traditional evidence.