California Biota Home Page....Eukaryota
The kingdom Protoctista is a diverse assemblage that can be described as "those eukaruyotic organisms which are neither true plants, animals, nor fungi.” They are united not on the basis of shared derived characters, but on the lack of characters expressed in members of the other kingdoms. These 'primitive' eukaryotes have been divided into the 18 phyla below. Most of these phyla are beyond the scope of our website, primarily because a microscope is needed to observe them. We will however, attempt to provide coverage to some of the native California seaweeds.
Seaweeds are marine algae which occur throughout the oceans of the world. Most occur in the intertidal zone (where coastal waters meet the land), and attach themselves by holdfasts, that act as an anchor. These plant-like organisms are characterized by having no true stems, roots, or leaves. Some are minute, while others, like the Pacific Giant Kelp, can reach lengths of 400 feet. Over the course of their taxonomic history, seaweeds have been placed in various kingdoms, and are currently included in either the Protista, Chromista, Plantae, or Protoctista. Seaweed taxonomy is in a state of flux and is far from resolved. For convenience we have followed the traditional color based groupings of , Chlorophyta (green algae), Phaeophyta (brown algae), and Rhodophyta (red algae). All of the seaweed pictures here were taken by Luis Solorzano using an Olympus C-2100 digital camera.