Silva, Paul C. Department of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, California.
Moe, Richard L. Department of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, California.
Wray, John L. Marathon Oil Company, Littleton, Colorado.
Last reviewed:July 2015
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An order of red algae, commonly called coralline algae. The order Corallinales (class Rhodophyceae; phylum or division Rhodophyta) consists of three families: Corallinaceae, Hapalidiaceae, and Sporolithaceae. Coralline algae (see illustration) are distinguished by the impregnation of cell walls with calcite, a form of calcium carbonate, which causes the thallus to be stony or brittle. Other types of red algae that are calcified are much softer than corallines and are impregnated with aragonite, another form of calcium carbonate. Many early biologists (including Carolus Linnaeus) thought that these plants were related to corals. See also: Algae; Aragonite; Calcite; Calcium; Carbonate minerals; Rhodophyceae
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