Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Calcareous Algae

  • Joachim Reitner
  • Volker Thiel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_39

The term “calcareous algae” refers to various kinds of benthic and planktonic algae whose thalli contain biochemically precipitated calcium carbonate (CaCO3) as skeletal material (Wray, 1977; Braga and Riding, 2005). Precipitation of CaCO3 (as calcite and/or aragonite) may occur within or on the algal bodies. The term may also include mechanically accreted deposits of calcium carbonate caused by algae, usually as an interaction of biological and physical processes. Calcareous algae are a highly artificial group that constitutes calcifying members of the Chlorophyta (green algae), Rhodophyta (red algae), and Phaeophyta (brown algae) and is sometimes also used for Cyanobacteria. At present, calcareous algae are one of the most important reef builders (see “ Carbonate Environments”). For a detailed reading, please refer to “ Algae (Eukaryotic).”


Physical Process Green Alga Brown Alga Calcareous Alga Precipitate Calcium Carbonate 
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  1. Braga, J. C., and Riding, R., 2005. Calcareous algae. In Selley, R., Cocks, L. R. M., and Plimer, I. R. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Geology. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 428–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Wray, J. L., 1977. Calcareous Algae. Developments in Palaeontology and Stratigraphy. Amsterdam: Elsevier, Vol. 4, 185 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Reitner
    • 1
  • Volker Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GöttingenGöttingenGermany