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Brown Algae

    Brown algae are algal types identified by being multicellular and having a brown or greenish-brown color. The color is because of the predominance of brown pigments, e.g. fucoxanthin, in addition to the green pigments (chlorophyll a and c). Much of them are macroscopic. In fact, kelps are big brown seaweeds that grow in shallow oceans and form the so-called kelp forest. Fucus is another macroscopic brown algal species. They thrive in intertidal zones of rocky seashores. They are gathered, dried, and processed for the commercial production of soap, glass, and so on. They are likewise utilized as fertilizers.

    Synonyms: Phaeophyta; Phaeophyceae; Fucophyceae.


    The old scheme of category requires five major kingdoms. One of them is the kingdom Protista (protists). This group is consisted of three groups: the animal-like protozoa, the plant-like algae, and the fungus-like slime molds and water molds. Nevertheless, not all algae are microscopic and unicellular as a lot of protists are known for. Numerous brown algae are macroscopic as currently explained above. Algae are more divided into a number of phyla: Euglenophyta, Chrysophyta (diatoms), Pyrrophyta (dinoflagellates), Chlorophyta (green algae), Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta. Recent studies and findings, though, might cause changes in the taxonomic positions and newer systems of category. For instance, the phylum Phaeophyta is now obsolete in numerous contemporary recommendations. It utilized to be the phylum including organisms frequently referred to as brown algae. At present, the brown algae are now members of Phaeophyceae, which is one of the taxonomic classes under the brand-new phylum, Ochrophyta.

    Phaeophyceae is comprised of algal species identified by their brown or greenish-brown color due to the presence of brown pigments, such as fucoxanthin. Nevertheless, apart from this class, some algal types that are brownish in color have been consisted of here also, such as the dinoflagellates and the diatoms. However, members of Phaeophyceae are more widely referred to jointly as the brown algae. In contrast to the two algal groups whose members are single-celled, Phaeophyceae consists of algal types that are multicellular.

    Brown algae taxonomy

    Phaeophyceae is comprised of the following taxonomic orders:.

    • Ascoseirales
    • Asterocladales
    • Chordales
    • Desmarestiales
    • Dictyotales
    • Discosporangiales
    • Ectocarpales
    • Fucales
    • Ishigeales
    • Laminariales
    • Nemodermatales
    • Onslowiales
    • Phaeophyceae ordo incertae sedis
    • Phaeosiphoniellales
    • Ralfsiales
    • Scytothamnales
    • Sphacelariales
    • Sporochnales
    • Stschapoviales
    • Syringodermatales
    • Tilopteridales

    General Characteristics of Brown Algae

    kelp is a brown algal types that forms the so-called kelp forest. A kelp forest offers marine species a habitat. The giant kelp is considered the longest algal types. It could reach over 50 meters long.

    Phaeophyceae is a clade comprised of olive green to brown multicellular algae. The size might range from a tiny tuft of a couple of centimeters to giant kelp of over 50 meters long. Macrocystis pyrifera (huge kelp) is considered the biggest algae. Their particular greenish-brown color is attributed to and depends upon the amount of fucoxanthin. Apart from this pigment, chlorophyll a and c2 are likewise present.

    Their carbohydrate reserve is laminarin (β1-3 glucose polymer). Similar to other algal groups, brown algae manifests alternation of generations. The sporophyte is typically the more noticeable form. Most of the brown algae (except for the Fucales) recreate sexually by sporic meiosis. Those that are capable of asexual reproduction recreate by means of motile zoospores.

    The body (thallus) of Phaeophyceae does not have the vascular tissues that exist in tracheophytes. Thus, brown algae do not have real roots, stems, and leaves. The root-like structure of the brown algae is described as the holdfast. Comparable to a real root, the holdfast acts as an anchor, avoiding the algal thallus to be swept away by the current. Nevertheless, the holdfast is not the main organ for water uptake as the true root is. The stem-like part of the algal thallus is called a stipe.

    In highly-differentiated brown algae such as Fucus, the stipe is consisted of three layers: the external epidermis, the middle cortex, and the inner central pith. The pith may include a core of phloem-like cells. In other species, the pith might be hollow and gas-filled, and for that reason associated with algal buoyancy. The leaf-like structure is described as a blade (when it is single and not divided), a leaf (when divided), or a lamina (when flattened). The air bladders in the thallus are called pneumatocysts. They increase algal buoyancy.

    Brown algae are mainly marine and macroscopic. They flourish particularly in cold ocean waters.

    Development and Phylogeny

    Brown algae are presumed to have actually evolved from a cooperative relationship in between a basal eukaryote and another eukaryote based upon having four-membraned chloroplasts. Genetically, they are more carefully related to the yellow-green algae.

    Biological value

    These organisms are essential as food and as habitat for lots of aquatic animals. Kelps produce a kelp forest that works as an environment for small marine animals. Sargassum, another brown algal types, supplies a drifting mat as another environment for varied types. Ascophyllum nodosum is capable of repairing carbon. Brown algae have alginate in their cell walls. It is extracted for usage as a food thickener. Fucus species, for instance, is collected for use in soap and glass making. They are likewise utilized as fertilizers for crops. Other types are edible to people. [1]

    Economic Significance of Brown Algae

    Algae are necessary for their carbon fixation ability. They are an important component of the water food chain as primary producers. kelp forests support large numbers of animals.

    They are widely utilized as edible seaweeds, e.g. Laminaria, Sargassum, etc.

    • Alginic acid is commercially drawn out and used in the food markets as a thickening representative. It is used as a stabilizer in ice cream and baking industries.
    • Alginic acid is likewise used in batteries.
    • Alginic acid is utilized for making pills and surgical threads.
    • A number of species are used as fertilizers.
    • kelp is utilized for producing soda ash. It is utilized in the production of soap and glass.
    • Brown algae like Laminaria is rich in iodine and has actually been used to deal with iodine shortage, e.g. Goitre.
    • They have been used for medical purposes, e.g. sodium laminarin sulphate is an anticoagulant. They likewise have antibiotic and vermifuge residential or commercial properties. [2]

    Life process

    Many brown algae, with the exception of the Fucales, carry out sexual reproduction through sporic meiosis. [48] In between generations, the algae go through separate sporophyte (diploid) and gametophyte (haploid) stages. The sporophyte stage is typically the more visible of the two, though some species of brown algae have comparable diploid and haploid phases. Free floating kinds of brown algae typically do not undergo sexual reproduction till they attach themselves to substrate. The haploid generation includes male and female gametophytes. The fertilization of egg cells varies between types of brown algae, and might be isogamous, oogamous, or anisogamous. Fertilization may happen in the water with eggs and motile sperm, or within the oogonium itself.

    Specific species of brown algae can likewise perform asexual reproduction through the production of motile diploid zoospores. These zoospores form in plurilocular sporangium, and can grow into the sporophyte phase right away.

    In a representative species Laminaria, there is a noticeable diploid generation and smaller haploid generations. Meiosis takes place within several unilocular sporangium along the algae’s blade, each one forming either haploid male or female zoospores. The spores are then released from the sporangia and grow to form male and female gametophytes. The female gametophyte produces an egg in the oogonium, and the male gametophyte releases motile sperm that fertilize the egg. The fertilized zygote then becomes the fully grown diploid sporophyte.

    In the order Fucales, sexual reproduction is oogamous, and the fully grown diploid is the only form for each generation. Gametes are formed in specialized conceptacles that happen scattered on both surface areas of the receptacle, the outer portion of the blades of the parent plant. Egg cells and motile sperm are released from separate sacs within the conceptacles of the parent algae, integrating in the water to complete fertilization. The fertilized zygote settles onto a surface and then distinguishes into a leafy thallus and a finger-like holdfast. Light manages distinction of the zygote into blade and holdfast. [3]

    Worldwide there have to do with 1500– 2000 brown seaweed species.

    Brown algae come from a very large group, the Heterokontophyta, a eukaryotic group of organisms identified most plainly by having chloroplasts surrounded by 4 membranes, recommending an origin from a symbiotic relationship in between a basal eukaryote and another eukaryotic organism. A lot of brown algae contain the pigment fucoxanthin, which is accountable for the unique greenish-brown color that provides their name. Brown algae are unique among heterokonts in developing into multicellular kinds with differentiated tissues, however they replicate by means of flagellate spores, which closely resemble other heterokont cells. Hereditary research studies reveal their closest relatives to be the yellow-green algae.

    Phaeophyta first appear in the fossil record in the Mesozoic, potentially as early as the Jurassic. Their incident as fossils is unusual due to their usually soft-bodied routine, and scientists continue to debate the identification of some finds. Other algae groups, such as the red algae and green algae have a number of calcareous members, which are more likely to leave evidence in the fossil record than the soft bodies of the brown algae. Miocene fossils of a soft-bodied brown macro algae, Julescrania, have actually been discovered well-preserved in Monterey Development diatomites, however couple of other certain fossils, especially of older specimens are understood in the fossil record. [4]

    Major Health Advantages of Brown Seaweed

    Minimal proof supports a lot of the claims of its medical advantages, however some studies recommend it might have health advantages.

    1. Weight reduction
    2. Diabetes
    3. Cognitive Enhancement
    4. Others: Skin Care and Arthritis

    1. Weight reduction

    Inhibition of lipases, a pancreatic enzyme that triggers the breakdown of fats, is among the main healing targets of anti-obesity drugs. In one 2016 research study, scientists assessing the anti-pancreatic lipase activity of preparations from three brown seaweeds, including Fucus vesiculosus, discovered that they showed substantial inhibition of lipase activity.

    2. Diabetes

    Edible seaweed is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, and vitamins, making it suitable for managing diabetes. Some researchers suggested that it could be established as an agent for type 2 diabetes treatment.

    Seaweed is not “weed”, this is sea veggie and a powerhouse of nutrition!

    3. Cognitive Improvement

    A 2018 research study offered the first proof for modulation of cognition with seaweed extract. Compared to their results on a pre-lunch cognitive test, the group receiving the supplement which is made by a combination of Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus carried out much better at the cognitive tasks than the placebo group. These findings are most likely discussed by the truth that components in brown seaweeds hinder the crucial enzymes involved in the breakdown and absorption of carbohydrates, permitting the consistent blood sugar level levels that enable the brain to work consistently well. Researchers require future research study to examine the impacts on cognition in parallel with blood glucose and insulin reactions.

    4. Skin Care and Arthritis

    Research study recommends that the Fucus vesiculosus extract might have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory activities too. [5]
    As above, there are a number of locations where brown seaweeds have actually been looked into and its discovered they have prospective to have an amazing influence on a variety of health ailments.

    The crucial value in eating brown seaweeds routinely (in carefully kept an eye on quantities due to their naturally taking place high iodine level) consists of a variety of benefits for optimal health:.

    • Nurturing the thyroid gland & & brain Balancing hormones
    • Improving metabolic process & & assisting in weight-loss
    • Getting rid of radioactivity, heavy metals & & ecological contaminants from the body
    • Naturally hindering cancer cell growth
    • Relaxing the skin and the digestive system
    • supporting bone and joint health

    There is continuous research to explore how brown seaweeds might be crucial to fixing a variety of degenerative diseases, prevent the development of cancer cells and even weight reduction. [6]

    What Are the Health Advantages of Brown Seaweed Supplements?


    Fucoidan, a compound discovered in brown seaweed, may assist prevent transition of lung cancer, according to a tissue culture research study published in the 2012 problem of the journal “PLoS One.” kelp usage might be partly responsible for lower rates of breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers amongst Asian ladies, according to a study released in the February 2005 problem of the “Journal of Nutrition.” In the laboratory animal research study, kelp lengthened the menstrual cycle, reduced estrogen levels and inhibited both estrogen and progesterone from binding to receptors on cells. Scientist concluded that kelp supplements might help regulate the endocrine system to help avoid some forms of cancer.

    Radiation Protection

    Brown seaweed might assist protect against the destructive results of radiation direct exposure, according to nutritionist Phyllis Balch, author of the book “Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Recover.” A research study published in the February 2004 concern of the journal “Health Physics” discovered that sodium alginate, an extract of brown algae, prevented absorption of radioactive strontium from infected milk. Scientist kept in mind that the brown algae extract was highly efficient and without toxic adverse effects.

    Factors to consider

    Supplementing with brown seaweed might increase your danger for thyroid illness, according to a research study published in the September 2003 problem of the journal “Endocrine Practice.” In the research study, healthy participants who consumed four kelp capsules per day for 4 weeks showed considerably increased levels of thyroid-stimulating hormonal agent. All levels went back to typical within 2 weeks of stopping the kelp supplements. Scientist concluded that further studies on the health impacts of long-term supplementation with kelp are needed. [7]

    How seaweed helps hair development?

    There is still much to be found about the degree of seaweeds benefits but the main advantages of using seaweed for your hair and scalp are:.


    The high iodine content in seaweed makes it anti-microbial which might help with dandruff and avoiding infections of the scalp.

    This suggests it will prevent the development of germs and other microorganisms on the scalp which can cause fungal infections or skin irritation.

    In fact, one study found that the application of a particular Pacific red seaweed to rats triggered a boost in hair growth rate and recovery. More research is needed, but it could indicate that seaweed can help with hair development and general wellness.

    Keep Hair Shiny And Glossy

    The fatty acids in seaweed coat the hair strands and assist to keep them secured and smooth while the other nutrients enrich the hair and follicles. All of this integrated lead to shiny, healthy hair.


    The fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 make it terrific for improving the hair roots and potentially motivating hair growth by preserving healthy hair follicles which is where the hair grows from the root in the skin.

    Scalp Care

    The enzymes and antioxidants in seaweed aid to remove dirt and oils from the scalp, avoiding product accumulation or comparable problems.

    By clarifying the scalp, using seaweed will help to prevent build-up and possible skin problems on the skin of your scalp.

    How To Use Seaweed For Hair

    Seaweed can be used for hair either by consuming it routinely or by using topical treatments in a routine.

    Many dishes are simple and easy to make in your home when you have actually access to dried seaweed or a seaweed powder.

    Here are two recipes for topical hair treatments including seaweed that are basic to develop at home:.

    Organic Seaweed Clay Shampoo

    You will need:.

    • 1 Tablespoon Dried Seaweed
    • 2 Tablespoon Clay Powder
    • 1 Cup Warm Water
    1. Add one tablespoon of dried seaweed into a bowl and include one cup of hot water. Ensure the water is not boiling as this will damage the seaweeds helpful homes.
    2. Leave the seaweed to soak in the water for half an hour. You will find the seaweed and water becomes a little ‘slimy’ and this is when you ought to include 2 tablespoons of clay.
    3. Mix well up until the paste is silky smooth and thin however not watery. Apply to hair and massage into the scalp, leaving it on for as much as 10 minutes.

    This natural option to shampoo must take in excess oil from the scalp due to the clay, while the seaweed includes hydration, vitamins, and other essential advantages to the mixture.

    Organic Seaweed Hair Mask

    You will require:.

    Half Cup Olive Oil

    • 1 Tablespoon Dried Seaweed/Seaweed Powder
    • Half Cup Conditioner

    Mix in a bowl equal parts of oil and conditioner to develop a thin however not watery paste. Include a tablespoon of seaweed powder to the mixture and integrate well.

    1. Apply to hair as a mask and leave to soak up for half an hour.
    2. Rinse out of the hair with water and your hair ought to be left feeling much healthier with the oil and seaweed covering the hair strands.

    This will help to promote smoother, softer hair by keeping the conditioner treatment consisted of within the hair and producing a protective barrier between your hair and the outdoors elements.

    The conditioner of your option will provide the hair the conditioning it requires while the seaweed and oil work to keep that hydration within the hair by covering the hairs. [8]

    Keep in mind

    Seaweed can contain the popular components collagen and other nutrients that are responsible for hair healing, hydration, mineralisation and likewise its density!

    Owing to the abundance of zinc and vitamins A and C in some seaweed, they may likewise stimulate hair growth and production. [9]

    Brown Algae in Fish Tank

    Brown algae is a typical issue in lots of fish tanks, especially those that have actually been recently set up. It’s not dangerous to fish however can turn your stunning fish tank into an ugly mess. This slimy layer coats not simply the tank walls however likewise the substrate, decors, and plants. If it coats your water plants, they will not be able to photosynthesize effectively and might weaken and pass away.

    There are lots of types of brown algae but what numerous fish owners refer to as brown algae isn’t algae. They are instead diatoms or single-celled algae that have walls made of silica. silica exists in natural waters as it’s found in numerous types of rocks such as quartz and sandstone.

    Actions for Removing Brown Algae From Aquarium

    Here are some actions suggestions for removing brown algae.

    1. Give it time. Brown algae is a natural occurrence when setting up a new aquarium as the tank’s system needs time to develop. It takes about 4 to six weeks to cycle a tank, that is, to establish its germs and nitrogen cycle. Likewise, plants in new tanks don’t grow as quickly and soak up as much nutrients as those in more recognized tanks.
    2. The brown algae must clean up on its own within a couple of weeks. Initially, there will be couple of nutrients in brown algae, however it ends up being more nutritious as it establishes in time and fish will start to eat it. If it does not clear up or if your tank isn’t a brand-new setup, you may have other issues on hand.
    3. Tidy it. The very best way to get rid of brown algae is with manual cleaning. Eliminate your jewelry and watch, wash your hands, and roll up your sleeves. Usage scrapers, sponges, and magnetic scrubbers to eliminate the algae from the tank walls. Gently wipe the leaves of water plants. Remove any designs from the tank before cleaning them.
    4. Bleach. If your tank decorations are coated with brown algae, soaking them in a bleach solution every few weeks will help. They’ll need to be washed thoroughly with water or taken in water for a couple of hours to neutralize the bleach before putting them back in the tank.
    5. Algae eaters. Otocinclus catfish, amano shrimp, and nerite snails are some of the sea animals that will consume brown algae and some other types of algae. However, do not present them to your new tank too early as they may begin consuming your plants. Add them one to 2 weeks after setting up your tank, when the brown algae gets more apparent.

    These algae eaters can have their own difficulties. Otocinclus catfish requires water to be well oxygenated and tidy. Amano shrimp will consume the young shoots of plants when they lack algae to consume, so it is necessary to adjust the number of shrimp to the amount of brown algae in your tank.

    How to Limitation Brown Algae Growth

    All aquarium will have some kind of algae, and it’s challenging to totally remove it entirely. Nevertheless, there are some ways in which you can limit the amount of algae growth.

    • Test your water. If your tank has actually been just recently set up, it will require more regular testing of the water until a healthy environment has been developed. Temperature level, pH, nitrates, ammonia, and more can impact the quality of your tank’s water. For a more mature tank, routine water screening will assist you keep a healthy system.
    • Change the water. Regular modifications of water can assist prevent algae from growing. This lowers the amount of nutrients in the water. Do not alter the water too often, however, as this can disturb the balance of great bacteria in the tank. Likewise, do not change more than 50% of the water at time to prevent worrying your fish.
    • Include more plants. Water plants take in the nitrates in water but just a couple of plants won’t do much in your tank. At least 25% of your system needs to be plants for it to make a distinction in the water quality.
    • Examine the filtration. Numerous owners ignore their tank’s filtration requirements. Select a filtration system that’s about one and a half to two times the size of your aquarium.
    • Don’t overfeed. Any food that’s not eaten by your fish will rot and launch more nutrients into the water which feeds the brown algae.
    • Triggered carbon. Adding more triggered carbon to the water filter can assist absorb extra nutrients.
    • Use reverse-osmosis water. Routine tap water has phosphates and nitrates and if these levels are high, it can increase algae development. Using reverse-osmosis or pure water can help. [10]

    Negative effects of brown algae

    Brown algae are typically safe, but, at high dosages of several grams daily, they may trigger short-lived diarrhea.

    According to a 2003 study that was provided in the journal “Endocrine Practice,” supplementing with Phaeophyta might substantially increase the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormonal agent.

    Nevertheless, the biggest negative effects of consuming excessive Phaeophyta is ingesting too much iodine.

    Taking in too much iodine has been connected with the development of subclinical hypothyroidism (also known as mild thyroid failure), that may increase the threat of heart problems.

    Furthermore, in some people, a high consumption of iodine can cause an acneiform eruption (skin problems such as acne rosacea, acne vulgaris, perioral dermatitis, and folliculitis).

    Groups at highest danger for iodine toxicity are elders, people with thyroid disease, and developing babies. [11]


    The suitable dose of brown algae depends upon a number of aspects such as the user’s age, health, and a number of other conditions. At this time there is not enough clinical details to figure out a proper series of dosages for brown algae. Bear in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be essential. Make certain to follow relevant directions on item labels and consult your pharmacist or doctor or other healthcare specialist before utilizing.

    Unique precautions and warnings

    • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough trustworthy details readily available about the security of brown algae during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid utilizing brown algae during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. [12]


    Phaeophyta progressed about 150-200 million years earlier. They are either microscopic or macroscopic. Life process of phaeophyta differs from one member to another. In higher members of phaeophyta, life process consists of alternation of haploid phase and diploid stage. They can adapt to a large marine environment; tidal, intertidal and deep zones. Some members of phaeophyta have adaptive bladders, implied for floating photosynthetic parts on or near the water surface for collecting light. Biggest phaeophyta forms, for instance, a giant kelp can reach to about 70 meters in length. They frequently trigger annoyance to aquarium environment by establishing brown spots on any exposed surface areas such as glass, rocks or gravel.

    Commercially made use of phaeophyta include those belong to the orders, Laminarales and Fucales. Formerly, marine seaweeds of phaeophyta were used for the extraction of iodine and potash. In recent times, phaeophyta are thoroughly made use of for the extraction of alginic acid, which is utilized for deriving alginate, a major colloidal gel used as a stabilizer, emulsifier or binder in many industrial applications. Apart from alginic acid, agar, carrageenans are also originated from phaeophyta. Commercially, alginate is utilized in fabric printing, baking, tooth pastes, soaps, ice creams, meat preservation, and so on. Another use of phaeophyta remains in the production of agricultural or horticultural sprays. In addition, phaeophyta is utilized as a food source. The brown algae, laminaria is cultivated on manufactured algal ponds (using ropes) for the production of food supplements and alginates. Collected phaeophyta are then processed to prepare seaweed meals. These extremely proteinaceous seaweed meals are exported to various countries, particularly to resolve the issue of malnutrition. Brown algae have shown to be one of the most versatile types, and are likewise among the major contributing consider the upkeep of a balanced ecosystem. [13]



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