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Algae are generally classified based on the following characteristics:

  1. Chemistry and physical features of the cell wall
  2. Form of reserve food materials or assimilatory products of photosynthesis
  3. Morphological characteristic of cells and thalli
  4. Chlorophyll pigments  and other accessory pigments present
  5. Habitat
  6. Reproductive structures and methods of reproduction
  7. Life history pattern
  8. Number and morphology of flagella and their point of insertion in motile cells
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