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The main characteristics of phaeophyceae are:

  1. The algae of this family are commonly known as brown algae.
  2. The members of phaeophyceae are mostly marine.
  3. Most of them are large sized and multicellular; simple forms are absent.
  4. In addition to the golden brown carotene pigment it also possesses chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c.
  5. The reserve food material is present as Laminarin and Mannitol.
  6. It possesses double layered cell wall; the inner layer of cellulose and outer layer of phycocolloids and fucoxanthin.
  7. Many of the cells possess a characteristic fucosan vesicle.
  8. The plant body is attached to the substratum by a hold fast, has a stalk, a stipe and leaf like photosynthetic part.
  9. Reproduction occurs both by asexual and sexual methods.
  10. Asexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation, zoospores and aplanospores.
  11. Sexual reproduction takes place by isogamy, anisogamy or oogamy.
  12. The large brown algae are called trees of seas or Kelps.