• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 2014 Changes to the Superintendent's Compendium

    Point Reyes National Seashore will be including an unmanned aircraft closure to the Superintendent's Compendium. The NPS invites the public to submit written suggestions, comments, and concerns about this change. Comment deadline is August 19. More »

Marine Plants / Algae

Nature and Science

Marine algae in the intertidal zone

The name "algae" is given to a group of organisms of mixed affinity, but the word itself has no taxonomic significance. Not all algae are even found in the plant kingdom. Most algae do not have vascular tissue, a high level of organ differentiation, or protective layers of cells surrounding their reproductive structures. Most algae do make their own food through photosynthesis, although a few algae—such as Euglena—must locate and engulf their food. The size of algae range from tiny microscopic life to giant ocean kelps, and they live in the driest deserts, the coldest tundras, and all types of waters.

At Point Reyes National Seashore most algae are found on rock surfaces, covering the surface of ponds, and laced around the intertidal zone (marine algae).

View Algae and Marine Plants of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (23 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required)

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Did You Know?

Deathcap Mushrooms © John Lennie

Deathcap mushrooms are found throughout the Point Reyes region and are the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. But they're fairly new arrivals here. They invaded the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1930s, likely brought over on cork trees from Europe for the wine industry. More...