BioInfo (UK)

Hiscock, S., 1986

A Field Key to the British Red Seaweeds

This handy dichotomous key to red seaweeds is designed to be used in the field for most groups. It is accessible by beginners as it avoids technical jargon.

Available online.

Publisher Field Studies Council (FSC)
Volume 13
Pages 101
ISBN 1 85153 813 6
Web site
Coverage Nearly all British macroscopic (larger than 1cm) red seaweeds including littoral, sublittoral and rare species are included. Most are keyed to species, unless microscopy is required when they are only keyed to group.
Illustrations Thumbnail line drawings accompany the key, 25 pages of species drawings and 4 colou plates at the back.
Identify With x8 or x10 hand lens (also useful to examine under a Stereo Microscope).
Specimen Prep. Fresh specimens, in the field. Stereo-microscopy is needed for filamentous species and these must be collected.
Difficulty The key concentrates on the easier species, leaving the more difficult as groups. The principal remaining problems are very young plants, seasonal differences and damage and subsequent regrowth (see p3 & 7). Red seaweeds are harder to identify than their brown cousins covered in the sister publication.

Malcolm Storey

Taxonomic Scope


a more detailed work Maggs, C. & Hommersand, M., 1993
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