Click here to access our Key to Common Freshwater Algae
A Web-based Tool to Enhance Understanding of Microscopic Biodiversity
The Freshwater Ecology Laboratory at Connecticut College has developed an interactive, web-based, computerized identification key for freshwater algal genera using Lucid software. Our key is designed to be used with algal cultures from the Carolina Biological Supply Company. Users may answer questions in any order to quickly and efficiently narrow down a list of taxa to only those that match the characteristics they have chosen. All characters and terms are clearly explained for ease of use by those unfamiliar with the algae. This non-hierarchical, user-friendly key will be linked to web pages containing a wealth of resources, including images, movies, and information about the ecology, morphology, and reproduction of each organism. The movies incorporate titles, diagrams, and structural terminology to further familarize students with the morphology and taxonomy of the algae.
Project Highlights
Our interactive, multimedia Key to Common Freshwater Algae includes:
  • Non-hierarchical, user-friendly questions
  • Links to genera pages with information, high quality images, and movies
  • Web access with free software download
Project Goals
  • To enhance understanding of algal morphology, ecology, and biodiversity
  • To allow students to view high-resolution, highly-magnified algal cells
  • To provide a useful and efficient alternative to traditional dichotomous keys