A division of algae which are typically green in colour. They contain chlorophylls a and b and the storage product (starch) is formed in chloroplasts rather than in the cytoplasm. The organisms take many forms, ranging from unicellular to relatively complex multicellular plants. They are found mainly in freshwater habitats, and their distribution is cosmopolitan. They are known from the Precambrian to the present, and the earliest eukaryotes were probably of this class. The classification of the green algae is controversial. The division Chlorophyta is sometimes regarded as containing only 2 classes (Chlorophyceae and Charophyceae), but more recently it has been divided into 5 classes.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Plant Sciences and Forestry.