alga/algae

English translation: algae

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:alga/algae
English translation:algae
Entered by: James Girard

10:59 Jan 17, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Science - Environment & Ecology
English term or phrase: alga/algae
When proofreading papers written in English by Danes, I often come across terms such as algae colony, algae-colonized, algae mats etc. (in reference to microalgae - not aquatic plants). As algae is the plural of the word alga, I would say that the correct terms are alga colony, alga-colonized etc., but according to Google the plural forms are frequently used by English-speakers as well. Is there a correct form - or is it simply optional? Thanks in advance.
Anna Haxen
Denmark
Local time: 15:58
algae
Explanation:
This is purely an opinion: Nobody in my experience has ever referred to algae in the singular. I completely understand your point about using the singular in a compound term, but, I believe that the popularly accepted form in any instance is the plural.
Selected response from:

James Girard
Germany
Local time: 15:58
Grading comment
Thank you very, very much for helping me get this straight - and for all the additional comments.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +13algae
James Girard
5Not for kudoz...
David Moore
4algae
Philip Lightowlers
4Not for Kudoz either - just for information
Sheila Hardie
4algal
moken
3microalgae
Wagenr Cuty


  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +13
algae


Explanation:
This is purely an opinion: Nobody in my experience has ever referred to algae in the singular. I completely understand your point about using the singular in a compound term, but, I believe that the popularly accepted form in any instance is the plural.

James Girard
Germany
Local time: 15:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you very, very much for helping me get this straight - and for all the additional comments.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ken Cox: Most English speakers probably don't even realise that 'algae' is plural, and I have likewise never encounterd 'alga' in English. It's the same situation as 'media', which the vast majority of the English-speaking world uses as a singular noun.
18 mins

agree  Kurt Porter: The algae (singular is alga) comprise several different groups of living things that produce energy through photosynthesis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alga.....and agree with both on use of plural.
24 mins

agree  Charlie Bavington (X): Certainly agree as far as common "layman" usage is concerned (another example, in BE at least if not AE, is "data"). I can't say if this is the case for scientific usage, though.
28 mins

agree  Rebecca Hendry
36 mins

agree  Ian Burley (X)
38 mins

agree  madak
44 mins

agree  Sven Petersson
1 hr

agree  David Moore: and see added posting
2 hrs

agree  NancyLynn
2 hrs

agree  humbird: Agree with Kenneth and Charlie. This is an example of collective noun such as media, data, and sometimes even people. Collective nouns are treated as singular.
3 hrs

agree  Syeda Tanbira Zaman
8 hrs

agree  Alfa Trans (X)
1 day 5 hrs

agree  Will Matter
1 day 10 hrs
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
algal


Explanation:
Hi Anna,

I think in the first and third cases, the correct word would be "algal", the adjective of alga. As for the second, I would think "alga-colonized", in the same way you would say "termite-infested" and not "termites-infested".

Good luck!

Álvaro :O) :O)

moken
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: Spanish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Not for kudoz...


Explanation:
I've never heard the term "alga" used either. In support of the posting by JAGirard, the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary has no separate entry for "alga", and has the following to say:
"Algae /'algi: plural noun (singular alga) a large and very diverse group of mainly aquatic organisms, ranging from single-celled members of the plant PLANKTON to large multicellular seaweeds. Origin 16th C., as alga Latin, meaning 'seaweed'.

This is an authoritative dictionary, so please feel free to believe what it says....

David Moore
Local time: 15:58
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Not for Kudoz either - just for information


Explanation:
I just wanted to add that there certainly are occasions when I have had to use the word 'alga' in the singular - very recently in fact, when talking about lichens. However, in the cases you mention, Anna, such as 'algae mats' etc, I would agree that the plural term 'algae' should be used.

Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for July 2002, Cladonia cristatella ...
... This particular lichen is formed when the fungus and the alga come together.
In a mutualistic symbiosis, both organisms should benefit. ...
botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/jul2002.html - 8k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants

Cladonia rangifera, one of the reindeer lichen, Tom Volk's Fungus ...
... As you may know, a lichen is a "dual organism," a mutualistic association between
a fungus (the mycobiont) and an alga or cyanobacterium (the photobiont). ...
botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/dec2000.html - 12k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants
[ Més resultats a botit.botany.wisc.edu ]

MSN Encarta - Lichen
... The relationship between the fungus and the alga in a lichen is an example of mutualism,
in which both partners benefit from the partnership (see Symbiosis). ...
encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563114/Lichen.html - 55k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants


The Hermit and the Recluse Retreat
... together. Lichen is made of an alga and a fungus living together. Both ... The fungus
in turn, provides water and minerals for the alga. The fungus ...
groups.msn.com/ TheHermitandtheRecluseRetreat/yourwebpage1.msnw - 30k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants

Product Licensing Guidance Document
... (b) When the ingredient is a plant or a plant material, an alga, a fungus, a bacterium,
a non-human animal material or a probiotic, the Latin name of its genus ...
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpfb-dgpsa/ nhpd-dpsn/product_licensing_2_e.html - 40k - Còpia en memòria - Pàgines semblants

[PDF] LICHENS
Format del fitxer: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Versió HTML
... The fungus provides protection from environmental stress, such as excess light.”
And, unlike the alga, the fungus reproduces sexually. ...
www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan01/lichen0101.pdf - Pàgines semblants

Sheila Hardie
Spain
Local time: 15:58
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1617 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
alga
algae


Explanation:
As a native English-speaking botanist and writer, I would disagree with your translators. 'Alga' is in regular use in the scientific community and there is a clear divergence between scientific and colloquial usage on this point. Colloquial use also generally doesn't include the adjective 'algal', hence 'algae blooms' in the popular UK press. It depends who you are writing for!

Example sentence(s):
  • We investigated the growth and photosynthesis of the red alga Gracilaria lemaneiformis (Bory) Grev. at different levels of nitrate (natural or enriched nitrate levels of 41 or 300 and 600 μM) under different solar radiation treatments with or without UVR
  • Algal percent cover, specifically populations of the green alga Microdictyon setchellianum M. Howe, varied dramatically between sampling years, possibly in response to seasonal differences.

    Reference: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122282636/abstrac...
    Reference: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122291071/abstrac...
Philip Lightowlers
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:58
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1909 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
microalgae


Explanation:
I allways had the same question, but to a differnt occasion.
For exemple, if I wanna say: The microalgae (microalga) Nannochloropsis oculata is ...
Someone knows what is the right form???

Wagenr Cuty
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