Algae Sense a Wide Spectrum (image) University of California - Davis Caption Algae like these freshwater Cyanophora are able to sense a wider spectrum of light than land plants. Plants use phytochrome pigments to sense light in the red. Because water absorbs red light, some algae have evolved phytochromes with a much wider spectrum. Credit J. Clark Lagarias, UC Davis Usage Restrictions May be used with acknowledgement of the source. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.