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Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Durvillaeales


A single family with the characters of the order, and containing the single genus Durvillaea. Genus DURVILLAEA Bory I826a: 192

Thallus 2–10 m long, with a massive discoid holdfast, stout stipe 10–100 cm long, and complanate leathery blades 1–9 m long and 0.5–2 cm thick, divided from near the base or above into long, ligulate or broad, branches, arising by splitting, by lateral outgrowths or proliferously, in some cases from the stipe. Growth diffuse and from the meristoderm. Structure of mature parts largely haplostichous (sporeling polystichous), with a filamentous medulla of entangled hyphae, with or without air chambers, and a cortex of isodiametric to elongate cells in radiating filaments, with an outer meristoderm; outer cells with numerous discoid phaeoplasts, without pyrenoids. Phaeophycean hairs absent.

Reproduction: Plants dioecious, with female or male conceptacles densely scattered over the thallus, the female with oogonia on the wall or on branched paraphyses, containing four eggs, and the male with antheridia on branched paraphyses.

Life history diplontic.

Lectotype species: D. utilis Bory nom illeg.             D. antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot.]

Taxonomic notes: A genus of four species (Hay 1979b), in the southern hemisphere cold temperate and subantarctic regions (Hay 1979a), with one endemic to south-eastern Australia. Fragments of D. antarctica (with honeycombed medulla) are occasionally washed up on southern Australian coasts, having probably come in the west-wind drift from subantarctic islands such as Heard Island.


HAY, C. (1979a). A phytogeographical account of the southern bull kelp seaweeds Durvillaea spp. Bory 1826 (Durvilleales Petrov 1965). Proc. Int. Symp. Mar. Biog. and Evol. in Southern Hem. 2, 443–453.

HAY, C. (1979b). Nomenclature and taxonomy within the genus Durvillaea Bory (Phaeophyceae: Durvilleales Petrov). Phycologia 18, 191–202.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part II complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (14 December, 1987)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part II
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