Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Giffordia ovata (Kjellmann) Kylin 1947: 9, fig. 3A,B.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Ectocarpales

Selected citations: Pedersen 1979a: 57, figs 1–5. Lund 1959: 43, fig. 4. Cardinal 1964: 49, fig. 26.


Ectocarpus ovatus Kjellmann. Rosenvinge & Lund 1941: 46, figs 20–22.

G. intermedia (Rosenvinge) Lund 1959: 48, fig. 5. Pedersen 1979a: 64. Clayton 1974: 773, figs 17, 18. King & Ducker 1971: 115.

G. fuscata sensu Kornmann 1954: 41, fig. 1. Clayton 1974: 767, figs 13, 14. King & Ducker 1971: 115. Kornmann & Sahling 1977: 112, fig. 57. Kuckuck 1961: 140, figs 12–16.

Thallus medium to dark brown, forming loose tufts (0.5–) 2–4 (–6) cm long with indistinct bases, sparsely to moderately irregularly to oppositely branched; epilithic or epiphytic. Filaments (Fig. 14A,B) tapering, 19–28 (–34) µm in diameter in main filaments with cells L/B

(0.5–) 1–1.5 (–2), branchlets 15–25 µm in diameter with cells L/B 0.5–1.2, tapering into false hairs. Growth from scattered meristematic regions, often towards the upper end of erect filaments. Cells (Fig. 14C) with discoid phaeoplasts, each with a pyrenoid.

Reproduction: Plurilocular sporangia (Fig. 14A,B) usually opposite or in threes around one cell, sessile or occasionally on a unicellular pedicel, conical, (60–) 80–110 µm long and (20–) 40–50 µm in diameter, L/B 1.5–2. Unilocular sporangia rare, on the same plants as plurilocular sporangia, sessile, ovoid, 40–45 µm long and 25–30 µm in diameter.

Type from Swedish west coast; in UPS?

Selected specimens: Mornington, Vic. (Clayton, 27.ii.1968, as G. fuscata; MELU, 21069; ADU, A39495; and 17.viii.1970, as G. intermedia; MELU, 21042; ADU, A39498). Waratah Bay, Vic. (Clayton, 2.vi.1971, as G. intermedia; MELU, 21028; ADU, A54739).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: Cold temperate to subarctic waters of the Northern Hemisphere.

In southern Australia, from Mornington, Flinders and Waratah Bay, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: G. ovata is known only from the records of Clayton (1974) under G. fuscata and G. intermedia. G. fuscata (Zanardini) Kuckuck in the sense of Kornmann (1954, p. 41, fig. 1) is considered by Lund (1959, p. 44), Cardinal (1964, p. 50), Norris & Wynne (1968, p. 135) and Pedersen (1979a, p. 64) to be Giffordia ovata, and to be distinct from Zanardini's original plant of E. fuscata from the Adriatic Sea. Both G. fuscata and G. intermedia as described by Clayton (1974) may belong to G. ovata as above, characterised by having the plurilocular sporangia frequently opposite. However, the plurilocular sporangia in Clayton's specimens of G. intermedia are more pointed than in figures of G. ovata. Clayton's Fig. 13B of G. fuscata is very similar to her Fig. 15 of G. granulosa.


CARDINAL, A. (1964). Étude sur les Ectocarpacees de la Manche. Nova Hedwigia 15, 1–86, Figs. 1–41.

CLAYTON, M.N. (1974). Studies on the development, life history and taxonomy of the Ectocarpales (Phaeophyta) in southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 22, 743–813.

KING, R.J. & DUCKER, S. (1971). In King, R.J., Black, J.H. & Ducker, S. Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay, with systematic lists of plants and animals. 3. Flora of the intertidal region, pp. 112–128. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32, 93–128.

KORNMANN, P. & SAHLING, P.-H. (1977). Meeresalgen von Helgoland. Benthische Braun und Rotalgen. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters. 29, 1–292.

KORNMANN, P. (1954). Giffordia fuscata (Zan.) Kuck. nov. comb., eine Ectocarpacee mit heteromorphen, homophasischen Generationen. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters. 5, 41–52.

KUCKUCK, P. (1961). Herausgegeben von P. Kornmann. Ectocarpaceen-Studien VII. Giffordia. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters. 8, 119–152.

KYLIN, H. (1947). Die Phaeophyceen der Schwedischen Westkiiste. Acta Univ. lund. N.F. Avd. 2, 43(4), 1–99, Plates 1–18.

LUND, S. (1959). The marine algae of East Greenland. I. Taxonomical part. Medd. Grønland 159(1), 1–247.

NORRIS, R.E. & WYNNE, M.J. (1968). Notes on marine algae of Washington and southern British Columbia. III. Syesis 1, 133–146.

PEDERSEN, P.M. (1979a). Culture studies on marine algae from West Greenland IV. Giffordia ovata (Fucophyceae, Ectocarpales). Bot. Tidsskr. 74, 57–65.

ROSENVINGE, L.K. & LUND, S. (1941). The marine algae of Denmark. Vol. II. Phaeophyceae. I. Ectocarpaceae and Acinetosporaceae. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr. 1(4), 1–79.

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
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustration in Womersley Part II, 1997: FIG. 14 A–C.

Figure 14 image

Figure 14   enlarge

Fig. 14. A–C. Giffordia ovata (after Clayton 1974, fig. 17). A,B. Filaments with meristematic regions and plurilocular sporangia. C. Cell with phaeoplasts and pyrenoids. D. Streblonema fasciculatum (ADU, A55723). Filament with plurilocular sporangia, a hair, and basal (rhizoidal) filaments penetrating the host. E,F. Gonanema ramosum (ADU, A55953). E. Thallus (diagrammatic) on Adenocystis, showing erect assimilatory filaments with zone of plurilocular sporangia, long hairs, and basal filaments penetrating the host. F. Assimilatory filaments, hairs and plurilocular sporangia.

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