Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus SPLACHNIDIUM Greville 1830, synop.: xxxvi

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Chordariales – Family Splachnidiaceae

Thallus coarse, slightly to much branched, branches terete or clavate, 4–8 mm thick and 4–12 (–20) cm long, strongly mucoid, epilithic or on barnacles. Growth multiaxial and haplostichous, with a rarely-dividing clavate "apical cell" at branch ends, surrounded by actively dividing apical cells of adjacent filaments in slight apical depressions. Structure of a small-celled pseudoparenchymatous cortex with short, 6–12 celled, clavate, surface hairs, and a medulla of longitudinal, branched filaments which become separated in the mucoid matrix. Cortex bearing scattered conceptacles, containing slender phaeophycean hairs and sporangia. Cells with a single stellate chloroplast, with a pyrenoid.

Reproduction: Unilocular sporangia borne in conceptacles, producing meiospores. Gametophytes with plurilocular, multiseriate gametangia (?) formed by irregular divisions of cells at base of the branches of the filaments; zygotes developing into plethysmothalli or macroscopic sporophytes (Price & Ducker 1966).

Life history with sporophytic macrothallus and filamentous, branched, microthallus (probably gametophytic).

Type species: S. rugosum (L.) Greville.
A genus with a single species.

References:

GREVILLE, R.K. (1830). Algae Britannicae. (Edinburgh.)

PRICE, I.R. & DUCKER, S.C. (1966). The life history of the brown alga Splachnidium rugosum. Phycologia 5, 261–273.

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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