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FAMILY CHAMPIACEAE Kützing 1843: 438,439

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales

Thallus erect, or pulvinate and parasitic, much branched radially or distichously, branches terete to compressed, segmented by monostromatic diaphragms, segments hollow but with longitudinal filaments bearing secretory cells bordering the medulla. Structure multiaxial with a distinct group of apical cells producing the longitudinal filaments, diaphragms, and cortex 2–4 cells thick.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious or monoecious; procarpic. Carpogonial branches 3- or 4-celled, with one or two 2-celled auxiliary cell branches, borne on inner cortical cells. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell producing a tuft of gonimoblast filaments with only terminal carposporangia, or producing directly large carposporangia; nutritive tissue absent, inner cells of pericarp stellate, persistent or not. Cystocarps protruding, basally constricted, pericarp ostiolate or not. Spermatangia in sori, cut off from initials on outer cortical cells.

Tetrasporangia scattered in the cortex, transformed from cortical cells, tetrahedrally divided; polysporangia in some species of Gastroclonium.

Life history triphasic with isomorphic gametophytes and tetrasporophytes.

Taxonomic notes: A family of four genera, from which the Lomentariaceae is separated by most recent authors, characterised by the segmented, hollow branches with internal longitudinal filaments bearing secretory cells, monostromatic diaphragms, carposporophytes with terminal carposporangia, and scattered tetrasporangia. The stellate inner pericarp cells are often referred to as a tela arachnoidea, but basal nutritive tissue is absent or slight.


KÜTZING, F.T. (1843). Phycologia generalis. (Leipzig.)

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.


1. Thallus minute (1–2 mm high), lobed, parasitic on Champia


1. Thallus 2–50 cm high, much branched, epilithic or epiphytic


2. Carposporophyte with branched, multicellular gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia; cystocarps ostiolate


2. Carposporophyte with carposporangia formed directly from the fusion cell; cystocarps non-ostiolate


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