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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Laurencia elata (C. Agardh) Hooker & Harvey 1847: 401.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Laurencieae

Selected citations: Adams 1994: 328, pl. 113, upper left. J. Agardh 1852: 766; 1876: 659; 1878: 26. De Toni 1903: 803. Ewart 1907: 91. Fuhrer et al. 1981: pl. 85. Guiler 1952: 105. Harvey 1849a: 81, pl. 33; 1855a: 545; 1855b: 233; 1959b: 307; 1863, synop.: xxvi. Huisman 2000: 171. Huisman & Walker 1996: 437. King et al. 1971: 124. Kützing 1849: 856; 1865: 24, pl. 67d-g. Laing 1927: 164. Levring 1946: 226. Lucas 1909: 39; 1929a: 21; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 249, fig. 110. Mazza 1909: No. 270. Millar & Kraft 1993: 54. Nam & Choi 2001: 289, figs 21–48. Patton 1937: 363. Reinbold 1899: 47. Saenger 1974: 81. Saito & Womersley 1974: 837, figs 3E, 18, 19. Shepherd & Womersley 1970: 135; 1971: 166; 1976: 191; 1981: 368. Silva et al. 1996: 508. Sonder 1880: 30. Tate 1882a: 22. Tisdall 1898: 512. Wilson 1892: 169. Womersley 1950: 187; 1966: 155. Yamada 1931: 241, pl. 26.


Chondria pinnatifida var. elata C. Agardh 1822: 340; 1824: 202.

Laurencia pinnatifida sensu Sonder 1880: 30.

Laurencia pinnatifida var. data (C. Agardh) Sonder 1846: 177.

Laurencia data var. (f.) luxurians Harvey 1863, synop.: xxvi. Yamada 1931: 242, pl. 27.

Laurencia luxurians (Harvey) J. Agardh 1876: 659. De Toni 1903: 804. Lucas 1909: 39. Sonder 1880: 30. Tate 1882a: 22. Yamada 1931: 242.

Thallus (Fig. 213A) medium to dark red, firm, cartilaginous, 10–40 cm high, complanately branched, axes with 2–4 orders of alternate, usually erect, laterals at irregular distances apart, older axes basally denuded; all branches compressed except near holdfast, axes 2–4 mm broad and 0.7–1.5 mm thick, lesser branches (1–) 1.5–2.5 mm broad, about 0.5 mm thick near the truncate apices. Holdfast discoid when young, becoming stoloniferous; epilithic. Structure. Epidermal cells (Fig. 216E) 15–30 µm across, isodiametric near apices and only slightly elongate below, with secondary pit-connections and corps en cerise; cortical cells more extensive laterally, inner cells with thickened walls and abundant, massive, lenticular thickenings (Fig. 216E). Cells with discoid rhodoplasts, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and much-branched gonimoblast bearing clavate terminal carposporangia 40–70 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 215B, E, F) lateral and usually single on lesser branchlets, sessile, broad-based, ovoid, 1–2 mm in diameter; pericarp with a broad ostiole without or with a slightly thicker neck, 6–8 cells thick. Spermatangial branches (Fig. 215C) single, receptacles ovoid with broad apices 1–1.5 mm across.

Tetrasporangia in simple or branched, fastigiate, ramuli (Fig. 215D) (300–) 500–700 µm in diameter and 1–6 mm long; tetrasporangia cut off abaxially, in parallel arrangement, 100–140 µm in diameter.

Type from King I., Bass Strait; holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 37235. Isotype in PC.

Selected specimens: Port Denison, W. Aust., drift (Kraft, 14.xii.1971; AD, A41945). King Head, Rottnest I., W. Aust., 4–6 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 6.ix.1979; AD, A50801). Cannan Reefs, S. Aust., 20–25 m deep (Branden, 25.i.1991; AD, A61089). Pearson I., S. Aust., 20–25 m deep (Shepherd, 7.i.1969; AD, A33638). Elliston, S. Aust., 9 m deep outside bar (Shepherd, 28.x.1972; AD, A42815). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., 5–8 m deep (Shepherd, 14.iv.1963; AD, A26605). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 10.viii.1957; AD, A21091) and upper sublittoral pool (Saito, 30.i.1972; AD, A41942). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Saito, 6.iv.1972; AD, A41980). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on reef (Womersley, 25.i.1944; AD, A2691). Nora Creina, S. Aust., 3–4 m deep (Kraft, 13.x.1972; AD, A42237). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., outer reef pools (Womersley, 25.i.1967; AD, A31673). Lady Julia Percy I., Vic., 3–6 m deep (Shepherd, 4.i.1968; AD, A32430). San Remo, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2002, 27.xi.1974; AD, A62739; MEL, 2010977). Remine, Tas., reef pools (Wollaston & Mitchell, 25.ii.1964; AD, A27509). Bicheno, Tas., upper sublittoral (Gordon, 16.0966; AD, A30120). Satellite I., SE Tas., 0–2 m deep (Shepherd, 18.ii.1972; AD, A41517).

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

Distribution: Port Denison, W. Aust., around southern Australia to Split Solitary I., N.S.W. (Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 54) and around Tasmania.

New Zealand. Other Indian Ocean localities (see Silva et al. 1996, p. 508) need verification.

Taxonomic notes: Laurencia elata is a distinctive, robust and common species, occurring from just below low tide level to 25 m deep.


ADAMS, N.M. (1994). Seaweeds of New Zealand. (Cant. Univ. Press: Christchurch.)

AGARDH, C.A. (1822). Species Algarum. Vol. 1, Pt 2, pp. 169–398. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1852). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 337–720. (Gleerup: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 - Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1878). De algis Novae Zelandiae marinis. In Supplementum Florae Hookerianae scripsit. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. 14, 1–32.

DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3. pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

EWART, A.J. (1907). Notes on a collection of marine algae from King Island. Vic. Nat. 23, 90–92.

FUHRER, B., CHRISTIANSON, I.G., CLAYTON, M.N. & ALLENDER, B.M. (1981). Seaweeds of Australia. (Reed: Sydney.)

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Checklist with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1849a). Nereis Australis, pp. 65–124, Plates 26–50. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855b). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part II, pp. 211–266, Plates 107–121. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

HUISMAN, J.M. (2000). Marine Plants of Australia. (Univ. W. Aust. Press, Nedlands, W. Aust. & ABRS, Canberra, A.C.T.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1865). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 15. (Nordhausen.)

KING, R.J., BLACK, J.H. & DUCKER, S. (1971). Port Phillip Bay Survey 2.8. Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with systematic lists of plants and animals. Mem. Natn. Mus., Vict. 32, 93–128.

LAING, R.M. (1927). A reference list of New Zealand marine algae. Trans. Proc. N.Z. Inst. 57, 126–185.

LEVRING, T. (1946). A list of marine algae from Australia and Tasmania. Acta Horti gothoburg 16, 215–227.

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

MAZZA, A. (1909). Saggio di Algologia Oceanica. Nuova Notarisia 20, Nos. 275–308.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

NAM, K.W. & CHOI, H.G. (2001). Morphology of Laurencia clavata and L. data (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) in relation to generic circumscription in the Laurencia complex. Eur. J. Phycol. 36, 285–294.

PATTON, R.T. (1937). Lady Julia Percy Island. 1935 Expedition. List of Algae. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 49, 363.

REINBOLD, T. (1899). Meeresalgen von Investigator Street (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Miss Nellie Davey (Waltham, Honiton). Hedwigia 38, 39–51.

SAENGER, P. (1974). Natural History of the Hogan Group 2. Some marine algae from Hogan Island, Bass Strait, with an account of the marine zonation. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 107, 73–81.

SAITO, Y. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1974). The southern Australian species of Laurencia (Ceramiales: Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 22, 815–874.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1970). The sublittoral ecology of West Island, South Australia: 1. Environmental features and algal ecology. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 94, 105–137, Plate 1.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971). Pearson Island Expedition 1969.-7. The subtidal ecology of benthic algae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95(3), 155–167.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1976). The subtidal algal and seagrass ecology of St Francis Island, South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 100, 177–191.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1981). The algal and seagrass ecology of Waterloo Bay, South Australia. Aquat. Bot. 11, 305–371.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (Univ. California Press: Berkeley.)

SONDER, O.W. (1880). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

TATE, R. (1882a). A list of the charas, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungs, and algals of extratropical South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 4, 5–24.

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Viet. 4, 157–190.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1966). Port Phillip survey, 1957–1963: Algae. Mem. natl. Mus., Vict. No. 27, 133–156.

YAMADA, Y. (1931). Notes on Laurencia, with special reference to the Japanese species. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 16, 185–311.

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

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIGS 213, 214E.

Figure 213 image

Figure 213   enlarge

Fig. 213. Laurencia elata (A, D, AD, A42237; B, E, F, AD, A21091; C, AD, A41942). A. Habit. B. Cystocarpic branch. C. Spermatangial branch. D. Tetrasporangial branch. E. Cystocarps. F. Section of a cystocarp. (A–D as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

Figure 214 image

Figure 214   enlarge

Fig. 214. A. Laurencia tasmanica (AD, A41518). Transverse section. B. Laurencia filiformis f. filiformis (AD, A41955). Transverse section, with lenticular thickenings. C. Laurencia filiformis f. dendritica (AD, A42549). Transverse section. D. Laurencia botryoides (AD, A42775). Transverse section. E. Laurencia elata (AD, A42237). Transverse section, with lenticular thickenings. F. Laurencia brongniartii (AD, A44591). Longitudinal section. (All as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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