BIOTIC Species Information for Saccharina latissima
|Researched by||Nicola White and Charlotte Marshall||Data supplied by||MarLIN|
|Refereed by||Dr Joanna Jones|
|Mobility/Movement||See additional information
See additional information
|Typical food types||No text entered||Habit||See additional information|
|Bioturbator||Not relevant||Flexibility||High (>45 degrees)|
|Height||Growth Rate||1.1 cm/day|
|Adult dispersal potential||Not relevant||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Growth
Laminaria saccharina grows fastest from late winter to spring at a rate of about 1.1 cm/day although growth rates of up to 4.87 cm/day have been recorded. Growth then declines from June onwards and may cease in late summer. The reduction in summer growth rate is thought to be due to nitrate limitation (Sjøtun, 1993). The length:width ratio of newly grown lamina tissue varies throughout the year and is highest during the periods of fast growth, that is, December to June (Sjøtun, 1993). By shifting effort towards growth in width in late summer, it is possible that the plant can maximize the lamina area for autumn and winter and therefore increase the amount of stored carbon available for plants at this time (Sjøtun, 1993).
The seasonal growth pattern results in annual growth rings or lines in the stipe, which can be used to age the plant. The species may occur as an annual opportunist.Morphology
The shape of the frond can vary with environmental conditions. Gerard (1987) found that plants subjected to constant longitudinal tension (as would be expected in higher water flow rates) may become morphologically enhanced to a more streamlined shape. In laboratory simulations, he found that plants subjected to longitudinal stress had significantly narrower blades and a significantly higher rate of cell elongation at the end of the six week experiment, compared to those plants that had not experienced the same stress. Laminaria saccharina plants from wave exposed sites have short, solid stipes and short, narrow and thick tissued fronds with closely wrinkled blades (Lüning, 1990). In contrast, plants from sheltered sites have a broad thin blade with an undulate surface (Lüning, 1990).