BIOTIC Species Information for Furcellaria lumbricalis
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formArborescent / Arbuscular
Feeding methodPhotoautotroph
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpilithic
Typical food typesNot relevant HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium-large(21-50cm)
HeightUp to 30 cm Growth Rate1.3% increase in fresh weight / day
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationSize at maturity
Plants become fertile when they achieve their full size of 90-300mm according to habitat, during the 4th to 6th year (Austin 1960a,b).
Growth rate
Bird et al. (1979) reported growth rates of Furcellaria lumbricalis in the laboratory as a doubling in weight in 25-50 days or a 3.3% increase in fresh weight per day. For comparison, the corresponding rates for Chondrus crispus are 10 days and 7.3%, and for Fucus serratus are 12.5 days and 6.2%. These figures suggest that Furcellaria lumbricalis grows slowly in comparison to other red and brown seaweeds. The reported growth rates from the field are even slower. Blinova (1975) (cited in Bird et al., 1979) recorded a doubling in fresh weight every 167 days and Taylor (1975) (cited in Bird et al., 1979) recorded a 1.3% increase in fresh weight per day. From a site in Wales, Austin (1960b) reported annual length increments of 29-37mm in fronds initially ranging from 10-60mm in length.
Environmental position
As well as the commoner epilithic form, a free floating variant Furcellaria lumbricalis forma aegagropila has been reported forming rafts several metres thick on the Danish coast and may occur in Scottish and Irish sea lochs (Levring et al., 1969). The free floating form has a globose thallus of radiating fronds and is smaller in stature and frond diameter, with denser and less regular branching than the attached form (Bird et al., 1991).
Biology References Dickinson, 1963, Fish & Fish, 1996, Dixon & Irvine, 1977, Bird et al., 1991, Austin, 1960a, Austin, 1960b, Bird et al., 1979, Levring et al., 1969, Sharp et al., 1993, Barton, 1901,
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