BIOTIC Species Information for Furcellaria lumbricalis
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeVegetative
See additional information
Developmental mechanismSpores (sexual / asexual)
Reproductive SeasonDecember to April Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation time6-10 years Fecundity1 million
Egg/propagule size50 µm diameter spores Fertilization type
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stageInsufficient information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationReproductive Type
The typical attached form of Furcellaria lumbricalis reproduces asexually through tetrasporangial plants and sexually through dioecious gametangial plants (Dixon & Irvine, 1977). The male and female plants are usually in equal proportions but are outnumbered by the tetrasporophytes. The free floating form Furcellaria lumbricalis forma aegagropila reproduces only vegetatively through fragmentation, regeneration and proliferation (Bird et al., 1991). Proliferation, where propagules develop on the parent plant and then detach, is probably the most important mechanism.
Reproduction and seasonality
The mode and timing of reproduction in Furcellaria lumbricalis was reviewed by Dixon & Irvine (1977) and Bird et al. (1991). On the male plants, spermatangial ramuli begin development in late October, developing superficially in the much swollen apical regions and are conspicuous until late April or early May. Discharge of the spermatia occurs from December to April with a peak in February and March. On the female plants, the carpogonial branches are initiated in late December, with carpogonia developing internally in the apical regions. Fertilization probably only occurs over a short period commencing in mid January. The zygote is retained on the female plant but the carposporophyte is not obvious until mid summer. Maturation of the carposporophytes does not occur until a year after fertilization, with a massive discharge of carpospores occurring over a 2-4 week period from late December. 1 million 35-50µm diameter carpospores may be released from an average sized plant when a tract of cells disintegrates forming an ill defined pore to the exterior.
On diploid plants, tetrasporangia are initiated in early April and develop in markedly thickened apical regions. They mature in December and 1-2 million tetraspores are liberated per plant over 2 weeks following disintegration of the thallus surface.
The fruiting pods of all plants fall when they are past maturity and new shoots arise from the resulting truncated tips.
Reproduction References Dickinson, 1963, Dixon & Irvine, 1977, Bird et al., 1991, Austin, 1960a, Austin, 1960b, Levring et al., 1969,
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