BIOTIC Species Information for Ahnfeltia plicata
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Fabio Rindi
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeVegetative
Permanent hermaphrodite
See additional information
Developmental mechanismSpores (sexual / asexual)
Reproductive SeasonInsufficient information Reproductive Location
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityNo information found
Egg/propagule size Fertilization type
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement period
Duration of larval stageInsufficient information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationLife span
No information was found concerning the longevity of Ahnfeltia plicata. However, it is a slow maturing perennial (Dickinson, 1963) and the thallus survives several years without considerable losses (Lüning, 1990). It likely to have a life span of 5-10 years, similar to other red seaweeds, such as Furcellaria lumbricalis.

Age at maturity
No definitive information was found concerning age at maturity. However, Maggs & Pueschel (1989) made observations of Ahnfeltia plicata from Nova Scotia. Tetrasporophyte crusts matured and released tetraspores after 15 months. Gametangial plants had produced abundant monosporangia after 14 months but no other reproductive structures were formed during this time.

Reproductive type
Ahnfeltia plicata has a heteromorphic life history (Maggs & Pueschel, 1989). Carpospores formed on the female thallus as a result of sexual reproduction give rise to the tetrasporophyte encrusting form. In turn, the tetraspores formed on the tetrasporophyte phase give rise to the erect, gametophyte plants. However, male gametophytes also give rise to monosporangia, producing monospores which also develop into gametophytes. Maggs & Pueschel (1989) suggest that the recycling of erect male gametophytes may be important in habitats which are unsuitable for the encrusting phase.

Timing of reproduction
Maggs & Pueschel (1989) recorded observations of reproduction by Ahnfeltia plicata in Nova Scotia. Spermatangia were present on male gametophytes between July and January. Carpogonia were present on female gametophytes between July and November, carposporophytes began development between September and November, and were mature between October and July. Monosporangia, which were only found on male plants in the intertidal, were present from November to January.
Reproduction References Dickinson, 1963, Dixon & Irvine, 1977, Maggs & Pueschel, 1989, Lüning, 1990,
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