MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A brown seaweed (Dictyopteris polypodioides)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Up to 30 cm in length, Dictyopteris membranacea superficially resembles the Fucus species but is much more delicate. The frond is thinner (up to 15 cm wide), membranous and dotted with numerous clusters of tiny hairs. It is yellowish in colour when juvenile, growing darker brown with age. Newly collected specimens have an unpleasant odour.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

A southern species present in large amounts only in the extreme south-west of Britain with a few records from west Scotland.

Global distribution

Present from the Netherlands to the Mediterranean and Western South Africa, in parts of the Caribbean, and Vietnam.

Habitat

Dictyopteris membranacea is essentially a sublittoral species although it is sometimes found on the lower shore.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Prominent midrib.
  • Frond flattened and branching dichotomously.
  • Holdfast disc-like and fibrous.
  • Tips of branches rounded and slightly split or notched.

Additional information

Can be distinguished from Dictyota dichotoma by its larger size and the presence of a midrib.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Campbell, A.C., 1982. The Hamlyn guide to the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea. London: Hamlyn.

  2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Guiry, M.D. & Nic Dhonncha, E., 2002. AlgaeBase. World Wide Web electronic publication http://www.algaebase.org,

  4. Hardy, F.G. & Guiry, M.D., 2003. A check-list and atlas of the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. London: British Phycological Society

  5. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  6. Hiscock, K., Southward, A., Tittley, I., Jory, A. & Hawkins, S., 2001. The impact of climate change on subtidal and intertidal benthic species in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage Research, Survey and Monitoring Report , no. 182., Edinburgh: Scottish National Heritage

  7. Hiscock, S., 1979. A field key to the British brown seaweeds (Phaeophyta). Field Studies, 5, 1- 44.

  8. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  9. Norton, T.A. (ed.), 1985. Provisional Atlas of the Marine Algae of Britain and Ireland. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Skewes, M. 2007. Dictyopteris polypodioides A brown seaweed. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1590

Last Updated: 03/07/2007