MarLIN

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

A red seaweed (Gracilaria multipartita)

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

Summary

Description

Gracilaria multipartita is a translucent, dull purple or reddish-brown algae which has fronds that measure up to 25 cm long. It is cartilaginous, very brittle, and has a compressed stipe.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Distribution in the British Isles is restricted to Cornwall, south Devon and Dorset.

Global distribution

Recorded in Senegal, the Mediterranean, Nova Scotia Canada, Uruguay, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Gracilaria multipartita is probably widely distributed in warmer waters.

Habitat

Grows on rocks or other hard substrata, tolerating a wide degree of wave exposure. Recorded from the upper sublittoral to a depth of 15 m. Gracilaria multipartita is also tolerant of sand and mud cover.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Translucent algae, dull purple or reddish brown in colour (sometimes bleached).
  • Stipe compressed, expanding gradually into a blade which is up to 1 mm thick and up to 1 cm broad between dichotomies.
  • Stipe eventually branches up to 6 times in the plane of the blade.
  • The margin of the blade is frequently proliferous.

Additional information

Globally there is some variation in frond-width and the degree of branching, although the appearance is quite uniform in the British Isles. Gracilaria multipartita is commercially used as an agar or agaroid raw material in the U.S.A.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Dixon, P.S. & Irvine, L.M., 1977. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 1 Rhodophyta. Part 1 Introduction, Nemaliales, Gigartinales. London: British Museum (Natural History) London.

  2. Hiscock, S. & Maggs, C.A., 1982. Notes on Irish Marine Algae - 6. Zanardinia prototypus (Nardo) Nardo (Phaeophyta). Irish Naturalists' Journal, 20, 414-416.

  3. Hiscock, S., 1986b. A field key to the British Red Seaweeds. Taunton: Field Studies Council. [Occasional Publication No.13]

  4. 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.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. Lincoln, R., Boxshall, G., & Clark, P., 1998. A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  7. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Mayhew, E.M. 2002. Gracilaria multipartita A red 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/1858

Last Updated: 17/12/2002