BIOTIC Species Information for Corallina officinalis
Researched byDr Harvey Tyler-Walters Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Thomas Wiedemann
General Biology
Growth formArticulate
Crustose hard
Feeding methodPhotoautotroph
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpifloral
Typical food typesNot relevant HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
Height Growth Rate2.2 mm / month
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationThe biology of articulate corallines was reviewed by Johanssen (1974). In culture Corallina officinalis fronds exhibited an average growth rate of 2.2 mm/month at 12 and 18 deg C. Growth rate was only 0.2 mm/month at 6 deg C and no growth was observed at 25 deg C (Colhart & Johanssen 1973). The crustose holdfast or base is perennial and grows apically, similar to encrusting corallines such as Lithothamnia sp.. The basal crust may grow continuously until stimulated to produce fronds (Littler & Kauker 1984; Colhart & Johanssen 1973). Growth rates may be comparable to encrusting corallines, for example, 2 -7mm per year was reported for Lithophyllum incrustans (Littler 1972). Fronds are highly sensitive to desiccation and do not recover from an 15 percent water loss, which might occur within 40 -45 minutes during a spring tide in summer (Wiedemann 1994). Littler & Kauker (1984) suggest that the crustose bases were adapted to resist grazing and desiccation whereas the fronds were adapted for higher primary productivity and reproduction. Corallina officinalis may support epiphytes, including Mesophyllum lichenoides, Titanoderma pustulatum, and Titanoderma corallinae, the latter causing tissue damage (Irvine & Chamberlain 1994). Corallina officinalis may be overgrown by epiphytes, especially during summer. This overgrowth regularly leads to high mortality of fronds due to light reduction (Wiedemann pers comm.). Other, crustose corallines produce anti-epiphytal substances, like e.g. allelopathics (Suzuki et al. 1998), however, this type of substance has not been found yet in Corallina officinalis.
Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996, Irvine & Chamberlain, 1994, Dickinson, 1963, Colhart & Johanssen, 1973, Johansen, 1974, Littler, 1972, Littler & Kauker, 1984, Dommasnes, 1968, Bamber & Irving, 1993, Wiedemann, 1994, Padilla, 1984, Rosenvinge, 1917,
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