BIOTIC Species Information for Corallina officinalis
Researched byDr Harvey Tyler-Walters Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Thomas Wiedemann
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeAlternation of generations
Developmental mechanismSee additional information
Spores (sexual / asexual)
Reproductive SeasonSee additional information Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeNot researched Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement period
Duration of larval stage2-10 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationThe typical life cycle of members of the Florideophycidae is summarised as follows:
  • Male haploid gametophytes release male gametes (spermatia) from spermatangia on male fronds.
  • Female haploid gametophytes produce the female gamete, the carpogonium on female fronds
  • After fusion (fertilization) the carposporophyte develops, enclosed in a cystocarp and releases diploid carpospores.
  • Carpospores develop into the tetrasporophyte, a diploid sporophyte stage.
  • The sporophyte develops tetrasporangia in which haploid tetraspores are formed by meiosis.
  • The tetraspores develop into gametophytes.
The gametophyte and sporophyte stages in the order Corallinaceae are isomorphic (Bold & Wynne 1978). In the Corallinaceae the reproductive organs are sunken into cavities called conceptacles. Male conceptacles are beaked. Gametophytes bear densely crowded conceptacles and are usually smaller and more irregular in shape than tetrasporangial plants. Reproductive bodies and spores are described in detail by Irvine & Chamberlain (1994). Tetrasporangia may be seen throughout the year but gametangial conceptacles are rare in the British Isles (Irvine & Chamberlain 1994). In Denmark fronds were reported to cease growing in summer, sloughed in autumn, and new fronds initiated from crustose, perenniating bases in late winter (Rosenvinge 1917 cited in Johanssen 1974). Released tetraspores settle within 48hrs, and develop into 4 celled stage (each cell capable of forming a sporophyte if others are destroyed), which calcifies quickly, and grows 3.6 micrometers per day at 17 -20 deg C, sporeling formed within 48hrs, a crustose base within 72hrs, fronds being initiated after 3 weeks and the first intergeniculum (segment) formed within 13 weeks (Jones & Moorjani 1973). Corallina officinalis shows optimal settlement on finely rough artificial substrata (0.5 - 1mm surface particle diameter). Although spores will settle and develop as crustose bases on smooth surfaces, fronds were only initiated on rough surfaces. Corallina officinalis settled on artificial substrata within one week in the field in summer months in New England (Harlin & Lindbergh 1977). However, in the laboratory fronds can grow from bases attached to smooth surfaces (Wiedeman pers comm.).
Reproduction References Johansen, 1974, Littler & Kauker, 1984, Harlin & Lindbergh, 1977, Jones & Moorjani, 1973.,
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