BIOTIC Species Information for Palmaria palmata
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Thomas Wiedemann
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismSpores (sexual / asexual)
Reproductive SeasonInsufficient information Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential<10m Larval settlement periodNot relevant
Duration of larval stageNot relevant   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • Life span: Palmaria palmata is a perennial species with new growth every year. Therefore, the holdfast could remain for several years..
The unusual life cycle of Palmaria palmata is diplohaplontic and strongly heteromorphic, with a reduced female gametophyte, a macroscopic male gametophyte and a foliose tetrasporophyte. The foliose plants seen on the shore and in the shallow subtidal are generally tetrasporophytes and scarcer male gametophytes.
  • The female is a small crust-like plant, in which the carpogonia are borne directly by the vegetative cells.
  • The male gametophyte, on the other hand, is blade-like and produces spermatia that can fertilize the carpogonia of the female crusts.
  • After fertilization the carpogonium does not produce carpospores but instead develops into a blade-like tetrasporophyte.
  • When young, the tetrasporophyte grows attached to the female gametophyte, later its own basal system develops and completely overgrows the tiny female thallus.
  • The adult foliose tetrasporophyte, which is diploid, produces tetraspores meiotically and these in turn develop into crust-like female gametophytes and foliose male gametophytes.
  • Male plants became fertile within 9-12 months. Females need only a few days to become sexually mature.
  • Dispersal distances are short. Females do not release carpospores so male gametophytes release spermatia that then sink rapidly so that male and female gametes can come into contact for fertilization.
Reproduction References Hoek van den et al., 1995,
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