( Dasycladus vermicularis )

/ / Marine Flora

Description

Dasycladus vermicularis has an erect, central axis which reaches 20-80mm in height, and a width of 5mm (1; 2). Secondary ramifications cover the surface of the axis, with sand frequently found between them (1). This alga is spongy in appearance with the shape of a club; it has a dark green colouration (1).

There are three species within the genus Dasycladus; D. australasicus, D. clavaeformis and D. vermicularis (3). None of the species within the genus are listed under the IUCN Redlist (4).

Behaviour

D. vermicularis will form colonies of numerous dense individuals (1).

Habitat

D. vermicularis occurs in the mid-littoral and infra-littoral zones; they prefer well-lit areas on rocky or hard sand substrates, and even between Posidonia oceanica beds, to depths of 1-10m (1).

Life Cycle

Reproduction is by biflagellate gametes produced within small, walled cysts in the reproductive laterals; zygotes possess a primary nucleus and develop into vegetative thalli (2).

Distribution

D. vermicularis is distributed across the Mediterranean, and north-eastern and north-western Atlantic Ocean (1).

Food

D. vermicularis uses photosynthesis, as well as requiring various inorganic nutrients, such as carbon dioxide, phosphorus and fixed nitrogen (2).

Conservation Status

Not listed under the IUCN Redlist (4).

References

Description written by Ben Harvey (2009)

(1)   Cabioc’H, J., Floc’H, J. & Le Toquin, A., 1992. Guide mes algues des mers d’Europe. Paris: Delachaux et Niestle.

(2)   Graham, L.E. & Wilcox, L.W., 2000. Algae. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

(3)   ITIS, 2009. ITIS Standard Report Page: Dasycladus. [Online] Available at: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=9236 [Accessed 1 September 2009].

(4)   IUCN, 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [Online] (2009.1) Available at: www.iucnredlist.org [Accessed 01 September 2009].