• biogeography;
  • ecotypes;
  • life history regulation;
  • Phyllophora pseudoceranoides;
  • Rhodophyta;
  • seasonally;
  • temperature/daylength responses


Responses to temperature and daylength were determined in laboratory culture for isolates of the red alga Phyllophora pseudoceranoides (Gmelin) Newroth et A.R.A. Taylor from Nova Scotia, Iceland, Roscoff (France), and Helgoland (Germany). All isolates grew from 3° to 25° C and survived from -2° or 0° C to 27° C but not 30° C. Reproductive requirements differed between life history phases and isolates. Isolates from Helgoland and Roscoff formed sporangial sori at 3°-20° C, tetraspores at 3°-12° C, and procarps at 10°-20° C, irrespective of daylength. Spermatangia developed at 10°-23° C but only in long days. As the other European isolates, the isolate from Iceland formed tetrasporangia at 3°-12° C, but it had an additional requirement for short days. The Nova Scotian isolate formed sori at 10°-20° C and sporulated at 10°-18° C. When grown plants were transferred from noninductive to inductive conditions, sori were formed after 4 months and tetraspores developed and were shed (1-)3 months later. Procarps formed 1(-3) months after transfer.

The phenology of P. pseudoceranoides was studied at Helgoland and Roscoff, where similar seasonal patterns were observed. Plants were perennial, forming new blades from October to June, which degenerated between August and February. In June, reproductive structures (sori, spermatangia, and procarps) started to appear on the new blades. From October to April, mature cystocarps were found. Mature tetrasporangia were observed only in February.

The life history of P. pseudoceranoides is regulated by temperature and daylength. Differential effects on the different life history phases all serve to confine the production of spores (both carpospores and tetraspores) to the winter season. Differences in response between isolates from different geographic regions bring about the same effect: spores are shed only in winter.

The nature of the geographic boundaries of P. pseudoceranoides is discussed.