BIOTIC Species Information for Saccorhiza polyschides
Researched byNicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formForest
Feeding methodPhotoautotroph
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpilithic
Typical food typesNot relevant HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityRobust SizeLarge(>50cm)
Height Growth Rate145 mm/week
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
  • Saccorhiza polyschides is a fast growing, annual and opportunistic species. The obvious plant is a gender-less sporophyte which grows up to 4 m long and may grow at 2 m a month at the peak of the growth season in late spring. The large sporophytes are present on the shore from May until winter. In autumn they commence fruiting and start to decay, leaving behind the bulbous holdfast, which remains on the shore until it is washed off in late winter.
  • The unusual holdfast of Saccorhiza polyschides is formed from a hollow bulbous growth above the sapling holdfast which expands to overwhelm it, sending out secondary haptera to attach to the substratum.
  • The shape of the frond varies with the degree and nature of water movement. In sites of low water current plants produce broad undivided fronds, while those in areas of strong currents have long deeply divided fronds. Plants from wave exposed locations have short fronds divided into few sections. Experiments have shown that these variations are due to phenotypic rather than genotypic variation (Norton, 1978).
Biology References Norton, 1970, Norton & Burrows, 1969, Norton, 1978, Birkett et al., 1998(b),
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