BIOTIC Species Information for Cladophora rupestris
Researched byGeorgina Budd Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Fabio Rindi
Scientific nameCladophora rupestris Common nameA green seaweed
MCS CodeZS212 Recent SynonymsNone

PhylumChlorophycota Subphylum
Superclass ClassCladophorophyceae
Subclass OrderCladophorales
Suborder FamilyCladophoraceae
GenusCladophora Speciesrupestris

Additional InformationThe morphology of the species is fairly constant over a wide range of habitat conditions and over a wide geographical area. Its morphology is affected by physical damage due to grazing by animals and loss of the apical region on reproduction, both instances are followed by regeneration and proliferation of branches. Cladophora rupestris sometimes forms an almost complete cover of stunted growth at high tide level and occasionally in the splash zone where pools are brackish. Filaments are short and branching dense in the most wave exposed locations (Burrows, 1991).
Taxonomy References Dickinson, 1963, Hayward et al., 1996, Hoek van den, 1963, Burrows, 1991,
General Biology
Growth formShrub
Feeding methodPhotoautotroph
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpilithic
Typical food typesPhotoautotroph HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
HeightUp to 20 cm. Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potentialNot relevant DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationSpecies of the genus Cladophora are colonized by a wide variety of epiphytes and motile animals because they can offer protection from predation, provide food (either in the form of epiphytes, or itself), or a substratum that is anchored against water flow turbulence (Dodds & Gudder, 1992).
Cladophora rupestris is only very rarely epiphytic (F. Rindi, pers. comm.).
Biology References Dodds & Gudder, 1992,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound all round the coast of Britain and Ireland on suitable substrata.
Global distributionSee additional information.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeIntertidal to a few metres sublittorally.
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationThe species occurs throughout the year but attains maximum development in summer near low tide level (Burrows, 1991). It is mostly an intertidal species although it may also extend into the sublittoral but only by a few metres (F. Rindi, pers. comm.).

Global distribution
European Atlantic coast from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Baltic Sea, Murman Sea and White Sea. Atlantic coasts of North America from Canadian Arctic, south to Massachusetts, Greenland, Iceland and Faeroes. Also found in Morocco, Brazil, Japan, Lord Howe Island (Australia) and in the Antarctic (Guiry & Nic Dhonncha, 2002).

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneSupralittoral
Upper Littoral Fringe
Lower Littoral Fringe
Upper Eulittoral
Mid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureVery Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Low (<18 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationNone entered
Distribution References Norton, 1985, Dickinson, 1963, Hayward et al., 1996, Burrows, 1991, Hardy & Guiry, 2003, Guiry & Nic Dhonncha, 2002,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeAlternation of generations
Developmental mechanismSpores (sexual / asexual)
Reproductive SeasonMost of the year Reproductive LocationWater column
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation time<1 year FecundityNot relevant
Egg/propagule sizeNot relevant Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodNot relevant
Duration of larval stageInsufficient information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationInformation on the ecology of reproduction and propagation of the genus Cladophora is limited. Reproduction is achieved by the release of quadriflagellate zoospores and biflagellate isogametes formed in the terminal cells of fronds. The life history consists of an isomorphic (indistinguishable except for the type of reproductive bodies produced) alternation of gametophyte and sporophyte generations, the plants are dioecious (Burrows, 1991). Both zoospores and gametes can be found at most times of the year. Archer (1963, cited in Burrows, 1991) was unable to find any correlation between the time of reproduction, the state of tide or environmental conditions. Most species of Cladophora attach to the substratum by multicellular, branching rhizoids (van den Hoek, 1982). These basal holdfasts may serve as resistant structures from which new growths can arise.
Reproduction References Burrows, 1991, Dodds & Gudder, 1992, Archer, 1963, Hoek van den, 1982,
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