Introduction The relationship between form and function in seaweeds is emphasized by the similarity of form in unrelated species. Morphologically similar types such äs thin blades, branched tufts, and crusts are found in several algal groups. The functional significance of a particular form is suggested when unrelated plants exhibit a similar appearance in the same habitat. For example, Norton (1970) reported algal meadows dominated by t wo strikingjy similar plants, Ciadostephus verticHiatus (a brown alga) and Halurus equisetifolius (a red alga). Similarly, the subtidal surge zone in which regulär back and forth water motion prevails (Neushul 1972) is usually dominated by laminarian algae. Representatives of other groups of seaweeds may occupy this zone, but they often bear a striking resemblance to laminarian algae -- e. g. Durvillea spp. and Marginariella (Fucales) or Desmarestia ligulata var. ftrma and Phyttogigas (Desmarestiales). In deep waters, stalked, peltate thalli, which may have extensive starch reserves, occur in several species -- e. g. Caulerpa spp. (Chlorophyta), Fauchea peltata, Maripelta rotata, Humbrella hydra, Constantinea simplex, and Sciadophycus stellata (Rhodophyta). With the flrst three species the deepwater, peltate plants contrast with non-peltate thalli of other shallow-water members of these genera. Presumably this attests to the
Botanica Marina – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1982
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