Introduction Since the turn of the Century, numerous schemes have been proposed to describe biologjcal types or life-forms of marine algae. Early schemes (Oltmanns 1905, Funk 1927» Gislen 1930) were based largely on morphological characters, although Funk (1927) differentiated between algae that went through several generations in a year and true perennial species. Setchell (1926) proposed the first ecological scheme for life-forms and distinguished between heliophobes and heliophiles, subdividing each of these on the basis of microhabitat. This scheme was criticized by Chapman (1962) for its limited applicability to tropical waters, particularly coral reefs. The principles embodied in the life-form scheme of Raunkiaer (1934) for hjgher plants have been used äs a basis of the life-form Systems proposed for seaweeds by Knight and Parke (1931), Feldmann (1938), and Sears (1971). In these Systems the life-forms are characterized by the mode of perennation and the life-span of the thallus. The study of life-forms äs applied to seaweeds has progressed little since Knight and Parke (1931) and Feldmann (1938) first proposed their Systems of classification, even though the importance of life-forms has been stressed numerous times (Feldmann 1951,1966; Chapman 1962). Ernst (1968) showed a change in life*) present adress: Dept.
Botanica Marina – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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