PORT PHILLIP BAY


Red Seaweed 

Laurencia filiformis

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

This species has multiple recognised forms with habit and ecological differences including: Laurencia filiformis f. filiformis, L. filiformis f. heteroclada, L. filiformis f. heteroclada and L. filiformis f. dendritica. Further work on the genetics of these forms may reveal that they are separate species.

Main information sources:
Womersley, H.B.S., (1984-2003). The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia. Part 1-3d. Govt. Printer, South Australia.
Baldock, R.N. 2010. Algae Revealed. South Australian State Herbarium. Website.
AlgaeBase. Website.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Rhodophyta
Subphylum:
Eurhodophytina
Class:
Florideophyceae
Subclass:
Rhodymeniophycidae
Order:
Ceramiales
Family:
Rhodymeniaceae
Genus:
Laurencia
Species:
filiformis

General Description

One to several slender, cylindrical main stems (axes) with secondary branches arranged in a loose radial pattern becoming clustered. Uppermost branches widening to a flattened and dimpled tip. Holdfast disc-like to prostrate when epiphytic. Medium to Dark Red. Up to 30 cm long (thallus).

Biology

This red seaweed can appear almost green in intertidal areas due to increased exposure to light that bleaches its colour. Specimens in low intertidal areas can grow under canopy-forming algae such as Hormosira banksii, while other specimens are epiphytic, growing on seagrass such as Amphibolis antartica. Multiple new chemical compounds have been isolated from Laurencia filiformis, including a compound called pacifenol which is lethal to brine shrimp in certain concentrations.

Habitat

Tidal pools, low intertidal areas, subtidal rock reefs, in moderate water movement, to depth of 23 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Worldwide.

Species Group

Seaweeds and seagrasses Red algae

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 cm

Diet

Photosynthetic - sunlight

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Pocklington, Jacqui

Jacqui Pocklington is a Research Associate with expertise in algal taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Pocklington, Jacqui, 2011, Red Seaweed, Laurencia filiformis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 30 Mar 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/11329

Text: creative commons cc by licence