PORT PHILLIP BAY


Red Seaweed 

Plocamium mertensii

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

This species can be highly variable. Reproductive structures cluster in the branch forks which appears tufted. These tufts can be a distinguishing feature for this species when present. Can be confused with Plocamium patagiatum which has finger-like branching of the upper branchlets and lacks division in the lower branchlets.

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:
Plocamiales
Family:
Plocamiaceae
Genus:
Plocamium
Species:
mertensii

General Description

Multibranched with broad, thin and erect fronds. Branchlets (ramuli) in alternate pairs, upper branchlets divided and often becoming a lateral branch. Lower branchlets are frequently divided often appearing tufted (dense clusters of evenly divided pinnate laterals). Branchlets curve inwards and can be serrate or non-serrate. Pink to medium-red. Up to 50 cm long (thallus).

Biology

This species is eaten by abalone, including Haliotis lavigata, Haliotis rubra and Haliotis roei.

Habitat

Shaded tidal pools and subtidal reef in moderate to rough waters, to depth of 50 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Australia.

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

50 cm

Diet

Photosynthetic - sunlight

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to 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, Plocamium mertensii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/12321

Text: creative commons cc by licence