154,882 species and infraspecific names are in the database, 21,111 images, 59,855 bibliographic items, 429,125 distributional records.

Nitella capillaris (A.J.Krocker) J.Groves & G.R.Bullock-Webster

Publication details
Nitella capillaris (A.J.Krocker) J.Groves & G.R.Bullock-Webster 1920: 96

Published in: Groves, J. & Bullock-Webster, G.R. (1920). The British Charophyta. I. Nitelleae. pp. 141. London: The Ray Society.

Type species
The type species (lectotype) of the genus Nitella is Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh.

Status of name
This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Chara capillaris A.J.Krocker

Infrageneric classification
Subgenus Nitella Section Rajia

Origin of species name
Adjective (Latin), capillary, hair-like, thread-like (Stearn 1973).

Homotypic Synonym(s)
Chara capillaris A.J.Krocker 1814
Nitella capillaris f. capillaris R.D.Wood 1962

Heterotypic Synonym(s)
Nitella capillaris f. longifolia A.Braun
Chara capitata Nees von Esenbeck 1818
Nitella capitata (Nees) C.Agardh 1824
Chara elastica G.B.Amici 1827
Nitella syncarpa var. capitata (Nees von Esenbeck) Kützing 1845
Nitella syncarpa var. gloeocephala Kützing 1845
Nitella syncarpa var. oxygyra A.Braun ex Rabenhorst 1846
Nitella syncarpa var. oxygyra A.Braun 1847
Nitella capillaris f. capituligera A.Braun 1889
Nitella capillaris f. dissoluta W.Migula 1889
Nitella capillaris f. elongata A.Braun 1889
Nitella capitata var. americana M.C.Chaudhary 1970
Nitella flexilis var. americana M.C.Choudhary 1973

Distributional notes
Thought to be extinct in the British Isles (see Bryant & Stewart, 2002: 609; Bryan & Stewart 2011: 762).

Habitat notes
Prefers shallow waterbodies, on acid or slightly alkaline substrate, associated with spermatophytes (Muller et al., 2017). - (6 Nov 2017) - Wendy Guiry

Conservational notes
Sweden: DD (Gärdenfors 2005). The species has not been found in the area since 1938, but can have been over-looked as it is a spring species. Therefore there is still a chance to find it in the area. Proposed red list status for the whole area is DD (data deficient). - (9 Jan 2012) -

General environment
This is a freshwater species.

Common names

(as Nitella capillaris (A.J.Krocker) J.Groves & G.R.Bullock-Webster)
English: Slimy-fruited Stonewort (Stewart & Church 1992).

This is a slender species up to 20 cm in height. The axis is less than 1 mm in diameter. The branchlets are divided once and have 1-celled end segments (dactyls). It is a dioecious species with the gametangia enveloped in mucus, and in numerous small heads. The oogonia are 2-3 together, and up to 500 m long. The oospores are brown (300  400 m long) and have prominent ridges. The antheridia are solitary, and are up to 600 m in diameter. The species is similar to Nitella opaca, which however lack mucus around the gametangia.

Nitella capillaris is found in small pools and in ditches, both in soft and alkaline water. The oospores germinate in autumn, and the plants are fertile the next spring (from April). Ripe oospores are found in June and July. The plants die shortly after this. N. capillaris is opportunistic as it comes and goes, a phenomena reported by Olsen (1944) who writes: In the locality in the Furesøpark, where I had an opportunity of observing it both in 1937 and in 1938, I did not find it later, in spite of repeated search. Distribution:

Key characteristics
Dioecious. Gametangia in mucus. Oosopre brown with prominent ridges

Similar species
Nitella opaca

Detailed distribution with sources (Click to Load)

Detailed conservation status with sources
(as Nitella capillaris (A.J.Krocker) J.Groves & G.R.Bullock-Webster)
Extinct: (Stewart & Church 1992)

Key references
Borisova, O.V. (2015 '2014'). Charales. In: Algae of Ukraine: diversity, nomenclature, taxonomy, ecology and geography. Volume 4: Charophyta. (Tsarenko, P.M., Wasser, S.P. & Nevo, E. Eds), pp. 454-465. Ruggell: Koeltz Scientific Books.

Bryant, J.A. & Stewart, N.F. (2002). Order Charales. In: The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles. An identification guide to freshwater and terrestrial algae. (John, D.M., Whitton, B.A. & Brook, A.J. Eds), pp. 593-612. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bryant, J.A. & Stewart, N.F. (2011). Phylum Chlorophyta. Order Charales. In: The freshwater algal flora of the British Isles. An identification guide to freshwater and terrestrial algae. Second edition. (John, D.M., Whitton, B.A. & Brook, A.J. Eds), pp. 742-765. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Moore, J.A. (1986). Charophytes of Great Britain and Ireland. B.S.B.I. Handbook No. 5. Illustrated by Margaret Tebbs. Distribution maps prepared by Dorothy Green. pp. [i-ii], 1-140, 26 figs, 17 maps. London: Botanical Society of the British Isles.

Muller, S, D., Rhazi, L. & Soulie-Märsche, I. (2017). Diversity and distribution of Characeae in the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). Crytogamie Algologie 38(3): 201-251.

Raam, J.C van (2010). R.D. Wood's "Synopsis of the Characeae" adapted and modified. CD, privately distirbuted by the author in anticipation of publication.

Urbaniak, J. & Gabka, M. (2014). Polish Charophytes. An illustrated guide to identification. pp. [1]-120. Wroclaw: Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy we Wroclawiu.

Watterlot, A. & Prey, T. (2016). Inventaire des Characées sur le territoire picard (Aisne, Oise et Somme): Évaluation patrimoniale. Version No. 2, décembre 2016. pp. [1]-30, Annexe, 31-56 [Maps]. Bailleul: Centre régional de phytosociologie. Conservatoire botanique national de Bailleul.

Created: 11 April 2002 by M.D. Guiry

Verified by: 31 October 2017 by Wendy Guiry

Accesses: This record has been accessed by users 1093 times since it was created.

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Citing AlgaeBase
Cite this record as:
Wendy Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2019. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 19 March 2019.

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