Pterocladia J.Agardh, 1851

Holotype species: Pterocladia lucida (R.Brown ex Turner) J.Agardh

Original publication and holotype designation: Agardh, J.G. (1851). Species genera et ordines algarum, seu descriptiones succinctae specierum, generum et ordinum, quibus algarum regnum constituitur. Volumen secundum: algas florideas complectens. Part 1. pp. [i]-xii, [1]-336 + 337-351 [Addenda and Indices]. Lundae [Lund]: C.W.K. Gleerup.

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Description: Thallus cartilaginous, sometimes crispate, 2 to 40 cm tall, composed of one or several erect axes, terete or compressed, distichously or irregularly branched, red, deep purple, deep green, blackish or caerulescens in color. Erect axes arise from cylindrical or compressed, branched or unbranched creeping axes with numerous short haptera extending as individual axes or forming massive disc-like holdfasts. Plants sometimes occur in mats of algal turf with extensive basal parts or in more discrete clamps. The erect axes are cylindrical at the base, subcylindrical or compressed above. On surface view the cortical cells may or may not be arranged in longitudinal series. On transection, the cortex often is formed of several rows of pigmented cells, the smaller usually toward the outside, mostly 2-15 µm diam. Medullary cells are generally rounded in cross section, up to 30 µm diam., colorless, compacted on loosely appressed. Elongated, colorless cells (called rhicines, rhizoidal filaments or hyphae), are thick-walled, up to 5 µm diam., located in the medullary and/or cortical tissue, sometimes varying in number and position within a given species. The tetraspores in the sori occupy the entire, somewhat expanded or broadly rounded tips of lateral branches or main axes. Sporophylls can be single or pinnately compound. Tetrasporangia are cruciately divided, up to 35 µm diam., generally arranged without order in the sori although a few species may exhibit tetrasporangia borne in regular V-shaped rows. Spermatangial sori are sometimes apparent as relatively unpigmented areas on the apices of branchlets. The mature cystocarps are unilocular, protunding on only one of the surfaces of the branches, usually with one or more openings on only one surface of the frond. Carposporangia are usually formed in short chains.

Information contributed by: B. Santelices. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2011-08-30 by M.D. Guiry.

Taxonomic status: This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Schneider, C.W. & Wynne, M.J. (2007). A synoptic review of the classification of red algal genera a half a century after Kylin's "Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen". Botanica Marina 50: 197-249.

Comments: A widespread genus in intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats of temperate and tropical waters. Absent from artic and antarctic waters.

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Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in CD format. These AlgaeBase descriptions are now being continually updated, and each current contributor is identified above. The PSA and AlgaeBase warmly acknowledge the generosity of all past and present contributors and particularly the work of Dr Parker.

Descriptions of chrysophyte genera were subsequently published in J. Kristiansen & H.R. Preisig (eds.). 2001. Encyclopedia of Chrysophyte Genera. Bibliotheca Phycologica 110: 1-260.

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M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 30 August 2011. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 27 February 2024

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