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Nitella gracilis (J.E.Smith) C.Agardh

Publication details
Nitella gracilis (J.E.Smith) C.Agardh 1824: 125

Published in: Agardh, C.A. (1824). Systema algarum. pp. [i]-xxxvii, [1]-312. Lundae [Lund]: Literis Berlingianis [Berling].
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Publication date: probably September 1824

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 gracilis J.E.Smith

Type information
Type locality: UK: England: Sussex: St. Leonard's forest (Silva 1996-to date). Type: W. Borrer; (Silva 1996-to date

Infrageneric classification
Subgenus Tieffallenia Section Gioallenia

Origin of species name
Adjective (Latin), thin, slender (Stearn 1973).

Homotypic Synonym(s)
Chara gracilis J.E.Smith 1810

Heterotypic Synonym(s)
Nitella gracilis f. brevifolia A.Braun
Chara exilis Barbieri ex G.B.Amici 1827
Chara gracilis var. senegalensis A.Braun nom.nudum 1834
Nitella borealis J.H.Wallman 1853
Nitella gracilis var. brachyphylla J.Wallman 1853
Nitella gracilis var. bugellensis A.Braun 1857
Nitella gracilis f. normalis F.von Leonhardi 1864
Nitella gracilis f. simplicior H.F.v.Leonhardi 1864
Nitella gracilis f. brevifolia L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. condensata L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. gracillima L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. laxa L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. longifolia L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. major L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. minor L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. normalis L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. pusilla L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. simplicior L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. tenella L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. tenuior L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella gracilis f. robustior L.J.Wahlstedt 1876
Nitella gracilis f. australiensis Nordstedt 1888
Nitella gracilis f. pseudoborealis E.C.Teodoresco 1907
Nitella gracilis f. flexuosa D.Subramanian 1981
Nitella gracilis f. nana D.Subramanian 1981
Nitella gracilis f. congesta D.Subramanian 2002
Nitella gracilis f. heterothalia D.Subramanian 2002

Distributional notes
Nitella gracilis is a cosmopolitan species and it is widespread in Europe, but not common. In the Nordic countries it is found in Sweden (Hasslow 1931, Blindow 1994), Denmark (Olsen 1944), Norway (Langangen 1994, 2007) and Finland (Langangen et al. 2002). The species has disappeared from many original localities, and it is threatened in the whole distribution range. In Fennoscandia N. gracilis has a southern distribution, and the European distribution has a northern border here. The old locality in Piteå (Sweden) can be an indication for a wider distribution in the area - (8 Jan 2010) -

Habitat notes
Calcifuge species, in poorly mineralised waters; ombrotrophic habitats, such as flooded depressions within meadows and crops, and in peatlands (Muller et al., 2017). - (31 Oct 2017) - Wendy Guiry

General environment
This is a freshwater species.

Common names

(as Nitella gracilis (J.E.Smith) C.Agardh)
English: Slender Stonewort (Stewart & Church 1992).

The plants are to 20 cm high, slender. The axis is less than 0.5 mm in diameter. The branchlets are divided 2 or 3 times. The end segments (rays) are 2-3 celled. The end cells are tapering (they are as broad as the penultimate cells). The species is monoecious. The oogonia are small, up to 450 µm long and 400 µm wide. The oospore is dark brown and has a granulate membrane. The antheridia are between 200-300 µm in diameter.

Nitella gracilis is a freshwater species, and it is found in many types of habitats; Lobelia-lakes, mesotrophic lakes or in small waters like ditches, pits and ponds. The species has most common been found in shallow water. N. gracilis is reported both as annual and perennial, but is most probably annual it this area (Olsen 1944). The plants are fertile from June and onwards, and ripe oospores have been found from August to October.

Detailed distribution with sources (Click to Load)

Detailed conservation status with sources
(as Nitella gracilis (J.E.Smith) C.Agardh)
Vulnerable: (Stewart & Church 1992), (Vulnerable: (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. (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.

Bueno, N.C., Prado, J.F., Meurer, T. & Bicudo, C.E. de M. (2016). Nitella (Streptophyta, Characeae) from southern Brazil. Iheringia Serie Botânica 71(2): 132-154, 12 figs.

Cirujano, S, Cambra, J., Sánchez Castillo, P.M., Meco, A. & Flor Arnau, N. (2008). Flora ibérica algas continentales. Carófitos (Characeae). pp. [1]-132, 125 figs. Madrid: Real Jardín Botánico.

Day, S.A., Wickham, R.P., Entwisle, T.J. & Tyler, P.A. (1995). Bibliographic check-list of non-marine algae in Australia. Flora of Australia Supplementary Series 4: i-vii, 1-276.

Hirose, H., Yamagishi, T. & Akiyama, M. (1977). Illustrations of the Japanese fresh-water algae. pp. [8 col. pls], [1]-933, 244 pls in text. Tokyo: Uchida Rokakuho Publishing Co., Ltd. [in Japanese]

Hu, H. & Wei, Y. (2006). The freshwater algae of China. Systematics, taxonomy and ecology. pp. [4 pls of 16 figs], [i-iv], i-xv, 1-1023. China: www.sciencep.com.

Hy, F., (1913). Les Characées de France. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 60 (Mémoires 26): 1-47, pls. I-III.

Langangen, A. (2007). Charophytes of the Nordic countries. . Oslo: Saeculum ANS.

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.

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: 15 May 2019 by M.D. Guiry

Accesses: This record has been accessed by users 1700 times since it was created.

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(Please note: only references with the binomials in the title are included. The information is from the Literature database.)

Gregor, T., Raabe, U. & Van Raam, J. (2012). Typification of Nitella gracilis (Sm.) C.Agardh var. confervacea Brébisson (= N. confervacea (Brébisson) A. Braun ex Leonhardi) with remarks on its nomenclatural history. Cryptogamie Algologie 33(4): 391-398.
Jones, R.A. & Stewart, N.F. (2001). Nitella gracilis (Smith) Agardh, an elusive charophyte new to Cardiganshire (V.C. 46). Watsonia 23: 443-453.

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Citing AlgaeBase
Cite this record as:
M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2020. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 27 February 2020.

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