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Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh 1824

Empire Eukaryota
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Viridiplantae
Infrakingdom Streptophyta infrakingdom
Phylum Charophyta
Class Charophyceae
Order Charales
Family Characeae
Genus Nitella


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Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh
Female plant. 03 Aug 2011. Anders Langangen.

Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh
Female plant with some black, ripe oospores. 03 Aug 2011. Anders Langangen.

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Calothrix aeruginea Thuret ex Bornet & Flahault

Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh Female plant in-situ. Lough Gouragh, Co Kerry, Ireland,.
© C.F.Carter (chris.carter@6cvw.freeuk.com)

Publication details
Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh 1824: 124

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
This is the type species (lectotype) of the genus Nitella.

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

Chara opaca C.Agardh ex Bruzelius

Type information
Type locality: "Habitat in aquis quietis, in Scania non rara. Mense Julio fructum fert." (Bruzelius 1824: 17).

Infrageneric classification
Subgenus Nitella Section Nitella

Origin of species name
Adjective (Latin), darkened, dull, not shining, opaque (Stearn 1973).

Homotypic Synonym(s)
Chara opaca C.Agardh ex Bruzelius 1824
Chara syncarpa var. opaca (Bruzelius ex Agardh)A.Braun 1835
Nitella syncarpa var. opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius ) Kützing 1845

Heterotypic Synonym(s)
Nitella pedunculata C.Agardh 1824
Chara syncarpa var. pseudoflexilis A.Braun 1835
Nitella syncarpa var. pseudoflexilis A.Braun 1846
Nitella syncarpa var. glomerata A.Braun 1847
Nitella syncarpa var. pachygyra A.Braun 1847
Nitella macrosperma A.Braun ex Kützing 1849
Nitella atrovirens Wallman 1853
Nitella syncarpa var. macrosperma (A.Braun ex Kützing) Kützing 1857
Nitella opaca var. atrovirens (J.Wallman) L.J.Wahlstedt 1862
Nitella syncarpa var. laxa A.Braun 1867
Nitella opaca f. atrovirens (J.Wallman) L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella opaca f. brevifolia L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella opaca f. laxior L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella opaca f. longifolia L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella opaca f. subcapitata L.J.Wahlstedt 1875
Nitella syncarpa f. capitulifera A.Braun ex Migula 1890
Nitella opaca f. laxa L.J.Wahlstedt 1909
Nitella opaca f. pseudoflexilis J.Vilhelm 1923
Nitella opaca f. diversifolia Filarszky 1931
Nitella opaca var. nodosa L.Trabut 1946

Habitat notes
Mostly in temporary habitats, and occasionally in permanent lakes, down to 12 m depth; prefers cold waters, with pH of 6-8 (Muller et al., 2017). - (1 Nov 2017) - Wendy Guiry

General environment
This is a freshwater species.

Common names

(as Nitella opaca (C.Agardh ex Bruzelius) C.Agardh)
Swedish: Mattslinke (Tolstoy & Österlund 2003).

The plants are 5 - 50 cm high and green. The axis is up to 1 mm in diameter. The branchlets are simple or divided once with one-celled end segments. The species is dioecious. The gametangia are evenly distributed or in heads. The oogonia are solitary or geminate, up to 700 m long and 600 m wide. The oospore is dark - chestnut to black in colour and the antheridium is large, up to 800 m in diameter.

Nitella opaca is found in many different habitats; lakes, brooks and it seems to prefer oligotrophic waters (Lobelia-lakes), but has also been reported from slightly brackish water. In Norway the species is quite common in high-mountain lakes and has here been found down to 17 m depth and up to 1250 m altitude. N. opaca is perennial, and has mature gametangia from May to August and ripe, black oospores from June to September.

Detailed distribution with sources (Click to Load)

Key references
Arbeitsgruppe Armleuchteralgen Deutschland (Becker, R., Blindow, I., Doege, A., Franke, T., Gregor, T., Hamann, U., Jäger, D., Jorda, C., Kabus, T., Korsch, H., Korte, E., Kusber, W.-H., Pätzold, Raabe, U., Schubert, H., Teppke, M., van der Weyer K., Wolff, P.) (2015 '2016'). Beschreibung der Characeen-Arten Deutschlands. In: Armleuchteralgen. Die Characeen Deutschlands. (Arbeitsgruppe Characeen Deutschlands Lehrstuhl für Ökologie der Universität Rostock Eds), pp. 209-572. Berlin & Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Auderset, J.D. & Rey-Boissezon, A. (2013). Les Characées de Genève et environs. Distribution et Ecologie. Rapport projet de recherche DGNP-UNIGE Groupe d’Ecologie aqua-tique, Institut Forel et Institut des Sciences l’Environnement, Université de Genève. pp. [i-vii], 1-95, numerous photographs, figures and maps. Genève: Direction Générale de la Nature et du Paysage Rue des Battoirs 7 1205 Genève.

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.

Caisová, L. & Gabka, M. (2009). Charophytes (Characeae, Charophyta) in the Czech Republic: taxonomy, autecology and distribution. Fottea, Olomouc 9(1): 1-43.

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.

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]

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

Kobayasi, H. (1968). A survey of the fresh water diatoms in the vicinity of Tokyo. Japanese Journal of Botany 20(1): 93-122.

Langangen, A. (2007). Charophytes of the Nordic countries. pp. [1]-102, many figs and maps. Oslo: Saeculum ANS.

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, incl. 34 pls. 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: 12 April 2002 by M.D. Guiry

Verified by: 11 May 2020 by M.D. Guiry

Accesses: This record has been accessed by users 8631 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.)

Drew, K.M. (1926). The "leaf" of Nitella opaca, Ag., and adventitious branch development from it.. Annals of Botany 40: 321-348.
Kairesalo, T., Jónsson, G.S., Gunnarsson, K. & Jónasson, P.M. (1989). Macro- and Microalgal production within a Nitella opaca bed in Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland. Journal of Ecology 77: 332-342.

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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 26 November 2020.

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