The Unique Kelp

  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology | Triplicata



Crossections of reproductive sori with enlarged cells of meristoderm from C. triplicata (crossection 33 micrometers wide, each cell 1-2 micrometers)

Life cycle of C. triplicata (Illustration by Andrea Dingeldein)




When reproductive, Cymathere triplicata produces sporangia and paraphyses (filaments) in patches called sori.  These sporangia and paraphyses grow out from the epidermal cells in rows, covering the surface of the blade.  Irregular patches of brown or green are indicative of the reproductive areas (1).







When zoospores of C. triplicata are released from the sporangium into the water column, they usually settle close to parent plant due to calm waters they inhabit (2).  These settled zoospores produce male and female gametophytes.  Gametophytes of all kelps are filamentous and branched, and undergo mitosis to form sperm and eggs.  When fertilization occurs, a zygote is formed which will eventually settle and become an adult sporophyte (1).





Website created by:
Andrea Dingeldein
ZooBot Spring Quarter 2009
Friday Harbor Laboratories
University of Washington


1)Fritsch, F. E. The Structure and Reproduction of the Algae: Vol. II. London: Cambridge University Press, 1945. 192-254.

2)Griggs, Robert F. 1907. Cymathere, a kelp from the western coast. The Ohio Naturalist 7,5:89-96.

All photos taken by Andrea Dingeldein unless otherwise noted and are not to be reproduced without proper credit given to the photographer.