sugar kelp  
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Life cycle


This drawing is adpated from Marine Botany

(C. J. Dawes, 1997).


Saccharina latissima is a diplohaplontic heteromorphic species exhibiting both microscopic and macroscopic stages. The sporophytes thrive in fall and release spores in spring. Spores are produced in a sorus that covers much of the surface of its blade. The microscopic gametophytes are dioecious. Female gametophytes produce lamoxirene to attract the sperm from male gametophytes to fertilize the eggs. Gametophytes have been recently confirmed as endophytes in filamentous red algae. (Marine Botany, C.J. Dawes)

Zoospore and gamete production are also controlled by spectral quality, day length, and water temperature (Dring, 1988). Because Saccharina latissima is a cold water species, sporophytes cannot survive if the water is warmer than 15°C to 20°C. Furthermore, the gamtophytes fail to mature above 10°C to 15°C. In addition, higher temperature results in more male gametophyte formation.

Spore release is heavily inhibited by pollutants such as petroleum products.



O’Claire R. M. and Lindstrom, S. C. North Pacific Seaweeds.

Dawes, C. J. 1997. Marine Botany

Dring, M.J., 1988. Photocontrol of development of algae. Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. Mol. Biol. 39:157-174.