sea cabbage  
  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology |Trampling

Life History

sketches of bullate (top) and smooth (bottom) forms (from Armstrong 1987)


Saccharina sessile is a kelp of the Order Laminariales and thus has a similar life cycle to most kelps with a heteromorphic alternation of generations and a dominant macroscopic sporophyte and a microscopic gametophyte phase.

The sporophytes are large and parenchymous with an intercalary meristem. The gametophytes are microscopic and filamentous with an apical meristem.

S. sessile is oogamous with an egg that is sometimes flagellated and the reproductive unilocular sporangia on the sporophyte are concentrated into patches, or sori (9). It becomes fertile in the late fall and winter with maximum sporophyte growth during the summer (10).


(9) Fritsch, F.E. The Structure and Reproduction of the Algae. Cambridge University Press. 1961.
(10) O’Clair, Rita and Sandra C. Lindstrom. North Pacific Seaweeds. Plant Press. Auke Bay, AK: 2000.