Experimental culture ofAlaria in a sub-arctic, free-flowing sea water system
- G. R. South1
© Biologischen Anstalt Helgoland 1970
1. In Newfoundland (Canada) the Phaeophycean genusAlaria presents difficult taxonomic problems, best approached by an experimental culture technique in which plants can be grown to maturity in the laboratory.
2. A method is described for growingAlaria esculenta (L.)Grev. in a tank supplied with filtered, free-flowing sea water and artificial illumination.
3. Starting from zoospores, sporophytes up to 30 cm long were obtained in a six months' period of growth. Although completely developed vegetatively, plants did not produce sporophylls and remained sterile.
4. Until fertile sporophytes bearing the taxonomically important sporophylls can be grown in the laboratory, experimental taxonomic work with the genus will be hampered.
5. Evidence did accumulate to indicate that sporophyll initiation, once it occurs in the field, will continue in culture. Light is considered an important factor possibly controlling sporophyll production.