Blue Ecosystems יעוץ סביבתי, בהנהלת ד"ר רחלי עינב - Botryocladia botryoides


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דף הבית >> Seaweeds of Eastern Mediterranean coast >> Rhodophyta >> Botryocladia botryoides
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Rhodophyta | Chlorophyta | Rhodophyta
Botryocladia botryoides (Wulfen) J. Feldmann

Rhodophyta, Order: Rhodymeniales; Family: Rhodymeniaccae.
Both the name of the genus (Botryocladia) and that of the  species (botryoides) are derived from the algal resemblance  to a cluster of grapes.
The Botryocladia is one of the most beautiful algae found  along our coastline. Its branches are cylindrical, and they  dichotomously branch out, ending in smooth, shiny  bladders coloured burgundy-red. The effect is that of a  small cluster of grapes. The bladders are salivary, losing  their volume and shrinking when exposed to the air.
The algal length reaches 10 cm, but it is usually smaller and  sometimes contains only a small number of vesicles or just  one. The size of each vesicle is between 4 and 7 cm.
Botryocladia botryoides boasts a fiery red colour, ranging  from dark pink to burgundy red.
Special features
The alga features a cluster of burgundy coloured bladders,  sometimes solitary and sometimes bunched together by the  dozens. Microscopic observation of a bladder section  reveals its membrane to be composed of tiny, dark cells. On  the inside, one finds onion-shaped ‘bulb-cells’.

Botryocladia botryoides -a section of the thallus  with tetraspores (reproductive spores) upon it.  
Botryocladia botryoides are to be found in the subtidal zone, in potholes and in shaded areas. The alga is abundant in the potholes created on abrasion platforms, especially on their uppermost, shaded areas, where it is protected from  direct sunlight. It develops mostly on rock surfaces, but also as an epiphyte upon other species. It may be found at a depth of 50 m upon hard substrates.
Biology and reproduction
The algal life cycle encompasses three generations: the  sexual generation (gametophyte), the haploid generation  and the asexual diploid (Sporophyte). Reproductive organs  found in the bladder branches are darkly coloured and  covered in a light wrap. The sporangium - the cystocarp - is  spherical, its cellular membrane partially flattened on one  side and upraised on the other. The spherical bladder
Botryocladia botryoides - a sporophyte bearing  tetraspores.
elongates when female reproductive cells are evident.  Reproduction occurs mainly towards summer’s end.
Seasonality and distribution
The alga is prevalent the year round. Botryocladia botryoides appears towards summer. Due to the hidden  habitat, they are difficult to harvest and may be more  predominant than realized. The alga is to be found in the  Mediterranean and the warmer regions of the Atlantic Ocean.
Additional species
Botryocladia boergesenii J. Feldmann  Botryocladia chiajeana (Meneghini) Kylin  Botryocladia pseudodichotoma (Farlow) Kylin
Another name for Botryocladia botryoides is Botryocladia  (Chrysymenia) uvaria (Wulfen) Kylin.

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