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The Seashore

Polysiphonia lanosa - a red alga

Polysiphonia on Ascophyllum nodosum

Polysiphonia on Ascophyllum nodosum.

Polysiphonia is a filamentous red alga . Within the filament frond is a cell surrounded by long cells that look like small siphons (hence the name). There are a variety of species, found attached to seaweeds and rock but P. lanosa is a specific epiphyte on Ascophyllum nodosum.

The nature of Polysiphponia's relationship with Ascophyllum is still subject to debate. Some workers believe Polysiphonia is parasitic as it gains sugars from its host via hyphae sunk into egg wracks tissue. Other suggest Polysiphonia would not still have red photosynthetic pigment if it was a true parasite and hence suggest the relationship is epiphytic.

For more details see Ascophyllum's page.


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