Long-term and diurnal carpospore discharge patterns in the Ceramiaceae Rhodomelaceae and Delesseriaceae (Rhodophyta)

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Abstract

In laboratory culture, controlled fertilization resulted in mature carposporophytes of the Ceramiales indicated below. Carpospore discharge was observed daily. In the Ceramiaceae Spyridia filamentosa cystocarp-pairs released spores twice in succession (range: 32–537 total spores/carposporophyte). Discharge by all cystocarp-pairs occurred during the dark period of the daily light:dark cycle (12:12 LD) and was completed in 12 d. In reverse cycle (12:12 and 16:8 DL) spore release reversed in 3d. In the Rhodomelaceae Bostrychia moritziana, Pterosiphonia pennata and Murrayella periclados discharged spores from isolated cystocarps over periods up 58 d (ranges: 318–4112, 1051–2271 and 451–3162 total spores/carposporophyte respectively) without any diurnal or long-term rhythmicity. In the Delesseriaceae cystocarps of Caloglossa leprieurii and Caloglossa ogasawaraensis released spores for up to 31 d (ranges: 271–3050 and 565–1286 total spores/carposporophyte respectively). Discharge peaks occurred at 5–7 d intervals with viable cystocarps and spore numbers gradually declining. Thus, in the plants studied, there are at least three patterns of carpospore release from individual mature carposporophytes: a relatively short-term dual release pattern, a long-term non-rhythmic release pattern and a long-term rhythmic release pattern. Results also indicated that excised cystocarps without associated vegetative branches showed a much reduced spore production.