Growth-forms in Non-geniculate Coralline Red Algae (Coralliinales, Rhodophyta) Academic Article uri icon


  • Although differences in growth-form have been widely used in delimiting taxa of non-geniculate coralline red algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta), there has been no consistent application of the more than 100 terms employed to describe the growth-forms present, and considerable confusion has resulted. This study of over 5000 populations of non-geniculate corallines from all parts of the world has shown that an intergrading network of growth-forms with 10 focal points is present: unconsolidated, encrusting, warty, lumpy, fruticose, discoid, layered, foliose, ribbon-like and arborescent. This focal point terminology can be used to describe any specimen or species of non-geniculate coralline in a consistent, easily interpretable manner. Details of the system are provided, the relationships of the system to past proposals are discussed, and the extent to which differences in growth-forms can be used as taxonomic characters in the non-geniculate Corallinales is reviewed.

publication date

  • 1993