Marine Biology

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 77–82 | Cite as

Occurrence and biological role of light-induced chromatophore displacements in seaweeds

  • W. Nultsch
  • J. Pfau


The occurrence of light-induced chromatophore displacements and concomitant transmittance changes in marine algae was investigated by microscope and photometrically with an automated recording microphotometer system; 16 brown, 6 green and 20 red algae were studied. In most of the brown algae, both phaeoplast displacements and transmittance changes were found. In some red algae which are frequently exposed to direct sun light during emergence at low tide, light-induced transmittance changes were measured, but they could not unequivocally be correlated with changes in the position of rhodoplasts. Among green algae, only Ulva lactuca shows chloroplast displacements which, however, follow circadian rhythms and are consequently not light-induced in the strict sense. The dose-response curves of light-induced chromatophore displacements were measured in the following Fucus and Laminaria species: F. spiralis, F. vesiculosus, F. serratus, L. digitata, L. saccharina and L. hyperborea. While in Fucus species correlations between light-induced transmittance changes and zonation of the intertidal area seem to exist, no significant differences have been found in the Laminaria species. The physiological role and ecological importance of light-induced chromatophore displacements for seaweeds living in the intertidal belt are discussed.


Brown Alga Ulva Chloroplast Movement Transmittance Change Ulva Lactuca 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Nultsch
    • 1
  • J. Pfau
    • 1
  1. 1.Lenrstuhl für BotanikFachbereich Biologie der Philipps-Universität MarburgMarburg/LahnGermany

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