Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 545–556 | Cite as

Morphological variations of Macrocystis pyrifera in the Falkland Islands in relation to environment and season

  • B. I. van Tussenbroek


Some morphological characteristics of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in the Falkland Islands were studied from December 1985 until March 1987 in a shallow and relatively sheltered coastal zone and from December 1985 until January 1987 in a deeper offshore field exposed to swells. Seasonal fluctuations in lamina wet weight, density and form as well as pneumatocyst wet weight form and stipe density (i.e., wet weight per unit length) paralleled fluctuations in frond wet weight. Morphological differences between canopies of the giant kelp in the coastal zone and the offshore bed were probably mainly due to differences in water movement and depth between the two sites. Laminae and pneumatocysts of submersed-frond sites had different shapes than those of canopy-forming portions of fronds at the same sites, and their internodes were longer.


Morphological Characteristic Unit Length Coastal Zone Morphological Variation Morphological Difference 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. I. van Tussenbroek
    • 1
  1. 1.Port Erin Marine LaboratoryUniversity of LiverpoolPort Erin, Isle of ManUK

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