Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Rhodophyta
Class Rhodophyceae
Order Bangiales
Family Bangiaceae
Genus Phorphyra
Species leucosticta
Classification Thuret, 1863
Common name laver

Geographic Range north-eastern Atlantic (Iceland, Norway, Baltic Sea, Holland, Ireland, Britain, France, Portugal, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands), Mediterranean Sea (Spain, Corsica, Adriatic, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia).
Physical Characteristics deep dark red rhodophyta; it has a very thin laminar thallus, exclusively lanceolate but not pointed; it is never branched. It has dimensions ranging from few centimetres up to 60 centimeters when it vegetates in eutrophicated waters in the lagoon channels. Its margin is sometimes whitish when the laver is fertile. It has cells which have a rayed pigmentation formation, called chromatophore, and in the centre a pyrenoid, another cytoplasm formation belonging to the plastids, the organelles involved in the photosynthesis. It is formed from a basal disc attached to the substrate, leaves are reddish-brown, ribbon-like, made up of one layer of cells.
Notes it has its maximum development at the end of winter and in spring. Asexual reproduction occurs by spores. In the life cycle the succession of two different generations occurs: the gametophyte, represented by the weed found on the solid substrata, and the sporophyte which is a microscopic filament.
Habitat it is almost always, if not even constantly epiphyte, on other weeds of the upper littoral level and therefore it bears rather well long uncovering due to syzygy low tides.
Food habits it is an autotrophous weed.
Status in the lagoon it is found in every sea and lagoon resorts and also in the resorts with waters purer than the sea such as in the historical town centres of Chioggia and Venice.

References Le alghe della Laguna di Venezia - Distribuzione, raccolta, conservazione ed osservazione, di Bruno La Rocca
University of California - Santa Cruz, Biological Sciences Course Materials
Web References http://www.terranea.it/personali/alghe/present.htm
Source of the photo http://www.horta.uac.pt/

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