Nick Upton's picture

Epiphytic red alga on kelp stems

Observed: 6th July 2012 By: Nick UptonNick Upton’s reputation in PlantsNick Upton’s reputation in PlantsNick Upton’s reputation in PlantsNick Upton’s reputation in Plants
Epiphytic red alga, Dulse (Palmaria palmata) growing on stems of Oarweed / Tangle / Common kelp (Laminaria digitata) exposed on a low spring tide, Crail, Fife, UK, July

Masses of this red alga seen on Laminaria hyperborea fronds, as well as on rocks exposed on a low spring tide in Scotland.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


JoC's picture

Laminaria stipes

The species which typically has epiphytes like this is L. hyperborea. Your post
shows typical L. digitata which has a smooth stipe. There is a smooth, probably L. digitata stipe in this post, bottom left, too.


Nick Upton's picture


Hi Jo, Yes I'm sure you are right, thanks, and I have now corrected the kelp ID in the description above. Once I got to now my kelps better having photographed flexible stemmed L. digitata in Cornwall later in the year, I did ID the stiff-stemmed kelps I'd photographed in Scotland as hyperborea e.g. in this post:

I was never sure if the smooth stiped fronds in Scotland were just young hyperborea or digitata mixed in with them.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

JoC's picture

How do you tell a young L.hyperborea from L. digitata?

A good question. I looked at Marlin for an answer, but I am none the wiser. They have differently-shaped holdfasts when mature, but when young?Anyone got any ideas?

L. digitata

L. hyperborea


dejayM's picture

How you might tell

Over three years later, in my 4th year of Marine Algae, I produced two Observations which might go some way to answering this, though there are so very few agreements!
I am backtracing all Laminaria posts