Antarctic Marine Flora: Uniquely Devoid of Kelps

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Science  10 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4295, pp. 1206-1208
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4295.1206


The discovery of embryonic stages of the common large Antarctic brown seaweed Himantothallus has led to the conclusion that this plant, hitherto assigned equivocally to the Laminariales (kelps), is a member of the Desmarestiales. Moreover, field study of a large sample of Himantothallus and two other enigmatic brown algae, Phyllogigas and Phaeoglossum, has led to the merger of these three genera with the recognition of a single species, Himantothallus grandifolius. The correct placement of these kelp-like algae underscores the uniqueness of the Antarctic marine flora as the only cold-water flora without kelps.