Morphological Survey

The morphological survey yielded only weak correlations between morphological parameters. One reason for this finding seems to be the distribution of data in two overlapping "clouds" as can be seen in particular with the correlation between blade length and stipe length (Figure 3.14, bottom panels). The two overlapping data sets in Figure 3.13 and Figure 3.14 possibly represent older, well-established individuals and young individuals with overproportioned large blades. It can be hypothesized that some of these fast-growing individuals have not yet experienced severe winter storms that have the potential to prune the blades to a size that can be easily correlated to the dimensions of the stipe or, alternatively, will cause the dislodgment of these individuals. As the determination of age is difficult with Durvillaea, long-term studies with tagged populations are necessary to establish a clearer view on correlations between typical wave exposure and subsequent morphological adaptations.

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