We describe the abundance, including spatial and temporal variability, of phases of the isomorphic Chondrus verrucosus Mikami from Japan. Chondrus verrucosus occurred in a dense (∼90% cover) and temporally stable bed on a small, isolated rocky outcrop (Oyakoiwa) in Shizuoka Prefecture. Small vegetative fronds were always much more abundant than large vegetative and fertile fronds over the spring to late summer periods in 1999 and 2000. Over the same period, fertile carposporophytic fronds were generally more abundant than fertile tetrasporophytic fronds, and fertile male fronds appeared infrequently at low densities. Using the resorcinol-acetal test, we determined the proportion of gametophytes and tetrasporophytes in three populations of C. verrucosus: Oyakoiwa and Noroshi (Shizuoka) in the summers of 1999 and 2000 and Kamehana Point (Miyagi) in autumn 2000. All populations had a significantly higher proportion of gametophytes than tetrasporophytes in both years, although gametophytic proportions were lower at Noroshi (∼70%) than at Oyakoiwa (∼80%) and Kamehana Point (∼97%). However, examination of all isolated individuals sampled on Noroshi showed equal proportions of each phase in 1999, but gametophyte dominance (74%) in 2000. Differences in dispersal and spore production between phases are discussed as mechanisms potentially contributing to variation in gametophyte dominance.
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