Found in fairly still, brackish, nutrient-poor water on sand, gravel, small pebbles and silty substrata. Lamprothamnium papulosum
usually grows in water of fluctuating salinity less than 2 m deep, and is often associated with Ruppia maritima
or Ruppia cirrhosa
communities. This stonewort prefers water of salinities of between 8-28 psu, or 6 gl-1
to 31 gl-1
and total phosphorus lower than 103 g l-
. Variation in salinity appears to be important, with >15 gl-1
(24-28 ppt) being optimal for vegetative growth, with a salinity range of > 4 gl-1
. Lamprothamnium papulosum
has also been recorded from hypersaline conditions in Spain (Jonkers et al.
, 2003) and Australia (Davis & Lipkin, 1986).
Some disturbance by livestock/animals may benefit Lamprothamnium papulosum
by reducing competitive vascular plants. Habitats for Lamprothamnium papulosum
may be transient, due to salinity fluctuations or desiccation in the absence of rainfall/freshwater inputs. Lamprothamnium papulosum
is able to quickly recolonize from the spore bank when suitable conditions reoccur. However the saline lagoons habitat itself is rare and threatened.
As an alga that is specially adapted to tolerate nutrient-poor environments, the foxtail stonewort lives in natural and artificial brackish lagoons with small fluctuations in water level that never exceed two metres (1) (2) (3). Some animal disturbance helps reduce vascular competitors and so encourages foxtail stoneworts. Sand, gravel or pebbles are ideal substrates for growth (1).