A small reddish-brown filamentous alga most commonly associated with the fucoid alga Ascophyllum nodosum. The filaments are made up of a ring of 12 -24 elongated cells or siphons surrounding a central siphon. The plant is found wherever the host is common. Polysiphonia lanosa has occasionally been recorded as an epiphyte on Fucus serratus and Fucus vesiculosus and, more rarely, on rocky substrata.
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