|An Atlantic population of Pikea californica (Dumontiaceae, Rhodophyta)|In: Journal of Phycology. Blackwell Science: New York. ISSN 0022-3646, more
The marine red alga Pikea californica Harvey, previously known only from the east coast of Japan and the west coast of North America, was found in 1983 to be abundant in the surge zone throughout the Isles of Scilly archipelago, off SW England. Examination of herbarium material showed that the population was present in 1967. All plants observed in July 1983 and September 1984 were sterile, but reproductive male and female plants were collected in November 1983. The habitat and phenology of P. californica in the Isles of Scilly closely resemble those of Paczfic populations. English plants are vegetatively and reproductively identical to the type and other California specimens. They can easily be distinguished from Sphaerococcus coronopifolius Stackhouse (Sphaerococcaceae, Gigartinales), the most similar species in the flora of the British Isles, by the presence in transverse section of several lacunae, representing axial and whorlbranchletjilaments, in contrast to the single axial filament of S. coronopifolius. It is possible that the Isles of Scilly population of P. californica is a relict of a species once more widespread, but it seems more likely that it is another example of the well-established pattern of marine introductions into the British Isles from the North Paczfic. The range of temperature regimes occupied by P. californica in the Pacific suggests that the species could become more widespread in Europe, but at present it appears to be confined to the Isles of Scilly.