Edible algae: Nori (Porphyra sp.)
Red algae have a complicated life history, often involving three stages of independent organisms to complete their life cycle.
The elucidation of this life cycle was critical for the billion-dollar nori industry of Japan.
The edible nori stage releases gametes, that fuse together upon the female to produce a stage which releases spores.
The dispersed spores germinate into a smaller alga with a radically different appearance and ecology.
This conchocelis phase burrows into the shells of marine animals, where it matures, dispersing conchospores which germinate into the edible phase of the life cycle.