Homepage (Univ. of Galway)
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AKVARISTEN (Text in Norwegian, pictures of algae in aquaria)
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Harmful Algal Blooms
Pressing Seaweeds Page
Revised Checklist of British Marine Algae (Acrobat format file)
Search for a Seaweed (scientific names only)
Seaweeds (Links to other sites)
Seaweeds of the NE Atlantic
Sussex Seaweed Project
URLS keep changing
Guest slide constructed for my presentation "The Seashore Rockpooler"
Click on the images for the original photographs or links to more images
Red seaweeds (Rhodophyta) are the most diverse and species rich group of seaweeds.
come in all shades from orangey red to pink and can change colour when
bleached in the sun or submerged underwater.
Growth forms vary between multi-branched fronds that arise from a stipe, to laminar transparent sheet like forms, to hard encrustations. Even a single species can exhibit a range of morphologies. For example Chondrus crispus can have a flat dichotomously notched frond (not unlike a moose’s antler) or, a thin narrow dichotomously branched frond.
are over 350 species of red seaweed around the UK, many of which require
specialized skills in taxonomy to identify.
crispus and Mastocarpus
Photograph by Tabitha Pearman: Salty Scavenger (Rockpooling)
with a photographic guide to some common seaweeds.
The seaweeds are
fertile and there is no reason why it will fail to establish itself as
an addition to the British marine fauna. The alga is one of the brown kelps
similar to the Dabberlocks, Alaria esculenta. (Report in the Vernal/Summer
The alien (Mediterranean) red seaweed Feldmannophycus ocmuriae was discovered at Pen-y-Holt, south Pembrokeshire. We have found it at West Angle Bay and at South Hook Point.
The alien Japweed,
muticum, is found all along the English Channel, and has been around
since the 1960s.
During the day the phytoplankton photosynthesise and reproduce, the phenomenon called 'blooming'. The greatest 'blooming' occurs in the brightest sunlight is associated with hot weather and higher sea temperatures.
of the phytoplankton produces oxygen, which can supersaturate the surface
waters of the sea, However, at the later stages of the phytoplankton blooms
the nutrients they need are exhausted and the algae die and sink to the
bottom where they decay, a process which uses up oxygen and creates hypoxic
conditions (a deficiency of dissolved oxygen). There are many records of
plankton blooms causing mass mortalities of benthic fauna.
e.g. Mass Mortality of the Heart Urchin.
is a prymnesiophyte flagellate that reproduces by fission at a phenomenal
rate and forms large colonies about 1 mm in diameter. It exudes the sulphur
sulphide(DMS ) which raises local levels in the atmosphere.
The seaweed Cladophora rupestris is a widespread algae invariably growing on the brown wrack Serratus fucatus where is grazed by the Flat Periwinkle, Littorina mariae.
Goby, Gobius paganellus, in aquaria, poking its head out of
a rock strewn with the filamentous algae Cladophora
spreads by its rhizoidal base.
in Killary fjord, southern Ireland, the plankton bloom in the late summer
affects the local mussel harvest but causes no damage to the salmon farm.
Non-native red seaweed Feldmannophycus ocmuriae at Pen-y-Holt, south Pembrokeshire. We have found it at West Angle Bay and at South Hook Point.
The seaweed was identified at West Angle Bay during the CCW intertidal survey by Francis Bunker. Professor Christine Maggs later confirmed the id. This is what Christine said about it in an e mail to Francis:
both Caulacanthus... and Feldmannophycus are right:
ustulatus is a common rocky shore species in Southern Europe
and the Mediterranean Sea. Several species of the genus Caulacanthus
have been described around the world, including a Mediterranean species,
rayssiae. After the discovery of cystocarpic individuals, this species
was later proposed as the type of a new genus, Feldmannophycus.
Our study shows clearly that the Asian strain of Caulacanthus ustulatus
(=Caulacanthus okamurae) introduced into Brittany and southern England
is conspecific with Feldmannophycus rayssiae, and is present in many Western
European shores, sometimes alongside native C. ustulatus, including
in its type locality. Present results show also that other species present
in the Indo-Pacific region belong to either genus.
We think the correct name of the British material is Feldmannophycus okamurae"
- 14 August 2009
Thousands of fish have died of suffocation in the seas of St. Austell Bay in south Cornwall.
"The more we looked, the more dead fish we found, mainly small ones, but eventually even about half a dozen Cuckoo Wrasse, Labrus bimaculatus, - a beautiful red and blue fish, and some others which someone identified as baby Dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, all unmarked but dead in rock pools or on the shoreline. One chap even hauled out a large Conger Eel, Conger conger, from a pool, obviously dead."
The dead fish coincided with a large bloom of plankton that had been blown into the bay. The bloom had turned the water brown and left sludge deposit on the shore. The exact species has been identified as the dinoflagellate, Karenia mikimotoi.
Western Morning News Report
Wild About Britain Forum (Report)
BBC News Report (1)
BBC News Report (2)
Web Site Report by David Fenwick
Selected microphytoplankton species from the North Sea
Plymouth Marine Laboratory scientists have detected two large algal blooms; one off the coast of Ireland and the other closer to home covering an area from the Lizard, in Cornwall, to Salcombe, in Devon.
When such blooms occur scientists from a range of disciplines are brought together to identify the plankton responsible and establish whether there is any threat to people or other marine life.
In this case the bloom, which is likely to discolour the sea, consists of vast numbers of a harmless microscopic plant called Skeletonema costatum and poses no threat.
Long term monitoring of natural events like plankton blooms is a key part of nationwide programmes to understand and predict how our seas may be changing. Using satellites to detect the timing of such blooms is one way of trying to discover how the oceans are being affected by climate change and other environmental factors, for example.
New Scientific Names
names are always a bit of nuisance to Editors. It is understandable when
it is because of new scientific research, but is less appealing when the
change occurs in the literature applying the rules of precedent over the
names. This is the reason why some of the very common British seaweeds
are now known by different names. In the family Gigartinaceae, the common
and well known
Gigartina stellata has now been given the name of
stellatus. The Pepper Dulse, known as Laurencia pinnatifida
is now called Osmundea pinnatifida.
takes papers on all marine plants, phytoplankton, seaweeds, fungi, seagrasses
and even marine
Dr Gerald T.
Boalch, F.I. Biol.,
Plymouth PL1 2PB,
gtb@ mba.ac uk
a discussion list on any aspect of freshwater, marine and
terrestrial algae, including seaweeds.
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