Archive for the ‘algae’ Category

Harmful Algal Bloom Impacts Sonoma Coast Abalone

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

A Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB), known more popularly as a Red Tide, invaded the Sonoma Coast in September and wrought havoc on the abalone population. HABs have occurred in the area around Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in recent years, but fortunately have thus far not had such devastating effects on our rocky reef community, perhaps because our reef is exposed to moving tidal currents on even the calmest of days. (HABs tend to form when seas are calm and skies are sunny.)

Read more about the Sonoma Coast HAB event and what researchers are learning from it at KQED Quest’s web site:

What’s all that pink stuff?

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The color pink abounds in the tidepools. Much of it is coralline algae, a type of red algae that flourishes in marine environments around the world.

Encrusting Coralline Algae Surrounding a Chiton

Encrusting coralline algae surrounding a chiton

Coralline algae gets its name and rock-hard texture from calcareous deposits in its cells. Having this hard shell makes it an unappetizing food for most grazers in the tidepools, but sea urchins and some limpets and chitons feed on it.

There are two basic forms of coralline algae. (more…)