All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Seaweed Survey Complete

A UNH plant biology professor has spent the last five years collecting more than 8,500 species of seaweed from locations in Casco Bay. Arthur Mathieson compared his list with that made by Frank Collins a century ago, and found there's been a 25 percent change in the mix of species.
While many new species have made their way to Casco Bay waters, others are dying off, he said. The change in 100 years is a "significant loss," he said.

And the new species can have a detrimental impact. Codium fragile, for instance, can lift shellfish and carry them out of their natural habitat, or grow over the two halves of a shell and keep it from opening to feed. [Link]
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