Unlike most aquarium macro algae, C. taxifolia (Killer Algae) has the appearance of a vascular plant with "leaves" arranged neatly up stalks, like a fern. It was dubbed the aquarium strain as it was believed to have been accidentally released from fish tanks. This … 2006. It is illegal to possess or sell the alga and heavy fines apply. Oikos 122, 816–824. 2013). Caulerpa reproduces sexually and asexually and dispersal occurs through fragmentation. Verlaque et al. Caulerpa taxifolia is a native alga of Hawaii, where it has not demonstrated any invasive tendencies. The invasive Caulerpa taxifolia in the Mediterrnean. DPI will continue to issue advisory information that educates people about the importance of implementing good hygiene measures when leaving affected waterways to minimise the potential for spread of this marine alga to new waterways. In 2000, the strain was found on the coast of California (U.S.), near San Diego, and also on the coast of New South Wales, Australia. The alga has a stem (rhizome just above the seafloor. It is commonly known as sea grapes (along with the related Caulerpa lentillifera) and is found in many areas of shallow sea around the world. California has since passed a law forbidding the possession, sale or transport of Caulerpa taxifolia within the state. In contrast, Caulerpa abundance in most Sydney estuaries has remained relatively stable over recent years. Infestations of the aquarium strain have been found in the Mediterranean Sea, Australia, and California. Fish assemblages in each benthic habitat were sampled using a small beam trawl. Caulerpa is native to tropical regions throughout the world, including tropical and subtropical parts of Australia, with its southern natural limit at Moreton Bay in Queensland. No deleterious alterations in Posidonia beds in the Bay of Menton (France) eight years after Caulerpa taxifolia colonization. Results: 22/240 clams missing 14 of 22 in closed cages •Significant effect of vegetation (p=0.0071) •Artifact of collection •Not the right season for predation study . Frakes, T.A. Caulerpa Taxifolia Algae is an extremely hardy species of macro algae capable of growing very rapidly and in a wide range of aquatic environments. Since Caulerpa was first discovered in NSW in 2000, studies have been undertaken to determine the effects of the marine alga on aquatic ecosystems. Researchers at the University of Nice in France have been studying a tiny aquatic slug which is a natural predator of C. Caulerpa taxifolia is a single celled organism, but this is often overlooked because of its complexity and size. 1 m wide x0.5 m high, with 3 mm … The alga has a stem (rhizome just above the seafloor. Records of NSW DPI surveys are included in cumulative distribution maps (showing all known locations from historical data) of Caulerpa below. Aquarium caulerpa (Caulerpa taxifolia) In Australia. Sublethal effects on reproduction in native fauna: are females more vulnerable to biological invasion? Caulerpa, like all algae, absorb the minerals they need from the water via their leaves. The species thus occupies an "empty" ecological niche. 2009. The killing of such other organisms was not desirable but was deemed preferable to letting the algae grow unchecked. Molecular Ecology 10(4):931-946. This alga can invade cool temperate waters and Caulerpa has become established in several countries and areas outside its natural range. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Fact Sheet: Caulerpa taxifolia Description: Green algae with feather-like branches, leaf is 5-65 cm in length, tropical in origin, found in Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean, hybrid form found in Mediterranean Sea is much larger (plants up to 10 ft.), and can survive out of water for up to 10 days. [2] It is widely used ornamentally in aquariums, because it is considered attractive and neat in arrangement, and is easy to establish and care for. Mapping Caulerpa racemosa's expansion is difficult due to its ability to invade deeper areas rarely visited by free-divers and to its less noticable … After removing all visible fragments anchors, chains and other gear should be washed using freshwater before moving to another estuary. Impact of Caulerpa taxifolia colonization on the littoral ichthyofauna of north-western Mediterranean sea. Caulerpa taxifolia is an invasive marine alga that is widely used as a decorative plant in aquaria. The impacts of Caulerpa infestations on local seagrass populations have been well researched throughout the world (Ceccherelli and Cinelli 1997; Ceccherelli and Sechi 2002; Holmer et al. If you do, dispose of it immediately by placing it in a plastic bag in your freezer for at least 24 hours, and then placing it in the garbage. Where invasive in the south of France, it is found between 3 and 30 m deep, but it has also been found in water to 100 m deep (Boudouresque et al., 1995). Caulerpa taxifolia has gained worldwide attention and the nickname "killer algae" because of its great success in coastal Mediterranean waters. It is thought that the seaweed was accidentally released into coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea just below Jacques Cousteau's Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in 1984. Biologists used the world’s largest single-celled organism, an aquatic alga called Caulerpa taxifolia, to study the nature of structure and form in plants. Spread within affected estuaries may also occur through natural means (wind, waves, tides and currents). In July 2006, the alga had been declared eradicated from the two Southern California locations (Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad and Seagate Lagoon in Huntington Beach). Positive versus negative effects of an invasive ecosystem engineer on different components of a marine ecosystem. Aquarist Jean Jaubert, director of the aforementioned Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, has said that the affected areas in the nearby Bay of Menton have been exaggerated 100-fold. The aquarium strain reproduces asexually, that is, vegetatively: the viscous, elastic white fluid inside the stem was found under the microscope to contain only male gametes. Caulerpa has been found to create habitat that is similar to native seagrasses in some regards (e.g. pages 42,159. It grows more rapidly, tolerates cooler water, and grows at greater depth than the native species. This pest can live for 2 weeks out of water. [5] Its author, Marine biologist Alexandre Meinesz first discovered the alga in the 1980s, and requested the help of the Monaco Oceanographic Museum, which sat right next to the first known C. taxifolia patch. The abundance of Caulerpa in all south coast estuaries (St Georges Basin, Lake Conjola, Narrawallee Inlet, Burrill Lake, Durras Lake and Batemans Bay was observed during 2011/12 to have declined to a point that none could be found (based on DPI transect surveys). This actually reduces the pollution in those areas, as the caulerpa consumes it: In an eight-year study of Caulerpa beds in the French Bay of Menton by the European Oceanographic Observatory of Monaco (based within the Museum of Monaco[7]), it was found that the alga reduced pollution and aided in the recovery of native Posidonia seagrass.[8]. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Fact Sheet: Caulerpa taxifolia Description: Green algae with feather-like branches, leaf is 5-65 cm in length, tropical in origin, found in Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean, hybrid form found in Mediterranean Sea is much larger (plants up to 10 ft.), and can survive out of water for up to 10 days. Secondly, small fragments of Caulerpa can grow into new plants and create large colonies. The alga Caulerpa taxifolia is one of the most successful Due to the Mediterranean strains high growth rate, toxicity to predators and longevity, C. taxifolia has proven to be very successful in many non-native habi… A Pacific cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) on top of a C. taxifolia specimen within a marine aquarium. Rate of growth can be as fast as a centimeter per day. and Caulerpa taxifolia were present and separated by no more than 300 m. Individual habitats ranged from ca. The performance of C. taxifolia was higher than that of C. racemosa. This concern earned the algae the dubious nickname "Killer Algae" after the title of a book written on the subject. Flattened fronds. In the Mediterranean it has spread into thousands of hectares where it fills the water column with hundreds of tons of … However, this slug cannot survive in the cooler waters of the Mediterranean and, therefore, is unable to control the invasive alga there. Important note: The following maps are indicative only and may contain errors and omissions. Native to the Indian Ocean, Caulerpa Taxifolia has since taken root in both the Mediterranean Sea and portions of the Pacific ocean off the coast of Southern California through accidental introduction via commercial fishing nets and from aquarium hobbyists discarding it into coastal waters. Habitat: Caulerpa taxifolia Habitat: bare sediment . The slug has an enzyme which neutralizes the noxious effect of the poison, and at the same time, the poison protects the slug from being eaten by fish. C. taxifolia on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan. If you find any fragments of Caulerpa dispose of them in a bin to prevent contamination of other waterways. It can tolerate low temperatures and NSW researchers have confirmed that it can survive out of water, in moist conditions, for up to 3 days. It has spread widely in the Mediterranean, replacing native plants (such as seagrasses) and depriving marine life of food and habitat. Woodfield, R. 2008. Beds of the algae typically inhabit polluted, nutrient-rich areas such as sewage outfalls,[6] explaining its spread among port cities in the Mediterranean Sea. Avoid boating, fishing or anchoring in areas near Caulerpa outbreaks. The noninvasive form of Caulerpa taxifolia is native to the Caribbean, Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea. The California colonization was small enough to be considered controllable: it was covered with tarpaulin which was held down with sandbags at the edges of the infestation. In particular, there is worldwide concern about the aquarium strain of the green alga . Holmer, M., Maraba, N., Lamote, M. and Duarte, C.M. 2011). We will also continue to investigate reports of Caulerpa infestations only in waterways where it has not previously been known to occur. Caulerpa versus seagrasses; Eyre et al. Habitat-modifying invasive species can influence rates of predation on native prey either directly by providing protective structure or indirectly by modifying traits of prey species responding to the habitat. Killer Alga: the aquarium/Mediterranean strain of Caulerpa taxifolia. Caulerpa taxifolia (Vahl) C. Agardh that was introduced to the Mediterranean Sea in 1984 from the Monaco ... and habitat structure (Carlton 1999; Wilcove et al. Phylogenetic analyses of Caulerpa taxifolia (Chlorophyta) and of its associated bacterial microflora provide clues to the origin of the Mediterranean introduction. Killer algae: Ecological disaster or media hysteria? 1995. 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