The pretty green rope

  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology | Epizoic Growth




Acrosiphonia growth at Botanical Beach, Vancouver Island B.C. Canada


Acrosiphonia with snails on it, along with an isopod underneath at Dead Man's Bay, San Juan Island, WA.






Two comprehensive research articles addressing interactions with Acrosiphonia species.

First, detectable concentrations of DMSP (dimethylsulfoniopropionate) have been found. This is an activated defense system against grazers. DMSP is broken down to acylic acid or acrylate (depending on pH) and dimethylsulfide. In the lab, acrylic acid deterred sea urchin feeding but not isopod herbivory (1). You can catch a whiff of this rotten egg smell if you grind some fresh branches together between your fingers.

Second, Acrosiphonia is unusual in that it does not show a response to external nitrogen levels via nitrate reductase activity. This is one of the few exceptions of a comprehensive study of 21 species of macroalgae collected from Kongsfjord. Which specific species of Acrosiphonia was not mentioned in the paper (2).






Website created by:

Travis Seaborn

ZooBot Spring Quarter 2009

Friday Harbor Laboratories

University of Washington

All images created by the author, except where indicated, and cannot be used without permission from the author.




1) Van Alstyne, K. L., G. V. Wolfe, T. L. Freidenburg, A. Neill, and C. Hicken. 2001. Activated defense systems in marine macroalgae: evidence for an ecological role for DMSP cleavage. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 213:53-65.

2) Gordillo, F. J. L., J. Aguilera, and C. Jimenez. 2006. The response of nutrient assimilation and biochemical composition of Arctic seaweeds to a nutrient input in summer. Journal of Experimental Botany 57:2661-2671.