Acid Algae

  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology | Biochemistry





Desmarestia viridis (Pressing and Photo by Noemi Ramirez)






Beautiful and dangerous.

Among macroalgae, grazer resistance due to morphology (toughness or calcification) seems to be more common than chemical defense by toxic or distasteful compounds. Desmarestia is an unusual exception, with a high sulfuric acid content (vacuolar pH approx. = 1; McClintock et al. 1982). This acidity seems to deter sea urchins, unless there is no other food source avaible. (Lobban & Harrison, 1994).

This alga has a pH of 1 when it is brown and a pH of 0 when it turns green!!! (personal observation).






Website created by:

Noemi Ramirez

ZooBot Spring Quarter 2009

Friday Harbor Laboratories

University of Washington