Anyone looking forward to summer and cooling off with ice cream🍦 may look to algae with thanks
The thick brown, flexible and strong algae we 🏊🏼♀️ & 🏄🏼♀️ with, the Bull Kelp (Durvillaea potatorum), forms the basis of important ecosystems.
Living up to 8 x years, it is one of the fastest growing algaes, able to grow to lengths over 30 m. Providing shelter from predators and strong currents, the forests create important nursery areas and sanctuaries for many species of fish, crustaceans, suspension feeders, and other invertebrates, including sea urchins, sea stars and crabs.
Being a good source of trace minerals it also contains Alginate, a compound found within the cell walls of brown algae, that causes liquids to gel, and therein used in ice creams (amongst many other uses, both traditional and current).
Usually found in areas with high nutrient levels, such as where deep-water upwellings of nutrients occur, it only grows in cooler waters.
Happy summer Marine Monday exploring day to you 😀
With the commencement of December, I’ll be looking forward to writing more Marine Monday’s in Jan 2020.
- Rebecca Hosking