Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday Observations of Terrestrial and Tidal Ecosystems on Lovell Island Boston Harbor

Tidal Plant Life: PART ONE

I first observed that this intertidal area contained an abundance of seaweed; six distinctly different types. (Probably more, but I examined six)

Specimen 1: The first was olive green and branched. The specimen was 5 inches in length, and had air bladders at the end of the branches. There were eight branches in all, and each bladder was a slightly lighter yellow green color. This species is called Fucus vesiculosis; commonly known as Rockweed.

Specimen 2: This next specimen was about 3 inches in length, bright green, and individually stranded. It took on the appearance of grass. All strands were individual, and there was no centralized stalk. Through some research, I found out this species is called Enteromorpha flexulosa; commonly known as Hollow Green Weed.

Specimen 3: A dark brownish red with intermingled green and highly branched. It was 6 inches in length, and had a “bushy” appearance to it. The end tips of some branches were green. This specimen seemed to have 2 bushy ends that were connected by a centralized stalk. Again, through some research, I've determined that this species is Chondrus crispus; commonly known as Irish Moss

Specimen 4: This specimen was also brownish red with tinges of green, and was highly branched with a centralized stalk. Unlike specimen 3, this one did not have a bushy appearance. Instead, each branch was long and slender with a centralized “vein” like structure running through the middle of all branches. This specimen was about 10 inches in length. Due to time constraints, I could not figure out for the life of me what this was. But I tried.

Specimen 5: This specimen was a smooth and translucent with a light brown color and ruffled edges. It ran about 8 inches in length, and had a “ribbon” appearance to it. I know that this is a kelp, and I'm guessing that specifically this a brown kelp known as Laminaria arghadii

Specimen 6: This specimen was similar to 5 in shape. It ran smooth in the middle with ruffled edges, but the coloring was a deeper red brown and it was less translucent. Running parallel on each inner side of the ruffles, there were a series of small indentations that formed lines. This is another species of kelp that may in fact be the same one as seen in specimen 4. However, I don't believe it to be because of the dimpled lines and the darker color. I think this kelp may be Laminaria saccharina, but i'm not entirely sure.

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