Saturday, July 31, 2010

Plant Observations: Day Three

Hi Everyone,

Here are my plant observations:

1. One plant I observed look like a species of seaweed or marine “grass” that I had seen before. Our group collected the sample from the dock of the Barking Crab in the late morning. Its color was dark green and the texture was soft and slimy with some patches throughout that were rougher to the touch. The plant had a base from which separate soft branches sprouted out. Each branch

had what looked like little air sacks at the top. After researching, I think I have come to the conclusion that what I observed was called Fucus vesiculosus.

Common names for the plant include, bladder wrack, rockweed, and seaoak. I am basing my identification on the description I found and the pictures that accompanied it. The description of “bladderwrack” reads, “Bladder wrack occurs intertidally on the middle-shore, where it grows attached to rocky substrates”.

2. The second seaweed that I observed was green, leafy, and had a thick body. We found this sample by the Barking Crab as well. After investigating exactly what type of seaweed I think it is- I came to the conclusion that it was Ulva lactuca or Sea Lettuce. I found my research from the “ A field guide to economically important seaweeds of northern New England” an article published from UMaine. In the article it describes Sea Lettuce as:” the shape of Ulva is quite variable; some specimens are almost circular or oval while others are narrow and elongated. Plants have a fine, silky texture with waved or ruffled margins.” The article also states that ,” Ulva is found in a variety of places-on exposed rocks, in tide pools, and in quiet shallow bays near the low tide mark. Ulva thrives in estuarine, nutrient-rich waters and may be dense in salt marshes and on mud flats where fresh water is abundant.”

3. The last plant that I observed was tangled and brown. It looked like some type of seaweed, but again I wasn’t sure of what specific kind it was. Our group picked it up from the dock of the Barking Crab in the early afternoon. After investigating, I came to a conclusion that what I found is classified as Brown Algae. I used the same article, “ A field guide to economically important seaweeds of Northern England.” Brown Algae is found in the intertidal zones of New England’s waters.

- Hilary Katulak

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