Identifying algae is not always easy! Learn more about the algae monitored by the LiMPETS program. The list below includes:
- 16 core taxa that are monitored at as many sites as possible
- 3 other taxa (denoted with *) that are monitored at only one or two sites
Go to Datasheets and Forms to find out which species are monitored at your LiMPETS site of interest.
- Dead man’s fingers – Codium fragile
- Encrusting coralline algae – many species
- Feather boa kelp – Egregia menziesii
- Flattened rockweeds – Fucus gardneri/Hesperophycus californicus
- Green pin-cushion alga – Cladophora columbiana
- Iridescent algae – Mazzaella flaccida/splendens
- Lawn alga – Chondracanthus canaliculatus
- Nori – Porphyra spp.
- Scouring-pad alga – Endocladia muricata
- Sea lettuces – Ulva spp.
- Sea sacs – Halosaccion glandiforme
- Slender rockweeds – Pelvetiopsis limitata/Silvetia compressa
- Stunted turkish towel – Mastocarpus spp./Mazzaella affinis
- Surfgrasses – Phyllospadix scouleri/torreyi
- Tar spot algae – Mastocarpus spp./Ralfsia spp. and others
- Upright coralline algae – Bossiella spp./Calliarthron spp./Corallina spp.
- * Christmas card algae – Microcladia spp./Plocamium spp.
- * Frilly red algae – Cryptopleura spp.
- * Vermicelli alga – Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis
- We also monitor:
- Bare rock
- Loose sand
- Tar (petroleum)
Nori (Porphyra spp.)
- Nori has a broad, thin, stipeless blade that is only one or two cell layers thick. The thin, delicate blades are often deeply ruffled. It is found in a variety of colors, depending on the species, including grayish green, brownish purple and black (when dried out). Since Nori does not have a stipe, it attaches to rocks with a very small holdfast.
- Alaska to Baja California.
- Common on rocks, man-made structures and other algae in the high intertidal.
- Sunlight and dissolved nutrients, which are required for photosynthesis.
- Fun Fact:
- Nori has the remarkable capacity for survival against desiccation and can dry out for days without harm. It is a rich source of vitamin C, is high in iron, and contains up to 25% protein by weight. Japanese nori is one of the most extensively cultivated seaweeds in the world. This edible (and tasty) seaweed is pressed into sheets and used to wrap sushi and eaten in many other dishes as well.
- Reason for Monitoring:
- Porphyra blades can be very abundant in spring and early summer in the high zone. When present, it is therefore a good indicator of the high zone. During the rest of the year, the algae magically “disappears” as it transforms into a different microscopic phase of its life cycle.
- Encyclopedia of the Sanctuary
- Mondragon, J and J. Mondragon. 2003. Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast: Common Marine Algae from Alaska to Baja California. Sea Challengers, Monterey,California.