[Coral-List] RE: Is the Caulerpa Taxifolia in the Rio Grande? (Paula Morgan)

Britta Schaffelke britta.schaffelke at crcreef.com
Tue Oct 14 20:54:34 EDT 2003

Dear Paula,

Caulerpa taxifolia is a marine seaweed, which has been introduced to a number of coastal areas around the world. 
Exposure to low salinity (< 10 ppt) is considered to be one of the more benign options to control or possibly eradicate this invasive species. This option has been trialed in South Australia, where C. taxifolia has been introduced to a few, mainly artificial, environments such as coastal lakes and inlets. Check out a recent press release by the South Australian government: http://www.fishsa.com/PIRSA-Caulerpa-Freshwater.doc .

My advice would be to get an expert to identify the aquatic plant you found, to confirm whether you are actually dealing with Caulerpa taxifolia. The easiest way would be to send specimens to a local phycologist. I suggest to contact Prof Susan Williams, Director of the Bodega Bay Marine Lab, University of California at Davis. She is doing research on Caulerpa taxifolia introduced to coastal lagoons in California.


Dr Britta Schaffelke
CRC Reef Research Centre
Manager Knowledge Exchange & Education

PO Box 772
Townsville QLD 4810, Australia
ph.  (++61) 07 47298405
fax   (++61) 07 47298499


Message: 2
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 08:02:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paula Morgan <thompaula_2000 at yahoo.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] Is the Caulerpa Taxifolia in the Rio Grande?
To: Jim Hendee <Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov>, coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <20031014150230.59229.qmail at web40302.mail.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Dear Coral List:

One of the students in the River Ranger Project, Ms. Tiana Baca, a high school sophomore, has been studying the reputed "killer algae" Caulerpa Taxifolia, in a chemistry class.

Our question is this: Can Caulerpa Taxifolia live in rivers and be transported all the way to the Ocean? For instance, we want to know if this algae lives in our river and pollutes the Ocean at Boca Chica where the Rio Grande sometimes enters the Gulf of Mexico.

Is there a protocol or way we can test a sample of our river water for this algae? What are the specifics, please.

Thank you, Coral List!

Paula Morgan, Director

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