Significant Increase of Invasive Seaweed Is Changing Sea Habitats in the Gulf of Maine

Significant Increase of Invasive Seaweed Is Changing Sea Habitats in the Gulf of Maine

Jul 03, 2017
An invasive seaweed, Dasysiphonia japonica, has significantly altered the ocean floor in the Gulf of Maine. Photo by Kristen Mello.

A UNH research team led by Jennifer Dijkstra, research assistant professor in the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, has found that over the last 30 years,   the towering kelp seaweed beds, once dominant in the Gulf of Maine, are declining, and more invasive, shrub-like species of seaweed have taken their place, altering the look of the ocean floor and the base of the marine food chain.

Studies are undeway to determine the impacts of the invasive types of seaweed and why they are so successful in the Gulf of Maine.

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