News of the WeekEcology

California Algae May Be Feared European Species

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Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 222-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.222b

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A volleyball-court-sized patch of bright green algae in a San Diego lagoon has set off alarm bells among ecologists and officials. Scientists strongly suspect that the algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, is the same fast-growing, non-native clone that has swept over the northwestern Mediterranean sea floor in the past decade with devastating ecological consequences. A consortium of agencies and private groups has cordoned off the lagoon and is laying plans to poison the seaweed, marking the first major U.S. attempt to stop an incipient marine species invasion.