Sunday, 25 July 2010

Discussion to focus on seaweeds
GREENLAND — What can seaweeds tell us about the water quality of the Great Bay Estuary? Quite a bit.

On Aug. 4, researcher and biologist Jeremy Nettleton will speak at 7 p.m. in the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center. The free program will present Nettleton's findings on important changes in the seaweed community structure of Great Bay. Over the last several years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of "nuisance" algae blooms in parts of the estuary. These blooms can lead to the disappearance of key plant and animal species owing to shading, nutrient depletion, and hypoxic conditions.

Along with the blooms, an invasive red algal species, Gracilaria vermiculophylla, has been detected in the estuary. Along with the increased nitrogen levels in the bay, these invasive seaweeds can affect water quality.

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