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Spyridia filamentosa is a common red alga (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) species found in most intertidal marine waters of the tropics and warm temperate areas around the world; in some locations it makes up the majority of algal biomass.  It is found in diverse forms, and recently been recognized as a “cryptic” species, indicating that it is genetically variable and composed of at least two distinct lineages which may in fact be a complex of several species (Zuccarello et al. 2002; Conklin and Sherwood 2012; Guiry 2014).  Because it has a highly branched morphology, some forms of S. filamentosa are highly effective at trapping sediments, which is beneficial in encouraging sea grass establishment.  Lineages with these highly branched forms have been genetically identified to use for the purpose of restore sea grass beds in the Hawaiian archipelago (Conklin and Sherwood 2012).

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