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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 A small green alga (up to 30 cm across) with a broad, crumpled frond that is tough, translucent and membranous. It is attached to rock via a small hold-fast .Ulva is sometimes eaten as "green laver", but it is considered inferior to purple laver.
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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Physical Description

Type Information

Type locality: "in Oceano" [Atlantic Ocean]
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Source: AlgaeBase

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 150 specimens in 3 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 25 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 96.7929
  Temperature range (°C): 12.270 - 26.478
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.171 - 4.820
  Salinity (PPS): 35.128 - 35.493
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.032 - 6.174
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.083 - 0.634
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.406 - 6.217

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 96.7929

Temperature range (°C): 12.270 - 26.478

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.171 - 4.820

Salinity (PPS): 35.128 - 35.493

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.032 - 6.174

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.083 - 0.634

Silicate (umol/l): 0.406 - 6.217
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 The sea lettuce is found at all levels of the intertidal, although in more northerly latitudes and in brackish habitats it is found in the shallow sublittoral. In very sheltered conditions, plants that have become detached from the substrate can continue to grow, forming extensive floating communities. The plant tolerates brackish conditions and can be found on suitable substrata in estuaries.
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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ulva lactuca

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ulva lactuca

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 95
Specimens with Barcodes: 109
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Australia Museum
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© Ocean Genome Legacy

Source: Ocean Genome Resource

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Wikipedia

Ulva lactuca

Ulva lactuca Linnaeus, a green alga in the division Chlorophyta, is the type species of the genus Ulva, also known by the common name sea lettuce.

Description[edit]

Ulva lactuca is a thin flat green alga growing from a discoid holdfast. The margin is somewhat ruffled and often torn. It may reach 18 centimetres (7.1 in) or more in length, though generally much less, and up to 30 centimetres (12 in) across.[1] The membrane is two cells thick, soft and translucent, and grows attached, without a stipe, to rocks or other algae by a small disc-shaped holdfast.[2] Green to dark green in color, this species in the Chlorophyta is formed of two layers of cells irregularly arranged, as seen in cross section. The chloroplast is cup-shaped with 1 to 3 pyrenoids. There are other species of Ulva which are similar and not always easy to differentiate.

Distribution[edit]

The distribution is worldwide: Europe, North America (west and east coasts), Central America, Caribbean Islands, South America, Africa, Indian Ocean Islands, South-west Asia, China, Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Ecology[edit]

Ulva lactuca is very common on rocks and on other algae in the littoral and sublittoral on shores all around the British Isles,[3] the coast of France,[4] the Low Countries[4] and up to Denmark.[5] It is particularly prolific in areas where nutrients are abundant.[6] This has been the case off the coast of Brittany where a high level of nitrates, from the intensive farming there, washes out to sea.[7][8] The result is that large quantities of Ulva lactuca are washed up on beaches, where their decay produces methane, hydrogen sulphide, and other gases.[7][9]

Certain environmental conditions can lead to the algae spreading over large areas. In August 2009, unprecedented levels of the algae washed up on the beaches of Brittany, France,[10][11] causing a major public health scare as it decomposed. The rotting thalli produced large quantities of hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas which, like hydrogen cyanide, inhibits cytochrome c oxidase, inhibiting cellular respiration and resulting in critical cellular hypoxia. In one incident near Saint-Michel-en-Grève, a horse rider lost consciousness and his horse died after breathing the seaweed fumes. Environmentalists blamed the phenomenon on excessive use fertilizers and the excretion of nitrates by pig and poultry farmers.[10] In a separate incident at the same beach, a truck driver and several schoolchildren died after taking part in the cleanup without protection.[citation needed]

Life history[edit]

The sporangial and gametangial thalli are morphologically alike. The diploid adult plant produces haploid zoospores by meiosis, these settle and grow to form haploid male and female plants similar to the diploid plants. When these haploid plants release gametes they unite to produce the zygote which germinates, and grows to produce the diploid plant.[12][13][14]

Uses[edit]

From Sowerby's English botany, 1790-1814, by James Sowerby

U. lactuca is locally used in Scotland in soups and salads.[15] [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ulva lactuca". Gettysburg College. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 
  2. ^ Burrows, E.M. (1991). "Seaweeds of the British Isles" 2. London: Natural History Museum. ISBN 0-565-00981-8. 
  3. ^ Hardy, F.G. and Guiry, M.D. (2006). "A Check-list and Atlas of the Seaweeds of Britain and Ireland". London: British Phycological Society. ISBN 3-906166-35-X. 
  4. ^ a b "Tisbe taxon details: Ulva lactuca Linnaeus, 1753". Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). 
  5. ^ Geertz-Hansen, O.; Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Hansen, D. F. and Christiansen, A. (1993). "Growth and grazing control of abundance of the marine macroalga, Ulva lactuca L. in a eutrophic Danish estuary". 46(2). Aquatic Botany. pp. 101–109. 
  6. ^ Michael Guiry. "Overview of Ulva lactuca ecology". The Seaweed Site. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Hirst, Michael (August 11, 2009). "Toxic seaweed clogs French coast". BBC News. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Seaweed suspected in French death". BBC News. September 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  9. ^ Nedergaard, Rasmus I.; Risgaard-Petersen, Nils and Finster, Kai (August 17, 2002). "The importance of sulfate reduction associated with Ulva lactuca thalli during decomposition: a mesocosm experiment". 275(1. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. pp. 15–29. doi:10.1016/S0022-0981(02)00211-3. 
  10. ^ a b Hirst, Michael (2009-08-11). "Toxic seaweed clogs French coast". BBC. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  11. ^ Samuel, Henry (2009-08-11). "Almost 100 places in Brittany have toxic seaweed". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  12. ^ Abbott, I.A. and Hollenberg, G.J. (1976). "Marine Algae of California.". California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0867-3. 
  13. ^ Mondragon, J. and Mondragon, J. (2003). "Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast.". Monterey, California: Sea Challengers. ISBN 0-930118-29-4. 
  14. ^ ""Life-history diagram for Ulva lactuca". MBARI. Retrieved June 13, 2007. 
  15. ^ Indergaad, M and Minsaas, J. 1991 in Guiry, M.D. and Blunden, G. 1991. Seaweed Resources in Europe: Uses and Potential. John Wiley & Sons ISBN 0 471 92947 6
  16. ^ "Ulva Recipes". Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Retrieved December 28, 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

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