- (M) Caulerpa in the news again
by pprior/magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Paul A Prior) (Sat, 16 May 1992)
- Back to Toxic Caulerpa (was wilkens books)
by sarah/astro.ocis.temple.edu (Sarah Breedin) (21 Mar 93)
by pprior/magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Paul A Prior)
Date: Sat, 16 May 1992
Found this in the Columbus Dispatch Wednesday May 13th, 1992:
Deutsche Presse Agentur
KILLER ALGAE TAKING OVER FRENCH BEACHES, SMOTHERING ALL MARINE LIFE
Paris - A poisonous aquatic plant from the Caribbean is threatening
the Mediterranean Sea with ecological disaster.
The killer algae is spreading like wildfire along the French coast,
engulfing and eventually smothering all marine plant life in its path.
The Mediterranean has no natural enemy to combat the algae (exactly
how does algae make enemies anyway? pap) known by its scientific
name _caulerpa taxifolia_ (sic).
Biologists are worried about the sprawling green carpet, 10 times
thicker than anything in the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean, where
the plant can also be found.
Environment Ministry officials became alarmed when _caulerpa
taxifolia_ appeared almost simultaneously near the Italian border
and near the Spanish border.
The ministry formed a commission to come up with a way to arrest the
algae growth before June when millions of people flock to beaches.
Imports of marine tropical plant-eaters were ruled out because they
would endanger the fragile Mediterranean.
The easiest way would be to tear up the carpet of algae. But
according to Charles-Francois Boudouresque of the Marseilles
Ecology Laboratory, "If a torn leaf of _caulerpa taxifolia_ floats
away, that would be enough to start up a new growth."
Other measures under discussion are smothering the algae with a cover
that lets in no light and using underwater welding devices or
boiling water to cook the plant.
Some biologists favor what they call "natural allies." One being
considered is a water snail that eats algae and is immune to its
poison. The snail, known as _aplysia depilans_ (sic), is toxic
and therefore avoided by other predators.
That would keep the algae out of the food chain where it might end
up being served at a restaurant.
The killer algae was first discovered six years ago off Monaco.
Some suspect _calerpa taxifolia_ (double sic) came from Monaco's
famous aquarium and was accidentally discharged into the Mediterranean
or escaped via a leak.
Museum director Francois Doumenge denies that Monaco is the source
of the algae. He says aquatic plants such as _caulerpa taxifolia_
likely entered the Mediterranean from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal.
French newspapers blame "ecological gangsters" for discharging the
algae on purpose or through carelessness.
Paul A. Prior Ban anchors, not reef tanks "With friends like this,
2nd year medical student who needs anemones?"
The Ohio State U. College of Medicine Tobacco Kills- Please don't smoke!
by sarah/astro.ocis.temple.edu (Sarah Breedin)
Date: 21 Mar 93
ferarog-at-acfcluster.nyu.edu asks again:
> Is caulerpa toxic???
Well, yes. But...
I recall reading one or more articles in a Reputable Journal (ie not a
fish mag), about research (done in the Florida Keys, I think) studying
grazing behaviours of algae-eating fish. Caulerpa would get eaten
last, with certain C. species being avoided more than others. The
researchers also exposed damselfish to "extract of blenderized
Caulerpa" (my words), and showed that certain extracts of it
(terpenes, terpenoids, ...) were indeed quite lethal to the fish.
Keep in mind that damselfish are in general rugged fish.
On the other hand, if you keep your algae-eaters well fed, and don't
pour any Caulerpa dacquiris into your reef tank, you may do just fine
even with a Caulerpa forest growing at one end of it, or in a separate
algae scrubber. (I guess Caulerpa in a separate scrubber would be
safer than with your hungry fish.)
If you're reeeeeally interested, I may be able to get you actual
references to actual articles that you could read and weigh for
(who does not plan to launch a pogrom against his meager growth of Caulerpa)