Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Fun facts about Sargassum

  • Inhabits all the world's oceans except the Antarctic.
  • Contains antibacterial chemicals called phenolics.
  • Is the deepest occurring brown alga, at 200 feet. (S. hawaiiensis)
  • Is an aggressive invader. (S. muticum)

Why is Sargassum muticum so tenacious?

  • Rapid development begins immediately after fertilization
  • Bushy plants shade out competitors
  • Holdfast can regenerate fronds
  • Tolerant of wide temperature and salinity ranges
  • Monoecious and self-fertile
  • Abscission of fertile branches leads to long range dispersal

(Norton 1976.)

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Last updated: 05 January 2005         copyright Jacqueline Pratt 1999.  All rights reserved.