Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Codium setchellii


Geographic Distribution:

According to Abbott and Hollenberg (1976), Codium setchellii occurs from Sitka, Alaska (USA) to Punta Baja, Baja California (Mexico). C. setchellii also occurs in areas of western South America, including the waters off Panama and the Galapagos Islands (Guiry 2004).

Figure 1: Map of Codium setchellii occurrence along the west coast of North America
(After Abbott and Hollenberg 1976)

Distribution of Codium setchellii in the Monterey Bay:

Intertidal surveys were conducted during winter 2005 to determine where along the Monterey Peninsula Codium setchellii occurred. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented a thorough investigation of the alga's distribution, but some rough observations were made. Additionally, intertidal monitoring records from the Micheli Lab (Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station) were queried for occurrence of the alga in ongoing intertidal monitoring projects.

Figure 2: Map of Codium setchellii occurrence along the Monterey Peninsula (Monterey County, CA, USA)
Map generated from field surveys (winter 2005), ongoing intertidal monitoring, and historical herbarium records. (After Abbott and Hollenberg 1976)

C. setchellii seems to be uncommon inside Monterey Bay, likely due to the protected nature of these waters. Toward the more exposed areas of the bay, C. setchellii is more common. Numerous colonies were observed in the middle and low intertidal zones at Point Pinos (Pacific Grove, CA).

Figure 3: C. setchellii observed Point Pinos (Pacific Grove, CA) in the low intertidal zone among corallines

The greatest abundance of this alga in terms of percent cover was noted in Carmel. Along one area of the rocky intertidal at the southern end of Carmel Beach, large monocultures of the alga were recorded covering the rocks and excluding other algae (but providing space for numerous epiphytic algal species).

Figure 4: Large crust of Codium setchellii observed at Carmel site

From the data, the following map of the distribution of C. setchellii was compiled specific to the Monterey Peninsula. It would be interesting to note the occurrence of this alga in the intertidal waters of Santa Cruz (CA), which heretofore have not been thoroughly investigated.

Historical Distribution of Codium setchellii from Hopkins Marine Station Herbarium:

The collection of preserved, pressed Codium setchellii at Hopkins Marine Station in the herbarium was surveyed to see where historically C. setchellii had been recorded in the Monterey Bay.

15 Feb. 1892
Point Lobos
Feb. 1897
Pacific Grove
Collected from rocks between tides
13 Jul. 1926
Pescadero Point
Midlittoral zone, side of rock
30 Dec. 1963
Point Pinos
Collected from rocks at foot of Pico Street
2 Mar. 1965
Asilomar Point
Colony 16 centimeters in diameter at base of rock at 0.0 tide level
20 Nov. 1965
Carmel River (mouth)
On rocks from mouth of Carmel River at -1.0 to 1.0 tide level; winter collection
30 Jun. 1969
Asilomar Point
-1.5 to +1.0 feet tide level, forming thick mats of several square-meters on vertical faces between 0.0 and 1.5 feet tide level
28 Jun. 1972
Asilomar Point
-1.0 feet tide level; drift collection
25 Oct. 1972
Carmel Bay
Offshore sewer rock
Oct. 1975
North and seaward of Pescadero Point (Monterey County); subtidal, 75-foot depth


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© 2005 Raúl Nava.

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Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009