The tensile strength of Ulva (fluorescent green) compared to various other algae.
Ulva are quite delicate, especially if
you compare them to the tough cellulose stipes of a kelp plant
. They prefer nice, protected
harbors to wave zones. But
their morphology does allow them to bend and give a little bit. A
piece of Ulva can be stretched more than 35% of its original length
before it breaks. Here is how Ulva measured
compared to other algae in Ben Hale’s laboratory. Ben
is a graduate student at Hopkins Marine Station who studied the tensile
strength of different algae.
I got to test some of my own samples of Ulva, too. Here’s a picture.
©Anna Kirby 2001