Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Ulva title imageMorphology   

Structure       Function       Mechanical Properties  

Mechanical Properties


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  

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009