MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Spaghetti algae (Chaetomorpha linum)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Chaetomorpha linum is a delicate green seaweed. Also known as spaghetti algae, it grows as a filamentous loosely entangled mass. Usually free-floating, it may also be attached to rocks and shells. The filaments themselves are unbranched and usually between 5 and 30 cm in length. The unattached filaments are wiry, stiff and curled in appearance. It is bright light to dark green in colour.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found throughout the coasts of British Isles and Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Chaetomorpha linum is an intertidal and supralittoral species that can be found in groups of hundreds or thousands of individuals in sandy areas, on rocks or around tide pools.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Bright green seaweed up to 30cm long.
  • Loosely entangled unattached filaments.
  • Filaments are stiff and curled.
  • Cylindrical or slightly swollen cells.
  • Cells up to 0.4 mm in diameter, 0.8 mm in length.

Additional information

Spaghetti algae, though not palatable to many herbivorous species, is popular in reef aquariums for its ability to remove nitrates, assist in buffering pH, uptake carbon dioxide producing oxygen, and assist in balancing trace elements. It also provides hiding spaces for small creatures.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Burrows, E.M., 1991. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 2. Chlorophyta. London: British Museum (Natural History).

  2. Dickinson, C.I., 1963. British seaweeds. London & Frome: Butler & Tanner Ltd.

  3. Hardy, F.G. & Guiry, M.D., 2003. A check-list and atlas of the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. London: British Phycological Society

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

Datasets

  1. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  2. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  3. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2014. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/erweal accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  4. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1995 to 1999. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/lo2tge accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  10. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-21

  12. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Non-vascular Plants, Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/goidos accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium (E). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ypoair accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  14. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Algae and allied species (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/55albd accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  15. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Chaetomorpha linum Spaghetti algae. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/138

Last Updated: 22/05/2008