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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 233:307-310 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/meps233307

Preliminary reports from the Caulerpa taxifolia invasion in southern California

Susan L. Williams*, Edwin D. Grosholz

Department of Environmental Science and Policy and Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California at Davis, PO Box 247, Bodega Bay, California 94923-0247, USA

ABSTRACT: We report the first preliminary in situ observations of the invasive strain of the tropical green seaweed Caulerpa taxifolia in Huntington Harbor, California. Although patch size had regressed from the previous, presumably summer, extent, C. taxifolia exhibited new frond growth within patches despite low winter water temperature. The growth patterns, size of fronds, density, and biomass were similar to those reported from other invasion sites in the Mediterranean Sea and Australia. The seagrass Ruppia maritima also grew at the site. In patches mixed with C. taxifolia, the biomass of R. maritima was 20 times lower than in patches without C. taxifolia.

KEY WORDS: Invasive species · Caulerpa taxifolia · Ruppia maritima

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