Invasive Species

Invasive/non-native algal species in the Gulf of Maine
Jessie Muhlin, PhD
Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Maine Maritime Academy

At present, there are three conspicuous non-native marine macrophytes in the Gulf of Maine. They are Codium fragile (common names include dead man’s finger and oyster thief), Heterosiphonia japonica (common names include red death and Asian red algae) and Colpomenia peregrina (common names include sea potato and oyster thief).

Other introduced species include Grateloupia turuturu (Mathieson et al. 2008) and Fucus serratus (Brawley et al. 2009).

Any citizen who wants to participate in documenting the distribution and abundance of non-native seaweed species is encouraged to with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Vital Signs program.

Three non-native species have informative identification cards, viewed here:

Additional links:

Journal references

  • Brawley SH, Coyer J, Blakesee AMH, Hoarau G, Johnson LE, Byers JE, Stam WT and Olsen JL. 2009. Historical invasions of the intertidal zone of Atlantic North America associated with distinctive patterns of trade and emigration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106(20): 8239-8244.
  • Green, LA, Mathieson, AC, Neefus, CD, Traggis, HM, and Dawes, CJ. 2012. Southern expansion of the brown alga Colpomenia peregrina Sauvageau (Scytosiphonales) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Botanica Marina 55 (6) DOI: 10.1515/bot-2012-0157
  • Mathieson A, Dawes C, Pederson J, Gladych R and Carlton J. 2008. The Asian red seaweed Grateloupia turuturu (Rhodophyta) invades the Gulf of Maine. Biological Invasions 10(7): 985-988.