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A killer alga has assaulted the waters off California. In the year June 2004, biologists recognized a Caulerpa taxifolia mutant as an alien invader in the San Diego area. This alga generally grows in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea; however it can survive the colder waters of the Pacific Coast and if not controlled, could spread from California south to the Peru.

Where does this killer come from? As naive as it seems, it was bred for home aquariums and then was possibly dumped into the water system, where it start to reproduce prolifically. The alga is so adaptive that it can go beyond the normal flora of an area, outstripping and outcompeting all other living plants. Presently, 10 patches of the killer alga have been sighted off the California coast, and they are being watched directly by the Southern California Caulerpa Action Team.

The U.S government has placed this strain of C.taxifolia on noxious weed list that means that any possible source of contamination of the weed will be extremely restricted. Shipments which contain any kind of C.taxifolia and pass via an area where the variety is established or thought to be established will be refused entry.

Do you think this is really that big a deal? Illustrate.

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  • Category:- Biology
  • Reference No.:- M99551

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