Sea Lettuce

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Project Description

Sea Lettuce

Ulva lactuca


Range/Geographical Distribution: Worldwide.

Habitat: Attached to hard surfaces along shores in brackish water and estuaries, also may be found as a free-floating mass in sheltered waters.

Description: A bright green algae with broad, crumpled, translucent fronds.   Resembles terrestrial lettuce, hence its name.

Size: Clumps may reach a foot in diameter.

Breeding: Adult plants produce zoospores that settle and form haploid male and female plants similar to the adults. These haploid males and females release gametes.  The gametes combine and produce a zygote which grows into an adult plant.

Predators/Ecological Importance: Sea lettuce may be eaten by humans, manatees, some fish, and many invertebrates.

Conservation Status: Listed as not threatened.

Interesting Facts: The fronds of sea lettuce are only two cell layers thick.

On the Coast: Sea lettuce can be found attached to rocks and docks along the Georgia coast as well as washed up along the beach.

Project Details


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