Chapmans Pool seaweeds: Thongweed, Himanthalia elongata (Linnaeus) Gray, on the shingle at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1) 

Thongweed, Himanthalia elongata (Linnaeus) Gray, was washed up in moderate quantities on the shingle at Chapmans Pool in June. This olive green perennial alga belongs to the brown seaweed group – the Phaeophyceae. The part that survives from year to year is small, about 3 cm across and looks like a stalked mushroom with a concave top. It attaches to rocks in deep pools or on the lower shore.

The long narrow ribbon-like part of the weed that is found, sometimes in great abundance, on the shore is in fact the reproductive body which is shed by the seaweed in summer. It may be up to 2m long and turns a more yellow-green colour as it ripens; sometimes with brown spots on it.

These long straps of weed wash up in interesting patterns on the beach sometimes tying itself up into complex knots. Where larger quantities occur, it can roll up into a long sausage shape many metres long parallel to the drift-line.

Chapmans Pool seaweeds: Yellow-green Thongweed reproductive ribbons washed up with Japweed and other weeds on a rock platform at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2)

Yellow-green Thongweed reproductive ribbons washed up with Japweed and other seaweeds on a rock platform at Chapmans Pool.

Seaweeds at Chapmans Pool: Long narrow straps of Thongweed with Japweed and other algae stranded on a rock platform at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (3)

Long narrow straps of Thongweed with a plume of golden Japweed, bright green Sea Lettuce and assorted red algae on a rock platform at Chapmans Pool.

Floating seaweed at Chapmans Pool: View of Thongweed and Japweed growing in deeper water of the lower shore (visible as an offshore brown 'slick' in the sea) at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (4)

A brown ‘slick’ in deeper water offshore shows where the Japweed and Thongweed are still growing.

In the photograph below, the Thongweed has been washed up in a mass and is drying out on the strandline of a cobble and boulder strewn rocky shore in the southeast part of Chapmans Pool.

Thongweed at Chapmans Pool: Mass of Thongweed drying out on the strandline of the boulder shore in the southeast of Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of Jurassic Coast (5)

Revision of a post first published 1 July 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

4 Replies to “Thongweed at Chapmans Pool”

  1. Nice photos.

    Oh how I wish we had tidal waves here – there’s close to nothing but sand on our beaches.

    Like

  2. Thank you for your comment. Tides certainly bring many things to the shore for easy viewing. It must be strange to have no tides but you are obviously not deprived of sources of inspiration for your own wonderful photographs. You are very skilled.

    Like

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