Individual feathery fronds of Japweed can look very decorative when washed ashore and displayed against the natural sediments of the beach. Here this seaweed is shown naturally spread out by the ebbing tide on a flat rock platform at Chapmans Pool. It has a very characteristic appearance and on this occasion the alga is a lovely golden green colour. However, en masse this alien species, Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt, can constitute a great menace to the environment – as I have detailed in earlier posts.
The odd specimen of Japweed ends up artfully arranged by accident among the boulders.
The extensive beds of growing weed are in deeper water of the lower shore. It was not possible to tell which part of this floating brown mass was Japweed and which was Thongweed on my visit as I could not wade out to look (the rock platform is very slippery) but their position is easy to see from afar.
Much of the time, the Japweed is stranded in clumps inter-mixed with other algal types – as shown in the picture below where a bundle of Japweed, Thongweed, Bladder Wrack and assorted red seaweeds lay on the mixed substrate shore of fine gravel, pebbles, and stones on the eastern edge of Chapmans Pool.
Revision of a post first published 3 July 2009
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