Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

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Eucheuma spp.

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Datasheet

Eucheuma spp.

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 25 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Eucheuma spp.
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Rhodophyta
  •       Class: Rhodophyceae
  •         Order: Gigartinales
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Wild and farmed crops of Eucheuma denticulatum, Kappaphycus alvarezii and Kappaphycus striatum are the main sources of the commercially important hydrocolloid carrageenan (

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Monoline culture of Eucheuma sp. off Sabah (Malaysia).
TitleMonoline culture of Eucheuma sp.
CaptionMonoline culture of Eucheuma sp. off Sabah (Malaysia).
CopyrightDevakie M. Nair
Monoline culture of Eucheuma sp. off Sabah (Malaysia).
Monoline culture of Eucheuma sp.Monoline culture of Eucheuma sp. off Sabah (Malaysia).Devakie M. Nair

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Eucheuma spp.

Summary of Invasiveness

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Wild and farmed crops of Eucheuma denticulatum, Kappaphycus alvarezii and Kappaphycus striatum are the main sources of the commercially important hydrocolloid carrageenan (Ask and Azanza, 2002; Aquaculture Compendium, 2006). Confusion in the taxonomy and systematics of the two distinct genera and several species assigned properly or mistakenly to either one or the other genus, has stemmed from the different names used in commerce and farming, and the lack of materials for proper identification. Negative impacts on the coral reef ecosystem of Kane’ohe Bay in Hawaii by the introduced Kappaphycus spp. have been recorded beginning 1970 (Rodger and Cox, 1999; Conklin and Smith, 2005). No other detailed documentation of the invasiveness of these species has been published.

The Global Invasive Species Database has listed the following as “exotic and invasive species”: 1) Kappaphycus alvarezii, 2) Kappaphycus cottonii, 3) Eucheuma denticulatum, 4) Eucheuma striatum (=Kappaphycus striatum) and 5) Kappaphycus spp.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Rhodophyta
  •             Class: Rhodophyceae
  •                 Order: Gigartinales
  •                     Family: Solieriaceae
  •                         Genus: Eucheuma spp.

Description

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The thallus of Eucheuma denticulatum ranges from 35 to 74 cm. Branches are brittle to cartilaginous in consistency, ranging from 7 to 9 cm in length, with whorled/spinous branchlets. The cell diameters are as follows: 2-5 µm outer cortex, 30-196 µm inner cortex and 20-45 µm medulla. Rhizoids of the medulla are present but thylles are absent. Tetrasporangia are zonate with tetraspores ranging from 13 to 36 µm in diameter. Spermatophyte conceptacles range over 350-650 x 300-420 µm with a spermatial diameter of 14-29 µm. Cystocarps and carpospores have not been observed in this species (after Azanza-Corrales, 1990).

Plant Type

Top of page Aquatic
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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Eucheuma is also present in Madagascar (E Ask, Inst Fomento Pesquero, Div Fomento Acuicultura, Puerto Montt, Chile, personal communication, 2004) and Kenya (J Wakibia, personal communication, 2004).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentRussell, 1982
Cocos IslandsPresentWu et al., 1988
IndiaPresentMairh et al., 1995; Muñoz and Sahoo, 2007
IndonesiaPresentNativeSoerjodinoto, 1969; Ask and Azanza, 2002
JapanPresentNativeHayashi et al., 2007a; Hayashi et al., 2007b; Mairh et al., 1986; Ask, 2003; Msuya et al., 2007
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeDoty, 1980; Ask and Azanza, 2002
MaldivesPresentde Reviers, 1989; Vairappan, 2006; Vairappan et al., 2007
PhilippinesPresentDoty and Alvarez, 1975; Ask and Azanza, 2002
VietnamPresentOhno et al., 1996; Nang et al., 2007

Africa

DjiboutiPresentIntroducedBraud et al., 1974
TanzaniaPresentNativeLirasan and Twide, 1993; Ask and Azanza, 2002

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedDoty, 1985a
-FloridaPresentIntroducedDawes, 1989
-HawaiiPresentDoty, 1985a; Doty, 1985b; Conklin and Smith, 2005

Central America and Caribbean

CubaPresentIntroducedSerpa-Madrigal et al., 1997

South America

BrazilPresentIntroducedde Paula et al., 1998; de Paula et al., 1999
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedRincones and Rubio, 1999

Oceania

FijiPresentPrakash, 1990; Namudu and Pickering, 2006
French PolynesiaPresentDoty, 1985a
GuamPresentDoty, 1985a
Johnston IslandPresentRussell, 1982
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentDoty, 1985a
Solomon IslandsPresentTanaka, 1990
TongaPresentDoty, 1985a

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
California 1985 Research (pathway cause)UnknownDoty (1985a)
China 1985 Aquaculture (pathway cause)UnknownWu et al. (1988)
Djibouti 1973 UnknownBraud et al. (1974)
Fiji mid 1970s UnknownPrakash (1990)
Florida 1988 Research (pathway cause)UnknownDawes (1989)
Hawaii 1971, 1985 UnknownDoty (1985a)
India 1989 UnknownMairh et al. (1995)
Indonesia 1985 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes Yes Soerjodinoto (1969)
Japan 1983 UnknownMairh et al. (1986)
Kiribati 1977, 1981 Aquaculture (pathway cause)UnknownRussell (1982)
Malaysia 1978 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes Yes Doty (1980)
Philippines 1971 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes Yes Doty and Alvarez (1973)
Tanzania 1989 Aquaculture (pathway cause)Unknown Yes Yes Lirasan and Twide (1993)
Vietnam 1993 UnknownOhno et al. (1995); Ohno et al. (1996)

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Brackish
Inland saline areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Inland saline areas Present, no further details Natural
Inland saline areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Intertidal zone Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Intertidal zone Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Marine
Inshore marine Principal habitat Natural
Inshore marine Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Coral reefs Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coral reefs Principal habitat Natural
Coral reefs Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Pelagic zone (offshore) Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Benthic zone Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Benthic zone Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

The life cycle of Eucheuma spp. is triphasic and consists of the carposporophyte (2n) and gametophyte (n) phases. The vegetative and reproductive structures of tetrasporic and gametophytic populations and their occurrence in farming sites in the Philippines have been reported. Dawes (1979) found no differences in carrageenan yield between sexual stages of Eucheuma.

E. denticulatum
produces zonate tetraspores. E. denticulatum from farms were found to have more tetrasporophytes than in the wild. Male gametophytes and structures are rare to unknown in this genus. In a study conducted by Azanza-Corrales et al. (1992), vegetative regeneration of plants will continue the same reproductive phases, thus, the ratio of reproductive phase (i.e. male, female and tetrasporic) may reflect that of the original plants introduced in the area. Sporogenesis and gametogenesis might occur without release or germination. Spores might be released but lack of suitable substrates at the site would lessen the possibility of spore settlement and germination.

Clone cultivation, however, is presently very useful for farming; further research, should therefore include the use of sporelings for culture as in other economically important seaweeds such as Porphyra and Laminaria. Sporeling cultivation could provide the possibility of other farming manipulations and increase genetic variation.

Ecophysiology

Light response

Field studies on these crops have shown the negative effects of exposure to excessive light. Light response curves have been plotted for the commercial eucheumatoids. The different colour types of E. denticulatum and K. alvarezii have different photosynthetic responses. Ecotypic differentiation and variation in photosynthetic efficiency have been shown for E. denticulatum colour types red, brown and green, which were not shown by K. alvarezii when nitrogen was limiting (Ask and Azanza, 2001).

Temperature response

Temperature responses of this crop have been well studied in the field and laboratory. E. denticulatum and K. striatum (var. tambalang and elkhorn) have maximum photosynthetic rates at 30ºC with inhibition at 35-40ºC. An optimum photosynthetic rate was obtained between 30 and 35ºC for E. denticulatum. In tropical areas, Trono and Ohno (1989) reported that rapid growth and high biomass production by Kappaphycus and Eucheuma occur during months characterized by warmer temperature, i.e. 25-30ºC.

Salinity response

The growth or photosynthetic response of commercial eucheumatoids in relation to salinity has not been reported. According to Mathieson and Dawes (1974) in E. isiforme a photosynthetic maxima is achieved at 30-40 practical salinity untis (PSU) depending on temperature. Mairh et al. (1986) also reported that in laboratory grown E. striatum, thalli did not survive beyond 7-14 days in less than 24 psu or above 45 psu. Ask and Azanza (2001) suggested that single and interactive effects of salinity with other factors on the commercial cultivation of Eucheuma should be studied because in shallow floating forms or off bottom farms exposed at low tide the crops can be exposed to rapid decreases in salinity during tropical downpours. Noticeable drops in temperature and light levels also occur and plants located in the inter-tidal zone can experience rapid changes in salinity from freshwater runoff.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
B - Dry (arid and semi-arid) Tolerated < 860mm precipitation annually
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 22.8 29.2
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 39 40
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 20 21

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Depth (m b.s.l.) 2-3 Optimum 3-5 tolerated (Ask and Azanza, 2002)
Illumination (Lux illuminance) >10,000 Harmful Adult
Illumination (Lux illuminance) 6000 Optimum Adult
Salinity (part per thousand) 24-25 Optimum 25-26 tolerated (Ask and Azanza, 2002)
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 20-25 Optimum 25-30 tolerated (Trono and Ohno, 1989; Ask and Azanza, 2002)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Chelonia mydas Predator Adult
Diadema setosum Predator Adult
Tripneustes gratilla Predator Adult

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Aquaculture Yes Yes
Research Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
AircraftLive vegetative stage Yes
Aquaculture stockLive vegetative stage Yes Yes
Bulk freight or cargoLive vegetative stage Yes
Containers and packaging - non-woodLive vegetative stage Yes
Containers and packaging - woodLive vegetative stage Yes Ask and Azanza, 2002
Floating vegetation and debrisLive vegetative stage Yes
Land vehiclesLive vegetative stage Yes Ask and Azanza, 2002
Live seafoodLive vegetative stage Yes
Ship structures above the water lineLive vegetative stage Yes Ask and Azanza, 2002

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant products Positive
Crop production Positive
Environment (generally) Positive
Fisheries / aquaculture Positive
Human health Positive
Tourism Positive
Trade/international relations Positive

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Fouling
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
  • Trampling

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fishmeal
  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Invertebrate food

Environmental

  • Revegetation
  • Wildlife habitat

Fuels

  • Biofuels

General

  • Laboratory use
  • Research model

Human food and beverage

  • Emergency (famine) food
  • Flour/starch
  • Food additive
  • Gum/mucilage
  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Cosmetics
  • Fertilizer
  • Fibre
  • Gum/resin

References

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Ask E, 1999. Cottonii and Spinosum Cultivation Handbook. FMC Food Ingredients Division, Philadelphia, 52 pp.

Ask E; Azanza R; Simbik M; Recarte C; Lagahid J, 2003. Technological Improvements in Commercial Eucheuma Cultivation (A Short Communication). Science Diliman, 15(2):47-51.

Ask EI, 2003. Creating a sustainable commercial Eucheuma cultivation industry: the importance and necessity of the human factor. Proceedings of the 17th International Seaweed Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa, 28 January-2 February 2001, 13-18.

Ask EI; Azanza RV, 2002. Advances in cultivation technology of commercial eucheumatoid species: a review with suggestions for future research. Aquaculture, 206(3/4):257-277.

Azanza RV; Aliaza T, 1999. In vitro carpospore release and germination in Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty from Tawi-Tawi, Philippines. Bot. Mar., 42:281-284.

Azanza-Corrales R, 1990. The farmed Eucheuma Species in Danajon Reef, Philippines: vegetative and reproductive structures. J. Appl. Phycol., 2:57-62.

Azanza-Corrales R; Dawes CJ, 1989. Wound healing in cultured Eucheuma alvarezii var. tambalang Doty. Bot. Mar., 32:229-234.

Azanza-Corrales RV; Mamauag SS; Alfiler E; Orolfo MJ, 1992. Reproduction in Eucheuma denticulatum (Burman) Collins and Harvey and Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty farmed in Danajon Reef, Philippines. Aquaculture, 103:29-34.

Braud JP; Perez R; Lacherade G, 1974. Etude des possibilités d’adaptation de l’algue rouge Eucheuma spinosum aux cotês des Afars et des Issas. Sci. Peche, Bull. Inst. Peches Marit., 238:1-16, Juillet-Août.

Burges Watson D, 2004. Carrageenan - Food Reference Website. Online at www.foodreference.com/html/fcarrageenan.html. Accessed 17 August 2004.

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Conklin EJ; Smith JE, 2005. Abundance and spread of the invasive red algae, Kappaphycus spp., in Kane'ohe Bay, Hawai'i and an experimental assessment of management options. Biological Invasions, 7(6):1029-1039. http://www.springerlink.com/content/l172120160062066/fulltext.pdf

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Dawes CJ, 1979. Physiological and biochemical comparisons of species of Eucheuma yielding iota carrageenan from Florida and the Gulf of California with E. denticulatum from the Pacific (Rhodophyta). In: Jenson A, Stein J, eds. Proceedings of the 9th International Seaweed Symposium, Science Press, Princeton, 199-208.

Dawes CJ, 1989. Temperature acclimation of cultured Eucheuma isiforme from Florida and E. alvarezii from the Philippines. J. Appl. Phycol., 1:59-69.

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de Paula EJ; Pereira RTL; Ohno M, 1999. Strain selection in Kappaphycus alvarezii var. alvarezii (Doty) Doty ex P. Silva (Rhodophyta, Solieriaceae) using tetraspores progeny. J. Appl. Phycol., 11(1):111-121.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
African Marine Atlas – Exotic and Invasive Specieshttp://iodeweb2.vliz.be/omap/OMAP/BIOSPHERE/pages/6_4_invasive_species.htm
Hawaii Coral Reef Initiativehttp://www.hawaii.edu/ssri/hcri/
Irish Seaweed Centrehttp://www.irishseaweed.com
Surialinkhttp://www.surialink.com
The Nature Conservancyhttp://www.nature.org/

Contributors

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05/05/2008 Updated by:

Rhodora Azanza, The Marine Science Institute, College of Science, University of the Philippines, Velasquez Street,  Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines

Main Author
Rhodora Azanza
The Marine Science Institute, College of Science, University of the Philippines, Velasquez Street, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines

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