Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Hypnea musciformis



Hypnea musciformis


  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Hypnea musciformis
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Rhodophyta
  •       Class: Rhodophyceae
  •         Order: Gigartinales
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • H. musciformis was introduced to Hawaii in 1974. After a lag phase of approximately 3 years, the species became a dominant species on nearby reefs, and subsequently displaced the native Hypnea cervicornis ...

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen in Jacquin) JV Lamouroux 1813

Other Scientific Names

  • Fucus musciformis Wulfen in Jacquin 1791
  • Hypnea arborescens PL Crouan & HM Crouan 1865
  • Hypnea rissoana J Agardh 1842
  • Sphaerococcus divaricatus C Agardh 1827
  • Sphaerococcus musciformis (Wulfen) C Agardh 1822

Summary of Invasiveness

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H. musciformis was introduced to Hawaii in 1974. After a lag phase of approximately 3 years, the species became a dominant species on nearby reefs, and subsequently displaced the native Hypnea cervicornis as the predominant epiphyte on Acanthophora at some locations (Russell, 1992). The tendency for the species to detach from host plants, and to fragment, facilitates local dispersal by water movement and potentially regional dispersal through entanglement and translocation on boats, fishing gear etc. Elevated nutrient levels appear to facilitate high growth rates, which can result in a high biomass of drifting and beach cast weed (Smith et al., 2002).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Rhodophyta
  •             Class: Rhodophyceae
  •                 Order: Gigartinales
  •                     Family: Gigartinaceae
  •                         Genus: Hypnea
  •                             Species: Hypnea musciformis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Hypnea was erected by JV Lamouroux with five species, including Fucus musciformis Wulfen. H. musciformis has been adopted as the lectotype of the genus Hypnea (Papenfuss, 1958; Farr et al., 1979; Masuda et al., 1997). The genus now includes approximately 50 species, but the status of some species described in the nineteenth century remains uncertain (Masuda et al., 1997). Taxonomic reviews of the genus and its species are chiefly part of floristic studies or in regional monographs (e.g. Tanaka, 1941; Mshigeni, 1978; Womersley, 1994) and revisions in other regions and critical reassessment of species reported to have wide geographical distributions are still needed.


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Plants bushy, tangled, wiry, often in clumps or masses 10-20 (-50) cm high of loosely intertwined cylindrical axes; axes 0.5-1.0 (-2) mm in diameter below, tapering to apices; branching irregular and variable, in part from percurrent axes; axes and primary branches often terminating in broad, flattened, tendril-like hooks, often twisted around axes of other algae, hooks occasionally with small-spur-like branchlets on outer curve; branches with small spine-like branchlets 50-200 µm at base, also tapered, simple or bifurcate and more or less numerous on older or younger (basal or upper) parts of same plant; primary holdfast inconspicuous, disc-like, often difficult to recognize, and tangled by long tendrils or with algae. Medullary cells thick-walled, irregular, 100-200 µm diameter, surrounding small, often obscure central filament. Cortex 1-2 cells thick; cells rounded to irregular, 7-18 µm diameter, densely pigmented. Tetrasporangia zonate, terminal on corticating filaments within raised nemathecial sori encircling lateral branchlets; cystocarps globular, 0.3-1.0 mm diameter, clustered at apices or solitary on side branchlets. Colour yellowish-green to greenish, purplish, and brownish-red.

Schneider and Searles, 1991: 306, figs 357-359;
Abbott, 1999: 116, fig. 24F-H;
Littler and Littler, 2000: 76, fig.


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Type locality: Trieste, Italy.

Widely distributed throughout the tropics and warm temperate seas in the eastern and western Atlantic, including the Mediterranean, around the Indian Ocean, and from northern Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines in the Indo-West Pacific.

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

Sea Areas

Atlantic, Eastern CentralPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Atlantic, SoutheastPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Atlantic, SouthwestPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Atlantic, Western CentralPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Indian Ocean, EasternPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Indian Ocean, WesternPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Mediterranean and Black SeaPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Pacific, Eastern CentralPresentIntroducedGuiry and Guiry, 2008
Pacific, Western CentralPresentNativeGuiry and Guiry, 2008


BangladeshPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
IndiaPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996; Sahoo et al., 2001
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
IndonesiaPresentNativeVerheij and Prud'homme, 1993; Silva et al., 1996
IranPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996; Sohrabipour and Rabii, 1999
IsraelPresentNativeEinav, 2007
JordanPresentNativePapenfuss, 1968
MaldivesPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
MyanmarPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
OmanPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
PakistanPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
PhilippinesPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativePapenfuss, 1968
SingaporePresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
Sri LankaPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
TurkeyPresentNativeCirik et al., 1990; Taskin et al., 2008
YemenPresentNativePapenfuss, 1968; Silva et al., 1996


AngolaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004
CameroonPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
Cape VerdePresentNativeJohn et al., 2004; Prud'homme et al., 2005
CongoPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004
Côte d'IvoirePresentNativeJohn et al., 2003
DjiboutiPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
EgyptPresentNativePapenfuss, 1968; Aleem, 1993
EthiopiaPresentNativePapenfuss, 1968
GabonPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
GambiaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
GhanaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
Guinea-BissauPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
KenyaPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
LiberiaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
MadagascarPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
MauritaniaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004
MauritiusPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
MoroccoPresentNativeConde Poyales, 1992
MozambiquePresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
NamibiaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004
NigeriaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
RéunionPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
SenegalPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004
SeychellesPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996
Sierra LeonePresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
South AfricaPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996; Stegenga et al., 1997
TanzaniaPresentNativeSilva et al., 1996; Oliveira et al., 2005
TogoPresentNativeJohn et al., 2003; John et al., 2004
TunisiaPresentNativeMeñez and Mathieson, 1981; Ben et al., 1987
Western SaharaPresentNativeJohn et al., 2004

North America

BermudaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentNativeSchneider and Searles, 1991; Littler et al., 2008
-GeorgiaPresentNativeSchneider and Searles, 1991
-HawaiiWidespread Invasive Russell, 1992; Russell and Balazs, 1994; Abbott, 1999; Smith et al., 2002
-North CarolinaPresentNativeSchneider and Searles, 1991; Kapraun and Dunwoody, 2002
-South CarolinaPresentNativeSchneider and Searles, 1991
-TexasPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
-VirginiaPresentNativeHumm, 1979

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
BarbadosPresentNativeTaylor, 1960; Taylor, 1969
BelizePresentNativeLittler and Littler, 1997
Cayman IslandsPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
Costa RicaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
CubaPresentNativeCabrera et al., 2004; Suárez, 2005
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeTaylor, 1960; Betancourt and Herrera-Moreno, 2001
JamaicaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
Netherlands AntillesPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
PanamaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
Puerto RicoPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNativeRichardson, 1975; Duncan and Lee, 2006
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeTaylor, 1960

South America

BrazilPresentNativeJoly, 1965; Falcão and Menezes, 2005
ColombiaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960; Díaz-Pulido and Díaz-Ruíz, 2003
GuyanaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960
UruguayPresentNativeTaylor, 1960; Coll and Oliveira, 1999
VenezuelaPresentNativeTaylor, 1960; Ganesan, 1990


FrancePresentNativeCoppejans, 1972; Verlaque, 2001
-CorsicaPresentNativeBoudouresque and Perret, 1977; Coppejans, 1979
GreecePresentNativeTsekos and Haritonidis, 1977; Athanasiadis, 1987
ItalyPresentNativeFurnari et al., 2003; Serio et al., 2006
MaltaPresentNativePrice, 1970; Cormaci et al., 1997
PortugalPresentNativeArdré, 1970; Araújo et al., 2003
-AzoresPresentNativeNeto, 1994; Tittley and Neto, 1994
-MadeiraPresentNativeNeto et al., 2001; John et al., 2004
SpainPresentNativeBárbara et al., 2005; Diaz-Tapia and Bárbara, 2005
-Balearic IslandsPresentNativeRibera and Gómez, 1984


AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-QueenslandPresentNativePhillips, 1997; Phillips, 2002
-Western AustraliaPresentNativeHuisman and Walker, 1990; Kendrick et al., 1990
FijiPresentNativeSouth and Skelton, 2003
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentNativeTsuda, 2002

History of Introduction and Spread

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In January 1974, H. musciformis, along with two morphs of Eucheuma isiforme, was introduced from southern Florida to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and planted on reefs in Kaneohe Bay as part of an aquaculture project that was later abandoned (Russell and Balazs, 1994; Abbott, 1999; Smith et al., 2002). Within 3 years, the species had become abundant and, by 1982, the species had spread to most intertidal sites around this island; by December 1984 it had spread to Maui and was being washed up in windrows at Launuipoko Beach; in 1985 it appeared on the islands of Lanai and Molokai (Russell, 1992; Russell and Balazs, 1994). The species has yet to be reported from the islands of Hawaii or Kahoolawe (Abbott, 1999; University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2001). In 1999, it was common on the islands of Oahu and Maui, but only appeared to bloom at discrete locations (Smith et al., 2002). During these surveys, H. musciformis was not common near the site of initial introduction in Kaneohe Bay and was found in fairly low abundance at only 1 of 15 sites sampled in the bay.


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Hawaii Florida 1974 Aquaculture (pathway cause) Yes Russell and Balazs (1994)

Risk of Introduction

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Inshore coastlines and reefs in the tropical and subtropical eastern, central and western Pacific are potentially susceptible to invasion by H. musciformis. Introduction to Hawaii from Florida was an intentional act, and any similar movement to new areas would constitute a significant invasion risk. After becoming established in Hawaii, H. musciformis began growing among Eucheuma and contaminated shipments of Eucheuma exported live to other countries in the Pacific (Russell and Balazs, 1994).

Boat and vessel traffic does not appear to be a high risk vector for medium to long distance translocation of this species as the species is not recorded as a fouling species. Boating has been attributed as a possible vector for inter-island dispersal in Hawaii (Russell and Balazs, 1994), but this may be from drifting plants becoming entangled in hull appendages, anchors etc.


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On hard substrates or entangled on other plants; to 26 m deep (Littler and Littler, 2000).

In Hawaii on calm intertidal and shallow subtidal reef flats, tidepools and on rocky intertidal benches; frequently attached to species of Sargassum and Acanthophora spicifera, but also epiphytic on various other algae or directly attached to sandy flat rocks (Abbott, 1999; University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2001).

Habitat List

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Intertidal zone Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Intertidal zone Present, no further details Natural
Inshore marine Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Inshore marine Present, no further details Natural
Coral reefs Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coral reefs Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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A number of cytochrome oxidase I sequences of H. musciformis have been published by Sherwood et al. (2010).

Reproductive Biology

The life history of H. musciformis is a triphasic alternation of generations, with isomorphic tetrasporophytes and dioecious gametophytes and a diploid carposporophyte developing on the female gametophyte.
Smith et al. (2002) did not observe sexual reproduction in plants examined during their 1999 survey in Hawaii. However, the species was found to propagate vegetatively in all size classes examined (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 cm long), with the greatest success observed in the smallest fragments.
H. musciformis plants attached by branch hooks to other plants can reach a biomass that results in the majority of the plant being detached from the host plant by wave action or other physical disturbance, leaving the “hooks” behind (Smith et al., 2002). These hooks can rapidly regrow into new plants. The detachment of plants from hosts also facilitates dispersion of the species as drift.

Physiology and Phenology

In Brazil, fertile tetrasporophytes occurred throughout the year, varying form 20-99% of the population (Schenkman, 1989). Highest frequencies were observed in months when the highest biomass was measured (e.g. June-August). In this study, cystocarpic plants were rare and found only four times during 23 months of regular observation. Tetrasporophytes were also found to predominate, with fertile gametophytes rare in India (Rao, 1977). More recent investigations in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, suggested that asexual reproduction predominated over sexual reproduction, with more vegetative than reproductive thalli under environmentally stressful conditions for growth such as high and low water temperatures and more hours of sunlight (Reis and Yoneshigue-Valentin, 2000). Cystocarpic plants were only collected from intertidal epilithic populations.

Growth rates of 50%/day (at 28-29oC, 34-35 ppt) were reported for H. musciformis by Humm and Kreuzer (1975). Dawes (1987) reported 20%/day. In Kaneohe Bay, Russell (1992) measured growth rates of 10-12%/day (24-27oC). In India, highest biomass yields and daily growth rates have been measured at the water surface, decreasing over a range of depths to 120 cm (Ganesan et al., 2006a). Similar observations were made in Florida (Guist et al., 1982), but on the Brazilian coast optimal growth was measured at 40-50 cm depths (Reis and Yoneshigue-Valentin, 2000).

Phycocolloid content measured in H. musciformis in Brazil varied from 48-66% of the dry weight, with maximum yields in autumn and spring, compared with 16-48% dry weight measured elsewhere (Schenkman, 1989). From studies in Brazil, water movement, desiccation, low salinity, and extreme water and air temperatures were suggested to be the main abiotic factors that influenced the viscosity and yield of carrageenan (Reis et al., 2008). Adverse environmental factors were also proposed as causing plants to produce more viscous carrageenan as a protective defence.


H. musciformis grows as an epiphyte on Acanthophora spicifera and Laurencia scoparia in Brazil (Schenkman, 1989). In Hawaii, H. musciformis has occupied a similar niche, growing as an epiphyte on the alien Acanthophora spicifera and the native Laurencia nidifica, a species partly displaced by A. spicifera (Russell, 1992). The species is also often found as an epiphyte on Sargassum echinocarpum and Sargassum polyphyllum (University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2001).
In Hawaii, when abundant, H. musciformis has also been commonly found to co-occur with Ulva fasciata, a weedy species from a genus known to require high nutrient flux for growth (Smith et al., 2002).

Environmental Requirements

Growth rates of H. musciformis have been measured to increase as a function of irradiance (up to 40 µmol photons m-2 s-1), but above this there was light saturation and growth rates were unchanged (Yokoya et al., 2007). Highest growth rates were observed in temperatures of 20-25oC under long (14:10 h LD) and short (10:14 h LD) photoperiods.

In Brazil, H. musciformis biomass was found to be controlled by several factors, notably seawater temperature, diurnal lower spring tides on sunny days accompanied by calm seas soon followed by rough water, and grazing (Schenkman, 1989).

Guist et al. (1982) reported that growth rates were highest when cultures were supplemented with nitrogen and phosphorus.


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A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
43 30

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Depth (m b.s.l.) 0 1 Optimum 0-26 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) Optimum 22-39 tolerated
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 19 25 Optimum 26-31 tolerated (Brazil and India) (Schenkman, 1989; Ganesan et al., 2006a)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aplysia Herbivore Whole plant not specific
Chelonia mydas Herbivore Whole plant not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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After its introduction into Hawaii, H. musciformis, along with the previously introduced alien seaweed Acanthophora spicifera, became a prominent food source for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) (Russell and Balazs, 1994). Fish and crustaceans are also reported to graze on the species (Russell and Balazs, 1994) and, in Brazil, gammarid amphipods and sea-hares (Aplysia spp.) (Schenkman, 1989).

In experiments to determine the feeding preferences of herbivorous fish, of 20 seaweeds studied, H. musciformis was not one of the five species grazed (Ganesan et al., 2006b).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

H. musciformis is prone to fragment, is readily dislodged from its host and can regenerate vegetatively. It can therefore be dispersed locally by water currents, wave action and tidal flows. Drifting fragments re-attach to other algae, especially Sargassum, which can detach during storms and float long distances ('rafting') carrying Hypnea along (Russell and Balazs, 1994; University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2001). 

Accidental Introduction

Although there are no published reports of H. musciformis as a fouling species on boats or other vessels, the spread of Hypnea between islands in Hawaii does not conform with prevailing surface currents and boat traffic was implicated, particularly as first occurrences were within or near harbours (Russell and Balazz, 1994). Entanglement of drifting plants around boat hull appendages, such as propellers or rudders, anchoring or fishing gear could enable translocation without plants growing directly on the boat hulls. 

Intentional Introduction

H. musciformis was intentionally introduced from Florida to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands in 1974 for marine agronomy experiments (Russell,1992; Smith et al, 2002).

Impact Summary

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Cultural/amenity Negative
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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H. musciformis has become a significant component in the diets of green turtles in Hawaii, sometimes representing close to 100% of the seaweed biomass found in their stomachs (Russell and Balazs, 1994).

In Hawaii, before 1950, a simple association of Laurencia spp. with Hypnea cervicornis as an epiphyte commonly occurred on inshore reefs (Russell, 1992). After its introduction after 1950, Acanthophora spicifera invaded this niche in competition with Laurencia, but enhanced the productivity of H. cervicornis and the reef as a whole. H. musciformis both epiphytises Acanthophora and competes with H. cervicornis, further increasing the productivity of reefs where they occur (Russell, 1992). The consequence of the higher growth is increased detachment of both host and epiphyte, leading to increased drift and windrows of seaweed on nearby beaches.

Social Impact

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On Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, H. musciformis is often found in large, nearly unialgal mats cast ashore in windrows up to 0.5 m high, and the species can represent nearly 2/3 of the algal biomass (Abbott, 1999; University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2001). This drift is considered a malodorous pest by both local inhabitants and tourists.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Negatively impacts tourism
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult/costly to control


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Economic Value

Hypnea species have been used for food and for the production of phycocolloids (Hoppe, 1969; Masuda et al., 1997). The phycocolloid carrageenan is a red algal galactan used as a texturing agent, with gelling and thickening properties for food and non-food applications, that is in increasing demand (Reis et al., 2008). The cell wall constituents of various Hypnea species, including H. musciformis, have been found to include kappa carrageenans (Santos and Doty, 1969). Gametophytes and tetrasporophytes of H. musciformis both produce the same type of carrageenan (McCandless, 1981). H. musciformis has been exploited as a commercial source of kappa carrageenan, in both Brazil and India (Faccini and Berchez, 2000; Ganesan et al., 2006a).

H. musciformis
was introduced to Hawaii as a potential species for farming because of its production of kappa carrageenan, its rapid growth rate, its ability to colonise new areas, and its broad environmental tolerance (Russell and Balazs, 1994).

Environmental Services

H. musciformis has become a significant food source for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Hawaiian Islands (Russell and Balazs, 1994).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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In Hawaii, H. musciformis is differentiated from other Hypnea species by the flattened, broad hooks at ends of branches that coil around axes of other algae (Abbott, 1999). Apices of other species, such as H. cervicornis and H. valentiae, may curve, but are narrow and not tendril-like.

The genus Hypnea is known as a taxonomically difficult genus (e.g. Abbott, 1997) due to its wide geographic distribution and the morphological similarity of many subgeneric taxa. The genus has yet to be the subject of a global critical review, either using classical morphological techniques or molecular sequencing. The name Hypnea musciformis has been applied widely, but numerous applications of the name are now considered incorrect. For example, in Japan, H. musciformis sensu Okamura (1909) is now considered to be H. japonica Tanaka, distinguished by its size and texture and the absence of numerous, short proliferations (Tanaka, 1941; Yamagishi and Masuda, 1997). In Taiwan, most branches of H. japonica have straight or curved tips, with the presence of tendrils not as common as in H. musciformis (Chiang, 1997).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.


As with Acanthophora spicifera, the other widespread and successful invasive macroalgal species introduced to Hawaii, the abundance, propensity to dislodge and fragment ,and the ability of H. musciformis to regenerate vegetatively from small fragments would render eradication all but impossible once the species is established. 


Physical/mechanical control

No reports on efforts to control H. musciformis have been seen, but the chances of success are considered low due to the propensity of plants to fragment and regenerate from small fragments, unless isolated plants are detected before populations become established.

Movement control

Any shipments of live seaweed, such as Eucheuma, should be checked for contamination by H. musciformis to avoid inadvertent transfer. Anchor chains, anchor lockers and fishing gear should be cleaned of entangled algae if moving out of areas of known Hypnea presence.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There are still taxonomic uncertainties within the genus Hypnea and more molecular studies are needed to assist in unravelling species and species relationships and geographical species distribution. At the species level, the conspecificity of Mediterranean, tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean populations of H. musciformis seems worthy of further investigation.


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Abbott IA, 1997. Section IV. Hypnea Species. Introduction. Vol. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with reference to some Pacific species [ed. by Abbott IA] La Jolla, CA, USA: California Sea Grant College, 125-126.

Abbott IA, 1999. Marine Red Algae of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press.

Aleem AA, 1993. Marine algae of Alexandria. Alexandria, : Privately published.

Araújo R; Bárbara I; Santos G; Rangel M; Sousa Pinto I, 2003. Fragmenta Chorologica Occidentalia. Algae, 60:8572-8640.

Ardré F, 1970. [English title not available]. (Contribution à l'étude des algues marines du Portugal. La flore.) Portugalia Acta Biologica, 10(Series B):137-555.

Athanasiadis A, 1987. A survey of the seaweeds of the Aegean Sea with taxonomic studies on species of the tribe Antithamnieae (Rhodophyta). Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg.

Bárbara I; Cremades J; Calvo S; López-Rodríguez MC; Dosil J, 2005. Checklist of the benthic marine and brackish Galician algae (NW Spain). Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, 62:69-100.

Ben Maiz N; Boudouresque CF; Quahchi F, 1987. [English title not available]. (Inventaire des algues et phanérogames marines benthiques de la Tunise) Giornale Botanico Italiano, 121:259-304.

Betancourt L; Herrera-Moreno A, 2001. [English title not available]. (Algas marinas bentónicas (Rhodophyta, Phaeophyta y Chlorophyta) conocidas para la Hispaniola) Moscosoa, 12:105-134.

Boudouresque CF; Perret M, 1977. [English title not available]. (Inventaire de la flore marine de Corse (Méditerranée): Rhodophyceae, Phaeophyceae, Chlorophyceae et Bryopsidophyceae) Bibliotheca Phycologica, 25:1-171.

Cabrera R; Moreira A; Suárez AM, 2004. [English title not available]. (Variación en la composición y estructura de las asociaciones algales en la Bahía de Nuevitas, Costa NE de Cuba) Revista de Investigaciones Marinas, 25:133-142.

Chiang YM, 1997. Species of Hypnea Lamouroux (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) from Taiwan. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with reference to some Pacific species [ed. by Abbott IA] La Jolla, CA, USA: California Sea Grant College, 163-178.

Cirik S; Zeybeck N; Aysel V; Cirik S, 1990. [English title not available]. (Note préliminaire sur la végétation marine di l'île de Gokçeada (Mer Egée Nord, Turquie)) Thalassografica, 13((suppl.) 1):33-37.

Coll J; Oliveira EC, 1999. The benthic marine algae of Uruquay. Botanica Marina, 42:129-135.

Conde Poyales F, 1992. [English title not available]. (Sobre la colección de algas del herbario de la Sociedad Malagueña De Ciencias (S. XIX)) Acta Botanica Malacitana, 17:29-55.

Coppejans E, 1972. [English title not available]. (Resultats d'une étude systématique et écologique de la population algale des côtes rocheuses du Dramont, St Raphael (Var, France).) Biol. Jb. Dodonaea, 40:153-180.

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Links to Websites

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Alien and Invasive Algae in Hawaii
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS) source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Hawaii Biological Survey
Marine Algae of Hawaii


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07/08/08 Original text by:

John Lewis, ES Link Services Pty Ltd Queensberry Place, North Melbourne, Vic. 3051, Australia

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