Caulerpa taxifolia (Caulerpa) is invasive and non-native seaweed; also namely know as the “killer algae”. Caulerpa taxifolia was discovered in California in year 2000, but in the late 1970s it was considered as aquarium species that added an aesthetic beauty and source of trade in saltwater aquarium. It mainly grows in small colonies and as green color that’s implicates of its aquatic nature, and it is commonly native to waters in tropical areas. Caulerpa as it grows it forms a dense blanket layer in different surface (rocks, mud) and it can covers hundreds of acres in the ocean below. Caulerpa taxifolia has the capability of growing an inch per day and its survival duration out of the water can be up to a maximum of ten days. It shows a slow form of invasion, these include cases where it shades seaweeds and overgrows over them creating a dense environment which impacts the small fish and making it impossible for them to access daily food from their ecosystem.
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Caulerpa taxifolia is a type of seaweed that’s displaces other native algae because of its non-native form. This species has a negative impact on the coastal ecosystem. It also as an economical degradation aspect as it over grows other segments of aquatic plants and environs, thus eliminating sea grasses, native seaweeds and reefs. Caulerpa taxifolia as a big negative influence on tourism as it spoil the boat riding pleasure and makes it hard for recreational diving. It also creates an impediment on fisheries that use net as their main tool of work. The distribution of fish is mostly altered by the dense carpet layer of the seaweed causing a financial increase in costs of fishing. Boats navigation process is also hindered by the dense nature and mass distribution of Caulerpa taxifolia and finally we can see the strong impact of the weed when it causes a major aquarium strain as itsmothers small species of animals like the shellfish.
In this regard, as top Marine Ecologist/Biologist from Temple University my department overview of Caulerpa taxifolia historical nature and form has developed the following projects and prospects that need to be carried on to oversee the overall maintenance and subjection of the destructive seaweed.
In this eradication process of the Caulerpa taxifolia seaweed, different elements are considered so as to ensure the smooth run of the whole process. Firstly; overall view of location that requires eradication process and places where detections as been of high alert (here by marine ecosystem in Pennsylvania) is established and delineation of infestation boundaries is triggered. An analysis of scientific expertise for operating the process is carried on where a complete implementation of eradication program through census is adhered to and a fully equipped team of experts to deal with the eradication process is put up. The department carries out a fully evaluation of treatment technologies and assigns priorities to be strictly followed up. Then in finalizing up the overall process full financial requirement are accessed and rapid resource availability ensured.
As my duty as a top Marine Ecologist/Biologist the following methodologies would need to be addressed so as to adequately eradicate Caulerpa taxifolia.
This includes lethal treatment and containment of infestation site of the Caulerpa taxifolia weed. Treatment is also carried on through use of chemicals like chlorine which is injected as sodium hypochlorite to the covered heavy PVC tarpaulins which are placed underneath the weed. This smothering method using tarps can be well relied on and would ensure successful results due to ample chlorine effectiveness.
Coordination with lagoon users
A ban is implemented by the state department of Pennsylvania through initiating legislation, this assists in prohibiting the sale of Caulerpa taxifolia and species morphologically similar to Caulerpa and thus reduces the spread of the seaweed through different aquarium operators and sea resources vendors.
This is where divers assist in covering of Caulerpa taxifolia with heavy plastic sheet and introduction of herbicides underneath the sheet which is fitted with small “port”. Divers can also use hand removal technique to remove small diameters of Caulerpa taxifolia colonies.
Use of suction pumps
Extraction can be mainly carried out by use of suction pumps which are used to remove small and large colonies of the weed segments. This mechanical process is an efficient method and can remove large quantities of seaweed.
Monitoring and public awareness programs
Public awareness programs are necessary to educate the local residents of the impacts and the necessary methodologies they can use to prevent the spread of the seaweed.
In my conclusion the analyzes of marine biodiversity is a complex process that require careful planning and evaluation process so as to ensure the well being of our waters and animals that thrive inside the large water masses. These techniques of eradication of dense fresh infestations require adequate means that needs to be effectively put in place and strictly followed by both the state government and local residents so as to save our waters.