Oarweed (Eklonia radiata) at low tide

Oarweed (Eklonia radiata) at low tide

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A ledge of calcareous sandstone at low tide on the shore of the Southern Ocean, Victoria Australia. This is the edge of a forest of oarweed, Eklonia radiata (syn. Laminaria radiata ), a species of brown alga (Phaeophyta). Each plant is attached to the rock by means of a holdfast (yellow discs) from which arises the stipe, branching into flat blades. The plants can withstand short periods of exposure to the air, but towards high tide are completely submerged. Brown seaweeds are also known as kelps. "Kelp" originally referred to the ash from burning seaweed as part of the process of extracting iodine. Brown seaweeds are also a source of mannitol, and alginic acids used in the dressing of fabrics, binders in paper manufacture, and the production of artificial leather.

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Keywords: alginic acid, australia, brown alga, eklonia radiata, holdfast, iodine, kelp, laminaria radiata, mannitol, oarweed, phaeophyta, seaweed, southern ocean, stipe

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