August 25, 2016 | 88° | Check Traffic

Top News

Seafloor algae key to food web, new study finds

  • GREG MCFALL / NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION2012 September 28 - CTY - Unidentified red algae (probable new species) at 200 feet, Pearl and Hermes Atoll.  Photo credit:  Greg McFall/NOAA
    GREG MCFALL / NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
    2012 September 28 - CTY - Unidentified red algae (probable new species) at 200 feet, Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Photo credit: Greg McFall/NOAA

A new study shows algae on the seafloor are important to the health of food webs and fish populations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The study published earlier this month in the journal Marine Biology found bottom-dwelling algae are the base of the food web. Small fish eat the algae, while sharks and other large fish eat the smaller fish.

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Deputy Superintendent and report co-author Randall Kosaki says taking care of the reef will help ensure healthy fish populations.

He says dredging and the spread of non-native invasive algae will affect the abundance of fish prized by humans for food, like snapper or jacks.

The monument said in a news release Friday researchers collected nearly 600 algae and fish samples for the study.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.