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Rhodophyta Red Weed Algal Bloom Residue - Crowdy Head Surf Club, Crowdy Head, Mid North Coast, NSW | by Black Diamond Images
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Rhodophyta Red Weed Algal Bloom Residue - Crowdy Head Surf Club, Crowdy Head, Mid North Coast, NSW

© All Rights Reserved - Black Diamond Images

 

Every year, mostly in summer, the Australian East Coast beaches are plagued by red weed algal blooms which wash up on beaches and into estuarine creeks. As the weed dies and begins to rot away it emits a stench which can be difficult to deal with in coastal camping and residential areas.

While swimming in surf which is carrying red weed is not pleasant, apparently it is generally safe to do so as long as you don't ingest water containing the weed.

I thought I would try to track down what species is seen here in this image at Crowdy Head but obviously with so many listed species it would need expert methodology to determine the exact species, and its also possible there may in fact be a number of species.

 

The nomenclature of Rhodophyta red weed species has recently been updated with relevant synonyms and misapplied names included.

 

The species of marine and freshwater red algae (Genus - Rhodophyta) occurring in NSW New South Wales waters ammounts to 381 species in 14 orders, 41 families and 174 genera.

 

22% have New South Wales type localities with 58 from the mainland and 24 from Lord Howe Island. The remaining species are either typically southern Australian, Queensland, or are much more widely distributed.

 

Twenty-five percent (100) of the species and 20% (35) of the genera are newly recorded for the New South Wales coast, one genus (Callithamniella) is new to the Pacific Ocean, and two (Ditria and Titanophora) are newly recorded for Australia.

Of course it is also acknowledged that there may be other genera of algae which may be found along the east coast of Australia.

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Taken on May 8, 2019