Red algae that grow in Cornwall’s Fal Estuary are genetically unique, new research shows.
University of Exeter scientists studied the population genetics of Phymatolithon calcareum, a coralline red algal species that forms maerl beds in shallow coastal seas from Portugal to Norway.
Large maerl beds fulfil a similar role to tropical coral reefs, providing habitats and vital shelter for hundreds or even thousands of fish and invertebrates. These algae also play an important role in storing carbon. MORE
Header image: Maerl in the Fal Estuary. Credit: Mark Milburn/Atlantic Scuba.