External news: “Resourceful crustaceans turn invasive seaweed into homes”

A positive impact of an invasive seaweed was recently highlighted by an article in Discover magazine. The article summarises the findings of Wright et al. (2014), who investigated colonisation of the invasive seaweed Gracilaria vermiculophylla by amphipods and other crustaceans. Although it is not grazed, the addition of the seaweed to some US mudflats appears to support a food web that was not present in this environment previously. The full article is available on the Discover website: “Resourceful Crustaceans Turn Invasive Seaweed into Homes”.

Wright, J., Byers, J., DeVore, J., & Sotka, E. (2014). Engineering or food? Mechanisms of facilitation by a habitat-forming invasive seaweed. Ecology, 95 (10), 2699-2706 DOI: 10.1890/14-0127.1