Identification cards for common algae on Bonaire
Macroalgae on Bonaire
Macroalgae are large algae, also called seaweeds, that are typically divided in three major groups: red macroalgae (Rhodophyta), brown macroalgae (Phaeophyceae), and green macroalgae (Chlorophyta). Over 250 seaweed species are known from Bonaire. They vary tremendously in shape and color and are found in a range of habitats. They flourish in shallow and deep areas on coral reefs all around the island, in seagrass beds, mangrove forests and in the intertidal.
Macroalgae – important organisms
Macroalgae are mostly notorious as aggressive competitors for space that can overgrow reef corals. However, macroalgae play an important part in all marine ecosystems: they provide food for herbivores, and they stabilize the structure of reefs. Algae are also remarkable in that they are responsible for the high productivity that characterizes coral reefs and seagrass beds.
These identification cards provide an overview of almost 60 red, brown and green seaweed species that are frequently encountered on Bonaire, to help you explore the macroalgal biodiversity in the marine parks.