Global invasive species database

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Common name
bulung tombong bideng (Malay), red alga (English), spiny seaweed (English), spiny alga (English, Hawaii), culot (Ilocano)
Synonym
Acanthophora intermedia , Crouan
Fucus spicifer , M. Vahl 1802
Fucus acanthophorus , J.V. Lamouroux 1805
Acanthophora thierryi , J.V. Lamouroux 1813
Chondria acanthophorara , C. Agardh 1822
Acanthophora orientalis , J. Agardh 1863
Acanthophora wightii , J. Agardh 1863
Acanthophora antillarum , Montagne ex K�tzing 1865
Acanthophora thierryi , f. gracilis P.L. Crouan & H.M. Crouan 1878
Acanthophora orientalis , var. wightii (J. Agardh) Sonder 1879
Acanthophora spicifera , f. wightii (J. Agardh) Weber-van Bosse 1923
Acanthophora spicifera , f. orientalis (J.Agardh) Weber-van Bosse 1923
Acanthophora spicifera , var. orientalis (J. Agardh) Zaneveld 1956
Similar species
Summary
Acanthophora spicifera is a red algae which is found in most tropical or subtropical seas of the world. Its plastic morphology allows it to adapt to a variety of environmental conditions, and hence it can invade a diverse range of habitats. It is an alien invasive species in Hawaii. It is amongst the most successful alien algal species in this region, where it may modify native communities and compete with native algae.
Species Description
Acanthophora spicifera is an erect macroalgae which grows up to 40cm tall. It has solid cylindrical branches, 2-3mm wide, branched either sparingly or repeatedly. The main branches have short, determinate branches, irregularly shaped and spinose, with spines numerous and radially arranged. There are no spines on main axes. The plant grows from a large, irregularly shaped holdfast. In intertidal high-motion water areas, A. spicifera has short (4 - 10cm), compact and very dense thalli. In moderate or low water motion areas, the thalli are tall (10 - 25cm), more openly branched and occur in scattered clumps. Apices are pyramidal, with incurved trichoblasts. Pericentral cells are corticated densely, with central axial cells usually evident. In older axes, central axial filaments may be surrounded by small-celled adventitious filaments. A. spicifera is highly variable in colour: it can be shades of red, purple, yellow, orange, or brown. Thalli are often very dark in colour in intertidal, high motion areas, and are usually lighter colour in shallow areas with low water motion and reflective sandy or silty bottoms (University of Hawaii, 2001).
Notes
In Panama, it has been reported that fish can exclude A. spicifera from some habitats by including it in their diet. A. spicifera is also grazed by sea urchins and crabs (Kilar and McLachlan, 1986).
Lifecycle Stages
Acanthophora spicifera has been reported to have a triphasic alternation of generations. Tetrasporophytic and gametophytic generations are isomorphic, and the gametophyte dioecious (Kilar and McLachlan, 1986).
Uses
Acanthophora spicifera is consumed in Tahiti, and also features in the diet of native Fijians (Payri et al. 2000; in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2007; South, 1993). It is also used in vegetable salads, as soup flavouring and as a thickening agent in the Philippines, and is reported to contain carragenaans, used as an emulsifying agent (Trono, 1999).
Habitat Description
Acanthophora spicifera is commonly found on calm, shallow reef flats, tidepools, and on rocky intertidal benches. It usually attaches to hard substrates, such as rocks, basalt ledges, or dead coral heads, but may also occur as an epiphyte on other algae, or as relatively stable unattached populations. It has been reported at depths of up to 22m in the Virgin Islands, although it more typically occurs at 1-8m depths (University of Hawaii, 2001; Kilar and McLachlan, 1986; Hill, 2001). A. spicifera cannot withstand prolonged exposure to air, and as such its survival on reefs is increased when it co-occurs with dense aggregates of other algal species which are more tolerant of wave exposure, and are able to retain water when exposed to air (Hill, 2001).
Reproduction
Sexual: Tetrasporophytes were the most common reproductive phase occurring on reef flats in Panama, with over 80% of plants tetrasporic throughout much of the year. This percentage was reduced to only 5% during periods of prolonged tidal immersion (Kilar and McLachlan, 1986; Hill, 2001).
\r\nAsexual: Fragmentation accounts for much of the distribution and standing crop of A. spicifera. On reef flats, as much as 26% of the standing crop can be lost to drift fragments each month (Hill, 2001) especially if the fragments either (a) do not release viable spores or (b) are unable to reattache to the substratum by production of secondary rhizoids (Mads Thomsen., pers.comm., June 2008).
A. spicifera appears to be able to release sexual propagules at all times of the year in Hawaii, and therefore may have greater potential for dispersal than macroalgae that reproduce only by fragmentation (Smith et al. 2002).
Nutrition
Autotrophic.
Pathway
Acanthophora spicifera is likely to have reached Hawaii as fouling on a barge from Guam (Kilar and McLachlan, 1986).

Principal source:

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from La Fondation d'entreprise Total

Review: Mads Solgaard Thomsen, Post doc, Benthic Section, Marine Department, National Environmental Research Institute University of Aarhus, Roskilde, Denmark.

Publication date: 2007-01-09

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2017) Species profile: Acanthophora spicifera. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Acanthophora+spicifera on 17-10-2017.

General Impacts
Acanthophora spicifera has a plastic morphology, which allows it to adapt to different conditions and invade a diversity of habitats. The brittle nature of its branches often results in fragmentation, which contributes to frequent, large free-floating populations, and its widespread distribution (University of Hawaii, 2001). It is now one of the most widespread and successful alien algae in Hawaii, and may modify native communities by smothering and outcompeting native algal species (Preskitt, 2002; Eldredge, 2003).

Blooms of native A. spicifera covered by cyanobacterial epiphytes have been observed on several reefs in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, since widespread coral mortality opened substrate for colonisation during the 1997-98 El Nino Southern Oscillation. The bloom coincided with La Nina conditions, with thermocline shoaling and mixing upwards of nutrient-rich bottom water, but it persisted for several years after this (Fong et al. 2006).

Management Info
No specific management action plans have been reported for this species
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Acanthophora spicifera
NATIVE RANGE
  • bahamas
  • bermuda
  • cayman islands
  • cuba
  • hispaniola
  • jamaica
  • netherlands antilles
  • puerto rico
  • trinidad and tobago
  • turks and caicos islands
  • united states
  • virgin islands, british
  • virgin islands, u.s.
Informations on Acanthophora spicifera has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Acanthophora spicifera in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Acanthophora spicifera has a plastic morphology, which allows it to adapt to different conditions and invade a diversity of habitats. The brittle nature of its branches often results in fragmentation, which contributes to frequent, large free-floating populations, and its widespread distribution (University of Hawaii, 2001). It is now one of the most widespread and successful alien algae in Hawaii, and may modify native communities by smothering and outcompeting native algal species (Preskitt, 2002; Eldredge, 2003).

Blooms of native A. spicifera covered by cyanobacterial epiphytes have been observed on several reefs in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, since widespread coral mortality opened substrate for colonisation during the 1997-98 El Nino Southern Oscillation. The bloom coincided with La Nina conditions, with thermocline shoaling and mixing upwards of nutrient-rich bottom water, but it persisted for several years after this (Fong et al. 2006).

Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
UNITED STATES
Mechanism
[1] Competition
[1] Interaction with other invasive species
Outcomes
[3] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Modification of natural benthic communities
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [1] Habitat degradation
[1] Environmental Species - Population
  • [1] other
[1] Socio-Economic
  • [1] Other economic impact
Management information
No specific management action plans have been reported for this species
Bibliography
23 references found for Acanthophora spicifera

Managment information
General information
Allender, B.M. and Kraft, G.T. 1983. The marine algae of Lord Howe Island (New South Wales): The Dictyotales and Cutleriales (Phaeophyta). Brunonia. 6: 73-130.
Summary: This paper provides a comprehensive report on the marine algae present on Lord Howe Island, Australia.
Capper, A., Tibbetts, I.R., O Neil, J.M. and Shaw, G.R. 2006. Feeding preference and deterrence in rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens for the cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula in Moreton Bay, south-east Queensland, Australia. Journal of Fish Biology. 68: 1589-1609.
Summary: This paper discusses the diet of the rabbitfish in Queensland, Australia.
Coles, S.L. and Eldredge, L.G. 2002. Nonindigenous species introductions on coral reefs: a need for information. Pacific Science. 56 (2): 191-209.
Summary: This paper discusses the introductions of exotic species to coral reefs, with emphasis on Hawaii.
Available from: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/pacific_science/v056/56.2coles.pdf [Accessed 3 December 2006]
Coles, S.L., DeFelice, R.C., Eldredge, L.G. and Carlton, J.T. 1999. Historical and recent introductions of non-indigenous marine species into Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. Marine Biology. 135: 147-158.
Summary: This paper presents a record of the introduced marine species in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
Coles, S.L., Kandel, F.L.M., Reath, P.A., Longenecker, K. and Eldredge, L.G. 2006. Rapid assessment of nonindigenous marine species on coral reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science. 60 (4): 483-507.
Summary: This paper presents the methodology and results of a survey of introduced marine species in Hawaiian waters.
Available from: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/pacific_science/v060/60.4coles.pdf [Accessed 3 December 2006]
Desai, V.V., Komarpant, D.S. and Jagtap, T.G. 2003. Distribution and diversity of marine flora in coral reef ecosystems of Kadmat Island in Lakshadweep Archipelago, Arabian Sea, India. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 506. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA.
Summary: This paper describes the marine flora of Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep Archipelago, India.
Fong, P., Smith, T.B. and Wartian, M.J. 2006. Epiphytic cyanobacteria maintain shifts to macroalgal dominance on coral reefs following ENSO disturbance. Ecology. 87 (5): 1162-1168.
Summary: This paper discusses the factors contributing to macroalgal dominance on coral reefs.
Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2007. Acanthophora spicifera (M. Vahl) Borgesen. AlgaeBase version 4.2. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Summary: AlgaeBase is a database of information on algae that includes terrestrial, marine and freshwater organisms.
AlgaeBase is available from: http://www.algaebase.org; Acanthophora spicifera information is available from: http://www.algaebase.org/speciesdetail.lasso?species_id=3309&sk=0&from=results&-session=abv3:82D8BFA71b8423986CyJV30A9723 [Accessed 15 November 2006].
Hill, K. 2001. Acanthophora spicifera. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
Summary: This website provides comprehensive information about A. spicifera.
Available from: http://www.sms.si.edu/irLspec/Acanth_spicif.htm [Accessed 3 December 2006]
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2007. Online Database Acanthophora spicifera
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. Links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=183220 [Accessed 6 February 2007]
Kilar, J.A. and McLachlan, J. 1986. Ecological studies of the alga, Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl) Borg. (Ceramiales: Rhodophyta): vegetative fragementation. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.. 104: 1-21.
Summary: This paper discusses the ecology of A. spicifera, with specific reference to the role of vegetative fragmentation in reproduction.
Lourenco, S.O., Barbarino, E., Nascimento, A. and Paranhos, R. 2005. Seasonal variations in tissue nitrogen and phosphorous of eight macroalgae from a tropical hypersaline coastal environment. Cryptogamie Algologie. 26 (4): 355-371.
Summary: This paper describes the seasonal variations in tissue nitrogen and phosphorous for macroalgae in a Brazilian lagoon.
Preskitt, L. 2002. Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl) Borgesen 1910. Invasive Marine Algae of Hawaii. University of Hawai i at Manoa.
Summary: This fact sheet provides basic detail about A. spicifera in Hawaii.
Available from: http://www.hawaii.edu/reefalgae/invasive_algae/rhodo/acanthophora_spicifera.htm [Accessed 3 December 2006]
Russell, D.J. 1992. The ecological invasion of Hawaiian reefs by two marine red algae, Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl) Boerg. and Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J. Ag., and their association with two native species, Laurencia nidifica J. Ag. and Hypnea cervicornis J. Ag. ICES marine science symposia. Copenhagen.
Summary: This paper discusses the interactions between the invasive A. spicifera and native algae in Hawaii.
Russell, D.J. and Balazs, G.H. 1994. Colonization by the alien marine alga Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J. Ag. (Rhodophyta: Gigartinales) in the Hawaiian Islands and its utilization by the green turtle, Chelonia mydas L. Aquatic Botany. 47: 53-60.
Summary: This paper reports on the utilisation of the invasive algaes A. spicifera and Hypnea musciformis by the endangered green turtle in the Hawaiian Islands.
Smith, J.E., Hunter, C.L. and Smith, C.M. 2002. Distribution and reproductive characteristics of nonindigenous and invasive marine algae in the Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science. 56 (3): 299-315.
Summary: This paper provides information about the distribution and impacts of A. spicifera in Hawaii.
Available from: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/pacific_science/v056/56.3smith.pdf [Accessed 3 December 2006]
South, G.R. 1993. Edible seaweeds of Fiji: an ethnobotanical study. Botanica Marina. 36 (4): 335-349.
Summary: This paper describes the edible seaweeds of Fiji, which include A. spicifera.
Stimson, J., Larned, S.T. and Conklin, E. 2001. Effects of herbivory, nutrient levels, and introduced algae on the distribution and abundance of the invasive macroalga Dictyosphaeria cavernosa in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Coral Reefs. 19: 343-357.
Summary: This paper discusses the interactions between A. spicifera and another invasive algae in Hawaii.
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) Dataset Extent Map, Distribution of Acanthophora spicifera
Summary: The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the information component of the Census of Marine Life (CoML), a growing network of more than 1000 researchers in 73 nations engaged in a 10-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans - past, present, and future. OBIS is a web-based provider of global geo-referenced information on marine species. OBIS contains expert species level and habitat level databases and provide a variety of spatial query tools for visualizing relationships among species and their environment.
This page is available from: http://www.iobis.org/OBISWEB/ObisControllerServlet?category=all&names=data&tableName=0&searchName=acanthophora+spicifera&x=20&y=13 [Accessed 3 December 2006]
Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) available from: www.iobis.org
Trono, G.C. Jr. 1999. Diversity of the seaweed flora of the Philippines and its utilisation. Hydrobiologia. 398/399: 1-6.
Summary: This paper discusses the uses of A. spicifera in the Philippines.
Tsuda, Roy T.; Steve L. Coles; Eric B. Guinther; R. Andrew O. Finlay & Frankie L. Harriss., 2008. Acanthophora spicifera (Rhodophyta: Rhodomelaceae) in the Marshall Islands. Micronesica 40(1/2): 245�252, 2008
Summary: Available from: http://www.uog.edu/up/micronesica/dynamicdata/assetmanager/images/vol40/14%20tsuda%20acanthophora.pdf [Accessed 22 September 2008]
University of Hawaii. 2001. Algae: Invasive Alien. Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl) Borgesen 1910. Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Summary: This fact sheet provides comprehensive information about A. spicifera in Hawaii.
Available from: http://pikoi.hawaii.edu/resources/readings/Algae.pdf [Accessed 3 December 2006]
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Acanthophora spicifera
Smith,
Jennifer
Organization:
Postdoctoral Researcher, Marine Ecology University of California, Santa Barbara
Address:
735 State St. Suite 300 Santa Barbara, CA 93101 USA
Phone:
805-892-2522
Fax:
805-892-2510