GRID product detail

Caulerpa taxifolia, a growing menace for the temperate marine environment


Duration: January 1997 - January 2003

The first issue of the publication depicts the impacts of Caulerpa taxifolia, a genetically altered seaweed which is colonising large areas of the marine environment in an uncontrollable way. The green alga, mutated by exposure to chemicals and ultraviolet light, has shown dangerous capabilities allowing it to adapt, colonise, and threaten multiple biotopes. Accidentally released into the Mediterranean Sea around 1984, it has now colonised more than 30 000 ha around the Mediterranean basin. It has also been spotted in southern Australia and on the west coast of the United States, where various methods are being tested to eradicate this seaweed to avoid its uncontrolled spread as in the Mediterranean Sea.

Data credit(s): Andrea De Bono (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva), Gregory Giuliani (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva), Stephane Kluser (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva), Pascal Peduzzi (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva)

GRID unit: Global Change and Vulnerability

UNEP region: Europe/Mediterranean

UNEP priorities:  Ecosystems Management, Harmful Substances, Environmental Governance

Project link(s):

english version (2004, Size:0.65Mb)
 french version (2004, Size:0.64Mb)