At Pitcairn Island in the Southern Pacific Ocean, a plethora of beautiful and unique macro algaes are well represented in myriad forms. Beautiful fleshy algaes, branching coralline and leafy brown algaes are extremely well represented according to a new survey highlighted in National Geographic this week. If you stop to think about it, we as aquarists know a heckuva lot more about nasty, ugly, undesirable nuisance algaes than we do about the pretty ones which are primary reef builders, and which form the foundation of live-rock based reef aquariums.
Names like Derbesia, Enteromorpha, Bryopsis and Valonia are much better known and understood then the beautiful red, pink and yellow algaes of many different orders. You’d be hard pressed to find even veteran aquarium reef aquarists who know that most pink coralline algaes are in the genus Lithophyllum or that there is a genus of brown algaes called Turbinaria, just like the cup corals. Hopefully, this beautiful exposé on the diverse macro algaes of Pitcairn Island may spur some intrepid reef aquarists to fire up a saltwater planted aquarium. [via Quality Marine]