Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Ulva lactuca Linnaeus 1753, referred to in the vernacular as "Sea Lettuce" is a green, marlne alga often forming large, distromatic blades of considerable size. It usually begins its existence from a single celled, germinating zygote or germinating zoospore. During its early stages it is almost always attached to some object. As it increases in size, it may become detached either by its sheer bulk, or by the action of rough waters . Once it is detached, however, it can continue its growth, often at a very rapid rate, if the environmental conditions are satisfactory. Large pieces may become fragmented through wave and beach interactions and by foraging and grazing animals. These fragments may also continue to grow as long as the conditions for such vegetative growth approach optimal.

Publication Statement

Submitted to Hampton Roads Sanitation District Commission.