Pacific Marine Algae

Pressed Specimens by Peter Connors

Bodega Head, California

I have been studying the distribution of the more than 160 species of macroalgae along the Sonoma Coast. Our local algae grow in habitats ranging from sheltered sand and mudflats to the most wave-swept outer coast rocks, and many species only grow attached to other species. In extreme cases, a single alga attached to rocks may have four or five other species growing on it. This lifestyle, called epiphytic, is possible for marine algae because unlike terrestrial, vascular plants, algae do not have roots, and they absorb necessary nutrients directly from seawater through all their tissues.

My pressed scientific specimens are a way of showing the beauty and diversity of marine life along the northern California coast. Documenting marine algae is also valuable to students and researchers as climate change, development, and worldwide pollution induce changes in our environment.

Species: Callophyllis Pinnata
Location: Horseshoe Cove Date: 19 August 2004

Species: Ulva Linza
Location: Campbell Cove Sandflats Date: 7 August 2005

Ulva linza grows on intertidal rocks and sand flats along the Sonoma Coast in areas protected from heavy surf. Its bright green color and slender, ruffled ribbons make it the loveliest of the green algae, Chlorophyta.

Species: Ulva clathrata
location: campbell cove sandflats date: 17 september 2005

The thin, hair-like tendrils of Ulva clathrata bear little resemblance to the rest of the Ulva (sea lettuce) genus. This small, bright-green alga grows in protected bays and estuaries, either attached to rocks or free-floating as a dense mass.

Species: Callophyllis Flabellulata
Location: Drift, Doran Beach Date: 12 August 2000

The beautiful alga Callophyllis flabellulata grows on subtidal rocks or on other algae in the Bodega Head area. It is classified as a red alga, Rhodophyta, named for the characteristic pigments that give most species in this group a reddish tint.

Species: Microcladia coulteri
location: drift, bodega head near jetty date: 26 july 2005

Microcladia coulteri is a common epiphytic alga that grows on other algae in the Bodega Head area. It is classified as a red alga, Rhodophyta, named for the characteristic pigments that give most species in this group a reddish tint.

Species: Desmarestia herbacea
Location: South jetty, bodega head Date: 16 may 2014

Desmarestia herbacea grows on low intertidal and subtidal rocks along the Sonoma Coast. It is classified as a brown alga, Phaeophyta, named for the characteristic pigments that give most species in this group a brown color in life, often tinged greenish when dried.

Marsha Balian, Jill


Many talented individuals are featured in the West Marin Review. Please click below for this volume’s contributors.

  • Cover
    • Marsha Balian   Jill
  • Prose
    • Frances Lefkowitz   Two Very Short Stories
    • Sabine Hoskinson   The Sespe
    • Jon Langdon   Red Rocker
    • Jennifer Kulbeck   Farallon Stories
    • Michael Taylor   Stunts
    • Denise Parsons   The Rancher Whispered
    • Hal Ober   From Old Hatch’s Almanac
    • G. David Miller   I Be Loving My Neighbor’s Wife
    • Chris Reding   Flying
    • Betty Davidson   The Complexity of the Sparrow
    • Robert Kroninger   Japs Not Wanted in Winters
    • Susan Starbird   Commuting in the Valley of Shadows
    • Elisabeth Ptak   Charles Dickens and Ferguson
  • Poetry
    • Tobi Earnheart-Gold   Spring and Boredom
    • Larry Ruth   Light
    • Scott Mossman   The Olives of Olive Drive
    • Roy Mash   La-Z-Boy
    • Heather Altfeld   Indian, Wild (Ishi)
    • Erin Rodoni   Because There Is Loss
    • Jody Farrell   After Wendell Berry’s Window Poems
    • Jed Myers   Close to the Earth
    • Barbara Finkelstein   Return to Sinkyone
    • Jocelyn Mata   ¡Mi día en México!
    • Catlyn Fendler   July 31, A Meditation
    • Gary Thorp   Franz Kafka Dreams of Yosemite
    • Lucas Benjamin   Phenology
    • Kaitlin Deasy   The Letter
    • Sierra Sabec   The Origin of a Piano
    • Elizabeth Herron   As Light Escapes
    • Jan Dederick   Help Me Out, Billy
    • Madeleine S. Butcher   AWESOME
  • Art + Artifact
    • Paola Martin   Canada Goose
    • Leslie Allen   Clear Spring Trough Above the Pacific,Valley Ford and Spaletta Ranch Barns, Valley Ford
    • Elizabeth Sher   Arbres arrencats d’ametles (Uprooted Almond Trees)
    • Mary Siedman   Highway One Trees and Magnolia
    • Eva Bell   Calla Lily
    • Natalie Chavarria, Izabella Guiterrez, and Viviana Villalobos Gonzalez   Sunflowers
    • Eytan Schillinger-Hyman   Serengeti Solitude
    • Peter Connors   Pacific Marine Algae
    • Thomas Wood   Northern Point Reyes Peninsula & Bodega Head
    • Charles Hoehn   West Bay
    • Linda Weyl   Old Barn on “101”
    • Theodore D. Echeverria   Poppies Celebrate the First Rains
    • Charles Eckart   On the Mesa—Point Reyes
    • Bob Kubik   Good Morning
    • Jacqueline Mallegni   Wabi-Sabi Basket
    • Adah Pinchuk Hyman   October Sunset, Tomales Bay
    • Vanessa Waring   Everyone’s Invited
    • Michelle Chayes   Mermaid
    • Terry Murphy   Cat Nap
    • T.C. Moore   Hay Nets
    • Judy Levit   Unanswered Questions
    • Anne Faught   Journal Entry
    • Mary K. Shisler   Turnips… and Onions…
    • Ward Walkup III   summer, fall, winter… SPRING!
    • Jenny Long   Walk
    • Susan Putnam   Untitled #226
    • Isela Carreras   Different
    • Ashley Eva Brock   Shoe Creature
    • Ido Yoshimoto   Untitled from the Series Astral Planes
    • Micheleen Tolson   Cyanotype Leaf
    • Sawyer Rose   Metamorphosis and Costanoa Coral
    • Mark Ropers   Kite at Stinson Beach
  • Music
    • Agnes Wolohan von Burkleo   Lullaby for Seamus