Press release

Kelp Laminaria nominated "Alga of the year 2007"

A dense underwater forest grows off the coast of Norway, made up mainly of Cuvie (Laminaria hyperborea). Like tree trunks in terrestrial, tropical forests, many kelp stipes are overgrown by epiphytes. The underwater kelp forests offer a range of habitats for many animals and also serve as nursery grounds. Photo: Prof. Dr. Stein Fredriksen, University of Oslo

Members of the Phycology Section of the German Society for Plant Sciences who conduct research on algae nominate the seaweed Laminaria as ‘Alga of the year’: the kelp Laminaria can reach lengths of several metres. It forms, together with other macroalgal species, large underwater forests in the sea (so-called ‘kelp forests’). Kelps contain alginic acid which has several applications as stabilising agents in many food and cosmetic products. In contrast to other plants, kelps grow mainly in winter when sunlight is sparse. Algae take up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and are the most important oxygen producers of the world.

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Press release

More Laminaria images

During low water, the Oar Weed may be emersed (Laminaria digitata), like here, on the shores of Helgoland. Individual algae may grow to four metres in length. Clearly visible on the photograph is the finger-like blade after which it is named. The base of the blade is wedge-shaped, which distinguishes it from Laminaria hyperborea with its heart-shaped base of the blade. Photo: Annekatrin Enge, Biological Institute Helgoland of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute

Photos of the press release "Alga of the Year": Kelp Laminaria nominated "Alga of the year 2007"


Use of the images is only permitted in connection with reporting on the topic ‘alga of the year 2015’ and only if the photographers are acknowledged in the format: first name, second name, institution. Commercial use of the images is not permitted.

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Contacts for the media

Prof. Dr. Christian Wiencke

Sektion Makroalgen-Biologie, Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven

Phone: 0471-48311338
E-mail: Christian.Wiencke[at]

Prof. Dr. Ulf Karsten

Institut für Biowissenschaften, Angewandte Ökologie, Universität Rostock

Phone: 0381-4986090
E-mail: ulf.karsten[at]

Further Information

Members of the Phycology Section (Algology) ("> conduct research on algae and investigate, amongst others, taxonomical, ecological, physiological and molecular topics on macro- and microalgae. The Section promotes algal research and supports young scientists. The Section is one of five subject-specific Sections of the German Society for Plant Sciences (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, DBG,

Text: Dr. Esther Schwarz-Weig:">
Translation: Dr. Dagmar Stengel: National University of Ireland, Galway