Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is a large estuary in the eastern United States. The salinity ranges along the length of the bay from the freshwater leaving rivers and streams to sea water near the mouth of the bay. Green algae can be found throughout the bay. Marine species can be found near the mouth of the bay where green algae attach to almost any solid surface, like this log. Click below to read more about the marine green algae of Chesapeake Bay.

Marine green algae can be found near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Only a few species of macroscopic green algae occur in Chesapeake Bay, but they can be the dominant taxa in some parts. Ulva spp. are particularly common in Chesapeake Bay. Ulva can be found attached to hard substrates (as in the photo above), attached to sediments, or free floating.

Ulva may take several growth forms depending on the species or the life stage. They may form narrow or tubular thalli (like those pictured above) or they may grow into large flat thalli (pictured left). These flat thalli gave Ulva its common name – sea lettuce.
Although somewhat less conspicuous, marine Cladophora (left) is fairly common in Chesapeake Bay as well. Cladophora is a branched filament that can be found attached to hard substrates in marine and freshwater habitats.