David Thomas brings the life of seaweeds to the amateur, exploring what they are, where they are found, and how they manage to survive such hostile conditions as fluctuating temperatures, salinity and dessication.
He looks at how they employ anti-grazing strategies, from tough leather fronds to cells full of sulphuric acid as a deterrent. In places such as the Mediterranean and off the Californian coast Caulerpa taxifolia is an 'alien' species, and Thomas looks at this and the effects of other introduced species on the local environment, both biologically and economically.
Finally, he explores the multitude of uses for seaweed, together with what you can do whilst combing beaches and rocky shores.
David Thomas is a senior lecturer in Marine Biology/Biological Oceanography at the University of Wales-Bangor.
He has been conducting research into seaweed since his undergraduate studies where he looked at seaweed species growing on the shores of the Irish Sea.
He has worked in Germany, Israel, Vietnam and the Philippines studying the ecology and physiology of these plants.
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|Colour illustrations throughout|