Gorilla Ogo

 

Gorilla Ogo (Gracilaria salicornia)

Description:

  • Small, cylindrical branches with segmentation on each branch
  • Grows intertwining together and with neighboring plants to create a thick mats and clumps up to 30 cm or more across
  • Yellow to bright orange in clear water, dark brown in muddy turbid water

 

Habitat:

  • Grows on reef flats in shallow waters
  • Very successful in brackish waters like fishponds and intertidal pools
  • Can be found intertidal to subtidal, up to 4 meters deep

 

Reproduction:

  • Widespread dispersal mainly through fragmentation
  • Fragments are quite heavy and tend to sink rapidly but can remain viable after more than 6 hours dessication
  • Has been found to propagate sexuallyand asexually

 

Native Range:

  • Wide spread throughout the warm temperate seas around the Indian Ocean, and in the central western Pacific.
  • Not documented in the Atlantic 
  • Not seen from the central Pacific Basin east of Micronesia before its introduction to Hawaii

 

Introduction:

  • First found in 1971 in Hilo Bay, Hawai‘i 
  • Origin uncetiran, but a possibility is unintentional transport by shipping into Hilo Bay from the Philippines in the early twentieth century
  • In April 1971, the species was transported intentionally from Hilo to Waikiki, and in September 1978 to Kaneohe Bay on Oahu for aquaculture projects that were later abandoned

 

Impacts:

  • Out-competes native alga and coral
  • Grows over coral, shading it from sunlight
  • Causes shift in ecosystem; what was once coral dominated is now algae dominated with low diversity
  • Habitat loss greatly affects recreational and commercial fisheries

 

Distribution in Hawaii:

  • Kauai: Unknown
  • Oahu: Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Maunalua Bay, and Kaneohe Bay
  • Molokai: Unknown
  • Lanai: Unknown
  • Maui: Unknown
  • Big Island: First discovered in Hilo Harbor, now spread south along the coast

 

Related AIS Team Management Projects:

  • Invasive Algae Project (link)

 

References: