There is incredible biodiversity in the state of Alabama – including freshwater snails, mussels, fish, and turtles. However, much of our biodiversity remains enigmatic. One group of organisms we lack critical information about are freshwater red macroalgae. Though rarely truly red in color, they provide food and habitat for macroinvertebrates and may serve as indicators of good water quality. However, they are not included in current biodiversity surveys in Alabama. To better understand the ecological role and potential usefulness of these algae as bioindicators, we first need to figure out where to find them.
This is where Alabama Water Watch monitors come in! We are asking for your help in identifying potential freshwater red algal habitat by taking photos of your monitoring sites. Our lab will examine the photographs to assess whether they may provide good freshwater red habitat and to determine if they should be included in our surveys. In the future, we plan to provide training and supplies for interested AWW monitors to collect and send algal samples to the Krueger-Hadfield lab at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Registration is free and required