Marine Plants of Tasmania

Marine Plants of Tasmania

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) today launched a new book giving readers a colourful introduction to Tasmania’s marine flora, enticing them to appreciate the staggering beauty and diversity of these organisms.

Written by Tasmanian Herbarium Honorary Curator of Algae, Dr Fiona Scott, Marine Plants of Tasmania details the 169 species of seaweeds and seagrasses found in Tasmanian waters.

“Much of Tasmania’s marine flora is unique within Australia, in part due to our geographic isolation from mainland Australia and the cool clear waters that bathe our shores,” Fiona says.

“Examples of the flora included in the book have been selected from estuaries, rocky reef habitats, and kelp forests and readers should enjoy the aesthetic journey through the different groups of plants.”

Plant descriptions in the book are written in plain language and are illustrated with colour photographs taken both underwater and using a light microscope.

Included in the book are many species that are cast up on Tasmanian shores or grow in shallow coastal waters.

“Perhaps the most readily identifiable species are the giant kelp (Macrocystis) and the massive leathery bull kelp (Durvillaea), but most beachcombers will already recognise the green sheet-like sea lettuce (Ulva) and the brown bubble-like Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira),” Fiona says.

“But a closer look in tide pools or underwater reefs – and in the book! – will reveal a remarkable diversity of plants that can form a three-dimensional habitat sheltering marine invertebrates and fish.”

Marine Plants of Tasmania will be available to purchase from TMAG’s Museum Shop.