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Comparison of mechanical properties of four large, wave-exposed seaweeds


Harder, DL and Hurd, CL and Speck, T, Comparison of mechanical properties of four large, wave-exposed seaweeds, American Journal of Botany, 93, (10) pp. 1426-1432. ISSN 0002-9122 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2006 American Journal of Botany

DOI: doi:10.3732/ajb.93.10.1426


Seaweeds have a simple structural design compared to most terrestrial plants. Nonetheless, some species have adapted to the severe mechanical conditions of the surf zone. The material properties of either tissue sections or the whole stipe of four wave-exposed seaweeds, Durvillaea antarctica, D. willana, Laminaria digitata, and L. hyperborea, were tested in tension, bending, and torsion. has a very low modulus of elasticity in tension (Etension = 37 MN m−2) and in bending (Ebending = 912 MN m−2), torsion modulus (G = 0.3 MN m−2) and strength (σbrk = 12 MN m−2), combining a compliable and twistable stipe "material" with a comparatively high breaking strain (εbrk = 0.40.6). In comparison, the smaller stipes of Laminaria have a higher modulus of elasticity in tension (Etension = 628 MN m−2) and in bending (Ebending = 84109 MN m−2), similar strength (σbrk = 13 MN m−2), and a higher torsion modulus (G = 0.710 MN m−2), combined with a lower breaking strain (εbrk = 0.20.3) than Durvillaea. Time-dependent, viscoelastic reactions were investigated with cycling tests. The tested species dissipated 4252% of the loading energy in tension through plastic-viscoelastic processes, a finding that bears important ecological implications. Overall, there seems to be no correlation between single material properties and the size or habitat position of the tested seaweed species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seaweed, biomechanics, species comparison, waves, Durvillaea, Laminaria, modulus of elasticity, Phaeophyceae, tension tests, wave exposure
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. marine grasses)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
ID Code:93114
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:60
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-07-14
Last Modified:2014-08-05

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