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Spermothamnion repens

This little Rhodophyte looks like a harmless uniseriate branching filament. However, as beach goers in Newport can attest, its dense little tufts of 1-4 cm can accumulate in large masses in the drift. Many a squeamish swimmer has been detered by the dense algal drift (that includes this species among many others) that frequently occurs at Third Beach in Newport. No attempts have been effective at reducing the accumulation of macroalge at this location. In fact some attempts even increased algal growth.