Welcome to the Macroalgal Herbarium Consortium Portal

Macroalgae are the foundation of many marine, estuarine and freshwater benthic ecosystems and provide food, substrata and protection for a myriad of other aquatic organisms. Many species are sensitive to environmental change. The goal of the NSF funded Macroalgal Digitization Project is to image, database and georeference the macroalgal specimens in 49 herbaria from New England to Florida, to Hawaii and Guam. Data provided through this project portal will allow researchers to determine how macroalgal biodiversity and our aquatic ecosystems have changed over the past 150 years as a result of climate change, bioinvasions, and a wide range of human activity.
In addition, a number of macroalgal species, including kelp, nori, and others, are grown via extensively aquaculture or harvested from the wild for human food and for extraction of colloids used in cosmetics, food products, and pharmaceuticals. The portal will provide opportunities for the public to learn about the economic and ecological importance of macroalgae. Tools are being provided for citizen scientists to contribute to the project by helping transcribe some of the ancillary details from the specimen labels into the database.
For comments, questions, or to join the Macroalgae Portal, contact the Symbiota Support Hub (help@symbiota.org).