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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Field of bubbles

This afternoon I was looking into a tidepool and was intrigued by all of the bubbles attached to the surfgrass (Phyllospadix sp.).  I decided to try to get a picture from an underwater perspective.  Here's the first shot:



That was pretty fun, so I decided to try another from a little further away to show the extent of this "field of bubbles."  [I was kneeling next to the tidepool, holding an underwater camera below the surface, so I couldn't quite see what was in the frame.]


Wow!  It worked pretty well...and there was a bonus!  A nice Surfgrass Limpet (Lottia paleacea) was in the center of the photo near the top.  This limpet is remarkably well adapted for life on a surfgrass blade.  [For an introduction to the limpet, see the post from 7 June 2012.]

I kept taking pictures from different positions, and I ended up with one more image of the surfgrass blades, the bubbles, and the limpet:



I'll definitely keep trying to capture this beautiful underwater scene in other surfgrass meadows!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you think explains the bubbles

Jackie Sones said...

Well, I'm not totally sure about the origin of the bubbles. I've been wondering about a few possibilities: (1) oxygen released by the surfgrass during photosynthesis; (2) oxygen released by seaweeds during photosynthesis that ends up on the surfgrass; (3) wave turbulence in the tidepool during the outgoing tide, leaving behind bubbles in the pool and on the surfgrass.

Maybe some botanist friends will be able to help?

:) Jackie