The sea lettuces are defined as a group of edible green algae that is used over a large area distributed along the coasts of the world’s oceans. Leaves of Ulva Lactuca are ruffle-edged that are coarse and sheet-like structure and resemble a leaf of lettuce. The leaves may see flat, thin, broad, and often rounded or oval. Its leaves often make a hole of various sizes.
Sea lettuce is sometimes called as members of the seaweed genus Ulva and some of there members of the genus are also referred to as lettuce is –
- Dudleya Caespitosa – It is also known as the sand lettuce. It is an off or on land flowering plant species that is endemic to coastal areas of California.
- Scaevola Taccada– It is also known as the beach cabbage. It is a terrestrial flowering plant species that is native to coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific.
- Monostroma– It is also known as the slender sea lettuce.
There is a fast-growing seaweed, its growth rate is 40% a day in favorable conditions. Sea Lettuce is bright green and is frequently seen on the beaches or free-floating on the waves sea or ocean. Ulva Lactuca sometimes found connecting to rocks and shells by a clam wall, but it is also commonly found free-floating on water. Among the most familiar of the shallow water seaweeds, the Iceland seagrass is often also found onshore in areas of exposed rocks and in stagnant tide pools. Ulva Lactus can be found at depths of 75 feet or more.
Scientific classification of Sea Lettuce are as
- Scientific Name- Ulva
- Phylum- Chlorophyta
- Class – Ulvophyceae
- Family – Ulvaceae
- Genus- Ulva
Green seaweed is rich in protein and it contains vitamins such as C and elements such as iron and iodine. Sea lettuce is an important segment of Korean and Japanese cuisine. Now a days in Japan it is used to make Sushi, it replaces nori, the most popular dish which is used with the help of it is seaweed in sushi. Native Americans also used Iceland see grass it as foodstuff.
Sea lettuce is eaten by a number of different sea species animals like manatees and sea slugs known as sea hares. Seaweeds taste more when harvested early in the spring growing season when there are no pollutants in the sea or in oceans. They can then be used into recipes either fresh or dried as per the requirement. Farming of harvested Ulva blades should be completely grass green in color. Simply rinses them in fresh water to remove the strong salty taste and Voila of the sea-green grass. We can mix it into a salad or whatever a fine addition and enhancement to a meal.
Ulva is essentially a two-layered sheet of photosynthetic tissue. Its sheet forms are very efficient and productive as they grow in the presence of sunlight mostly i.e.large surfaces to the sun’s rays, thus maximizing the photosynthetic areas.
Ulva is that the commonest part of algae in the intertidal. They are mostly found from the Bering Sea to Chile is because they can tolerate a varied range of temperatures. And when fertile conditions are in favour then their leaves can cover large areas.
The Sea-lettuce seaweed has a mutual relationship with the marine bacterium YM2-23. This bacterium produces that is known as thallusin. Thallusin induces normal growth as sea plants and it required a form of the land of green macroalgae. It is well known that sea-lettuce lose its natural morphology during cultivation under complete exclusion of harmful microorganisms conditions and during long-term cultivation in nutrient-added seawater and adopt an unusual form without thallusin.
Sea-lettuce absorbs a huge amount of pesticides used by farmers for their crops. More serious it also absorbs heavy metals like cadmium and many more sometimes which is not good for health. Because of this reason, the sea-lettuce from the Baltic region is not suitable as a portion of food.
In August 2009, on the beaches of Brittany, France, causing a major public health problem. The rotting leaves produced large quantities of hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas. In one incident near Saint-Michel-en-Grève, a horse rider lost consciousness and his horse died after breathing the seaweed fumes; in another, a lorry driver driving a load of decomposing sea lettuce passed out, crashed, and died, with toxic fumes claimed to be the cause.
Environmentalists blamed the phenomenon on excessive nitrogenous compounds washed out to sea from improper disposal of pig and poultry animal waste from industrial farms.