Using Technology to Assess the Invasive Sea Squirt, Didemnum vexillum, Impacts on Fisheries and Ecosystems (Regional)
Researcher Finds High Tensile Strength of Tendrils Limits Breakage and Affects Dispersal of the Non-native Tunicate, Didemnum vexillum
Researcher Identifies Reflectance Specific to Invasive Sea Squirt
Using a radiometer attached to a hybrid autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), reflectance specific to Didemnum was identified in 2012 and promises to efficiently identify the sea squirt in the field. The AUV was deployed in a marina in Hull, Massachusetts, that has Didemnum growing on pilings and pontoons through the late fall and early winter. For each cruise, a spectralon 99% reflectance calibration plate was used to remove the spectral characteristics of the illumination sources, water color and green plankton. The identifying features for Didemnum were a low plateau between 450 and 500 nm rising to a high plateau between 600 and 650 nm. The video from the AUV was posted on YouTube and shared (for example, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM4KG1uNMXM).
Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant
- Leeuw, T., S. Newburg, E. Boss, W. Slade, M. Soroka, J. Pederson, C. Chryssostomidis and F. Hover (2013). Remote identification of the invasive tunicate "Didemnum vexillum" using reflectance spectroscopy. Applied Optics 52(8):1758-1763, March 2013.