Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Mitrastema yamamotoi is a natural monument of Kochi and is a representative plant of Muroto. This was first discovered in Kochi and Tomitarou Makino, a famous botanist from Kochi, described this plant as a new kind. It is a parasitic plant of the Mitrastemon Yamamotoi family and is parasitic on the root of the tree of chinquapin. Continue reading Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Kombu: kelp

Kombu is a kind of marine algae. Marine algae have many many species, only a few of which are eaten. Of those, Kombu is the most popular in Japan. Also it is used for medical cure. Kombu is about 13 kinds for the price and the taste very various. The kombu is eating only in Asia.

The kombu increases by sporogenesis. The sporogenesis is performed Kombu, Fungi, alga and mushroom. The procedure of the reproduction, at first a spore grows. The spore has two hair and can move freely. The spore sticks to underwater rocks. The spore which stuck grows up and forms a gametophyte. There is male and female to agametophyte. The female forms an egg, and the male forms sperm. These are fertilized and grow up when formed Kombu. The kombu grows up at the place where strongly wave and deep sea. It grows up from the summer to the autumn.

The kombu affects ecosystem. For example, purify the water of the sea, become the hideout of the fish, become the spawning ground of the fish. However, in late years the number of kombu decreases. There are some the reasons. The first is urbanization. In late years the construction of the shore performed frequently by urbanization. The shore disappears by concrete every year. Therefore the homes of the kombu decrease. The second reason is global warming. When water temperature too high, the kombu cannot grow up. Therefore the global warming is crisis for the kombu. In addition, big influence is reflected on ecosystem when kombu decreases. The kombu is important for both a person and ecosystem in this way.

Mainly Kombu is used for broth. Kombu broth is very very nice taste and very transparent, so it is used for many Japanese food. Broth used for Iriko, Katuobushi, besides Kombu in Japan . But it is liked mainly in western Japan and is suitable for Oden, Udon. So used for many Japanese food. Also used for Tradition food in Japan. For example , Nimame , Aemono , Sunomono , Tsukudani.

Kombu’s volume of production is 120,000t in Japan. Total 65% is natural Kombu. Total 35% is cultured Kombu. Nature Kombu is very nice taste but very price is high so it is used mainly by restaurant. On the other hand, cultured Kombu’s taste is inferior to natural.

Nature Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu of Hokkaido has good quality. High-quality Kombu, most grow wild in Hokkaido. Culture Kombu is not affected by nature and can stable harvest it.

The culture technology of the kombu began in the Edo era. The culture method of the kombu, At first I bring up kombu seed artificially. It return to the sea and bring up.

Unlike the other culture technology, not give the bait. Therefore made near to nature Kombu. However, it takes around 1 year to completion. Then, harvest it in summer and dry it. It is completed for much time and trouble.

In Kochi, it can be found at Katurahama.

Asakusanori: Porphyra tenera Kjellman

Asakusanori is Japanese name and it is called Amanori.This seaweed was harvested and processed in Asakusa early in the Edo period,it is the origin of Japanese name.This seaweed’s scientific name is Porphyra tenera Kjellman.

Asakusanori is Red seaweed, and a kind of amanori.It is genus of laver ,tleve are 30 kind of in japan.It is difficult for amanori to classify the seed because the figure is simple.Moreover, the figure changes responding to the environment.Adaptability to the environmental condition is wide,because as for the amanori, the body structure is easy.If it grows on the shore reef in the open sea where the wave is rough in the high salinity,it is likely to grow in the basin shallow water of a quiet wave in the low salinity.Most a growing vigorous thickly from winter to is It an alga for one year. But it declines in early summer.

Asakusanori’s total size is from 5 to 30cm,the width is from 1 to 15cm. Asakusanori is the typical of seaweed species.It is distributed in the Inland Sea,Pacific coast in the main island of Japan,Kyusyu,the Korean Peninsula,china,from the Tropical zone to the Frigid zone.

It is designated as an endangered species .The habitat decreases sharply by the environment’s that is appropriate for natural growth being lost.This cause for example land reclamation reclamation water pollution.Moreover,the shell in bottom of the sea is buried in mud and the growth condition of the trichome period has deteriorated.The habitat is found from a recent investigation, it is eight places in the whole country.But,there is no protection of a wild population. A natural purple laver is not gathered in various parts of Japan now. The purple laver has decreases on a nationwide scale. It is a cultivation kind of susabinori; Porphyra yezoensis Ueda.Asakusanori is the cultivation all one fishing. It is cultivated in nationwide various places. Aquaculture Asakusanori used for food. Aquaculture is winter in every place and it collected when grew about 20cm.

In summer this laver body is like a thread, and it digs a hole in the shell and lives ther. The trichome forms the sporangium and discharges the husk spore. It is parasitic in the rock, the tree, and the stake of the bamboo etc. It becomes a foliaceous body and it grows thickly in autumn.The other type becomes a foliaceous body. It is parasitic, and grows up when a single spore is discharged from the part of a foliaceous body in the surrounding area. The foliaceous body grows in the last ten days of September, and the period of maturity is from December to February. It grows especially in the basin and the vicinity of the mouth of a river where nourishment is abundant. Many of foliaceous bodies are monoecious but dioecious occasionally.The carpogonium and the sperm uteri are formed when maturing. When the sperm connects it to the carpogonium, the carpogonium is enlarged, divided, and discharges the spore of carpospore.

The cell is one layer and filmy. An asteroidal plastid pyrenoid (centers in the chloroplast where carbon dioxide is fixed) is seen in each cell.

Asakusanori is on the verge of extinction. But Amanori are found in Kochi along the coastline all winter.

Shyazikumo: Chara buraunii

There are very many creatures, amphibians, insects, microbes, water-weed and algae, in the common rice field in Japan. Do you know any other very similar to water-weed? The species name is Chara buraunii, and they are called “Charophyte” in English. Commonly algae shapes are a leaf like kelp, intertwined with a thin thread, single cells and so on, but the charophyte has an organ-like stems and leaves, so they are similar to water-weed. The form is that the stem that is 1 mm diameter and about 10 to 50 cm length and has nodes at which grow 8 to 11 twigs like leaves or stalks with whorled phyllotaxis. In Japan, the charophyte is called “Shyazikumo” meant “axle algae” the name of which comes from the stem and whorled phyllotaxis which are like a spindle and wheels.

Chara braunii

C. buraunii is kind of Chara species, and also belong to Chara and Characeae. Basically Chara has cortex, but C. buraunii is an exception in that it doesn’t have cortex. In Chara, there are many algae described in the red data book in Miyazaki prefecture or Fukui prefecture on one of Ministry of the Environment classified C. buraunii into “an endangered species Ⅱ” which means “species in danger of extinction is increasing”.

Charales species often live in shallow fresh water area like rice fields, but it can grow in relatively faint light areas like the bottom of lakes and marshes or a little dirty water. So, they make pure colony, “Charophyte area” in the bottom where other algae and water-weed can’t live. But the hardship to live in the area isn’t only for other algae and water-weed, but it’s also hard for the charophyte to live. If the water gets cloudy by water pollution, the sun light will not be able to reach the charophytes living in the area will die out. For that reason, there are some species that have already died out, hakonesyazikumo (Chara globularis var. hakonensis) etc. We can’t save the species that have already become extinct, but may be able to bring back the species that had briefly disappeared by water improvement, provided that the lake once they had lived, because sometimes the spore remained in the bottom of the lake.

Charophyte’s appearance is like water-weed that is seed plants, but its ecology is near to algae. Charophyte is kind of multi cellular algae that do not have vascular bundles and the regeneration used the spore, and has photosynthesis pigment which is chlorophyll a and b, so classify Chlorophyceae. The regeneration doesn’t use seed, but use spore that made from the gamete of male and female. Charophyte’s the antheridium and the archegonium has feature that are reddish.

Certainly, there are some endangered species in charales, but many species can be often seen in rice fields of Kochi prefecture. Particularly, we can see charales in the spring when fields are filled with water, about May in Kochi, to the end of summer. But the appearance is only water-weed that we often see, so I think that you probably aren’t interested to see it.

Fudaraku: Grateloupia lanceolata (Okamura) Kawaguchi

Grateloupia lanceolata (Okamura) Kawaguchi is a member of the Rhodophyceae, or red algae group.

The body is thick and firm. A short stalk appressorium with width is previously attached a little. It is vertical by appressorium. There are a lot zonal, oblong, and a kidney type etc. of the shape of the appressorium.

Moreover, it separates into two in the upper part of the appressorium, and there is the one that the point is pointed out, too. The origin of the scientific name originates the fact that it is flat, long and slender, and it is sharp ahead. The medullary layer consists of a close filamentous cell, it queues up from small spheroidal the cortex in an oval close cell in the integument layer, and a little large cell piles up in the ranging endodermis layer. It is necessary to distinguish between the `turu turu` and `tanbanori` difficultly only by the feeling the surface. It is called according to the region `akahanba`, and it is used for food.

Grateloupia lamceolata belongs to the Rhodophyta Gigartinales Halymeniaceae.

It is widely distributed in Japanese whole areas except Hokkaido such as the Honshu, Shikoku and Kyusyu. Moreover,it is distributed not only Japan but also in a Korean peninsula. Inside harbor, it often becomes a primary.

It grows in a calm environment like the basin and the littoral region.When the tides pull it most in a quiet place of the wave, it grows on rocks in the vicinity near the surface of the sea. Moreover, it lives also in the part always soaked in seawater. It is necessary to correspond to strong waves right under the ebb tide line etc. though such a place is a secure setting for the living thing. In the inside the harbor, it often becomes dominant.

It is possible to grow all the year round. The group of the cystocarp appears on the surface of the body and it becomes a macula pattern when maturing. Origin of Japanese name, comes from spots and showing `Fudarake` there is this macula. There is considerably a viscosity. Length is 20~50cm, and one that becomes 1m in length usually. Width is 7~15cm. Surface is a smooth leather . The living body is very varied with red, yellow, and green. It often is near the coast at the turn of the season from summer to autumn and it goes up. It adheres to paper when making it to a drying.

In Kochi Prefecture, it is possible to confirm it in all seas. Confirming it is especially easy, and most beautiful one is Usa.

Umibudou (Caulerpa lentillifera)

Umibudou( Caulerpa lentillifera) is seaweed. It classified in Iwazuta (caulerpares) family, iwazuta (caulerpaceae) genus. It follows Kubirezuta and another name is green cavior. In Okinawa that called longevity grass. People in Okinawa said, when people are sick, they eat the Umibudou and they recovered from serious illness. Another use is effective for heat injury. Continue reading Umibudou (Caulerpa lentillifera)