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Ascophyllum nodosum is a large, common, brown alga, in the Class Phaeophyceae. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean, also known as Norwegian Kelp, Knotted Kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe (from Svalbard to Portugal) including east Greenland  and the north-eastern coast of North America. 
Ascophyllum is very popular amongst the science community and has been claimed to be both the most active seaweed on the planet as well as the most researched by the academic community. 
Additional recommended knowledge
Description and ecology
Ascophyllum nodosum has long fronds with large egg-shaped air-bladders set in the fronds at regular intervals and not stalked. The fronds can reach 2 m in length. They are attached by a holdfast to rocks and boulders. The fronds are olive-brown in color and somewhat compressed but without a mid-rib. 
This seaweed grows quite slowly and can live for several decades; it may take approximately five years before becoming fertile.
Varieties and forms
Several different varieties and forms of this species have been described.
There are free floating ecads of this species such as Ascophyllum nodosum mackaii Cotton, which is found at very sheltered locations, such as at the heads of sea lochs in Scotland and Ireland. 
The species is found in a range of coastal habitats from sheltered estuaries to moderately exposed coasts, often it dominates the inter-tidal zone (although sub-tidal populations are known to exist in very clear waters). However it is rarely found on exposed shores, and if it is found the fronds are usually small and badly scratched.
It has been recorded as an accidental introduction to San Francisco, California, and eradicated as a potential invasive species there. 
Recorded in Europe from: Faroes,  Norway,  Ireland, Britain and Isle of Man  Netherlands  North America: Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Baffin Island, Hudson Strait, Labrador and Newfoundland. 
Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested for use in alginates, fertilisers and for the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption. It has long been used as an organic and mainstream fertilizer for many varieties of crops due to its combination of both macronutrient, (eg. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients (eg. Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc.) It also host to cytokinins, auxin-like, gibberellins, betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins which are all very beneficial and widely used in agriculture. 
Ascophyllum nodosum may reduce, or even eliminate, not only bacterial plaque and dental caries but also arteriosclerotic plaque, atherosclerotic plaque, pleural plaque, renal calculus, biliary calculus, and prostatic calculus. 
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ascophyllum_nodosum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|