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Slip into the water along a sheltered coast in nearly any part of the world and you’re likely to find yourself in an emerald field of seagrass . Like flowering plants on land, seagrasses...
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Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom...
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It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be...
A strain of this green seaweed, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans,...

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Deep-sea corals miles away from the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were impacted by the plumes. One affected site was 13.7 miles (22 km) away from the Macondo wellhead—the farthest observed—and extremely deep,...
Johnson's seagrass ( Halophila johnsonii ) is the lone ocean plant species...
In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "...

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Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day...
In the ocean, microscopic forms of algae, known as dinoflagellates , can "bloom" into dense patches near the surface, often referred to as "red tides." Some of these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are...
Algae has overtaken this coral reef off heavily populated Kiritimati, or Christmas Island. Few fish swim in the murky waters. The causes include pollution, overfishing, and increased water...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
Seagrass meadows, such as this one composed of turtle grass ( Thalassia testudinum ) and manatee grass ( Syringodium filiforme ), are an important shallow water habitat. Hundreds of animal species,...
A strain of this green seaweed, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, escaped public and private aquariums in California, Japan, Australia, and Monaco. It has spread widely in the Mediterranean,...
"Fronds of giant kelp, buoyed by their gas-filled pneumatocysts, wave like pennants in the current of Monterey Bay, California," wrote George Cathcart of his image , a winning selection in the...
Even though the Amazon River and the ocean seem very different—the river is freshwater while the ocean is salty, the ocean is vast and deep compared to the Amazon—they are closely connected. The...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and...
One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small...
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom. No, this is not bubblegum from some careless teenager’s shoe: it’s a stony kind of seaweed that, like other seaweeds,...
The invasive reed Phragmites australis can create new plants through seeds (shown here) or underground rhizomes. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have discovered that seeds...
One of the most common inhabitants of the sargassum community, the shrimp Latreutes fucorum (Hippolytidae) is perfectly colored to hide on the leaf-like blades. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian...
Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird McKeon, returns from the Smithsonian field site in Belize. Together with Dan Barshis of Stanford University, Seabird reports on the...
Unlike the green, leafy algae we're used to seeing on the seafloor, coralline algae has a hard crust—which you can see here at the molecular level in a photo from a scanning electron microscope. Each...
It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be scarce. The food that is around usually rains down from above as dead animals and organic particles from plankton living...
“Sea grapes” may sound like something Poseidon would snack on, and not a killer algae. Yet Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea poses a serious threat to marine life. Spread by the bilge water of boats...
Pick up any news article about invasive species and you may confuse it with a police blotter. Generally, invasive species are "almost bulletproof" "marauders," "terrorizing" ecosystems and wildlife...
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