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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,...
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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,...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have...

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This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its nutrients and water from the air, is a flowering plant in the pineapple family. All of them are epiphytes, meaning they get their support from and grow on...
Sargassum fluitans , a.k.a. “Gulfweed,” forms dense clumps up to the size of...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern...

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Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different...
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...
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...
“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...
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...
Bull kelp ( Nereocystis ) becomes less valuable to grazers as it quickly rots.
Neptune grass ( Posidonia oceanica ) is an ancient seagrass that is unique to the Mediterranean Sea. It is incredibly slow-growing; so slow that scientists estimate one large meadow that is 9.3 miles...
The bright, brilliant swirls of blue and green seen from space are a phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea. Phytoplankton can bloom like this, rapidly growing and reproducing, because of a sudden...
For more than two centuries, Boston Harbor has been a dumping ground. In 1773, colonists famously dumped shiploads of tea to protest taxes. But in recent decades, the harbor has received less tea and...
Macroscopic Algae ( Acetabularia crenulata ). More about mangrove ecosystems can be found in the Mangroves section .
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...
Giant kelp ( Macrocystis pyrifera ) is large, brown algae that grows in dense forests along coasts around the world. Long stalks anchor each plant to the seafloor, and they grow meters high like...
Most people try to avoid rotting kelp at the beach. The feeling of a floating piece of seaweed wrapping around an ankle is enough to shake even the most steeled swimmer, and then there's the strong...
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...
How do you explain a scientific paper in three minutes or less? What if you were being judged by a bunch of middle-schoolers in classrooms around the world… and you only had a month to do it? 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 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...
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...
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