Plants & Algae

FEATURES

Article
Algae, like all organisms, normally grow in balance with their ecosystems, limited by the amount of nutrients in the water. But sometimes, certain species of algae reproduce so rapidly that they cause damage. In...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
One of the ocean's tiniest organisms often does the most harm. Microscopic...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing...
“Sea grapes” may sound like something Poseidon would snack on, and not a killer...

LATEST POSTS

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 coralline algae cell builds a...
Deep-sea corals miles away from the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil...
Johnson's seagrass ( Halophila johnsonii ) is the lone ocean plant species...

LEARN MORE

Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day...
Seagrasses don't just provide shelter for free-swimming animals, but also are a habitat for non-moving organisms, such as this sea anemone. Sessile animals attached to blades are called epibionts,...
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,...
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...
Broad-leaf seagrass ( Posidonia australis ) with algae epiphytes grows at Corner Inlet Marine National Park in Australia . The marine park protects large areas of seagrass habitat from fishing—but it...
Adult green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) spend most of their time grazing in seagrass meadows. It's estimated that before Columbus arrived in America in 1492, the number of green turtles supported...
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...
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...
Squids, octopuses and cuttlefish, such as this Australian Giant Cuttlefish ( Sepia apama ), compose just one group of animals that call seagrass beds home. Clams and worms bury themselves in the mud...
As Dampier studied the plants he encountered in Australia, he wrote that they were “for the most part unlike any I had seen elsewhere.” In fact, nearly all the plants Dampier observed were entirely...
One of the ocean's tiniest organisms often does the most harm. Microscopic algae can grow rapidly to form harmful algal blooms (sometimes called "red tides"), which create unhealthy water conditions...
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...
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...
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...
The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you will encounter a school of fish and their attendant predators, but most of the life that you find is gathered around...
"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...
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,...
This beautiful marine diatom Chaetoceros debilis was caught in the North Sea. Not only are diatoms one of the most important oxygen producers on earth, they are also a vital link in the food chain...
California is known for it’s lovely beaches, good food, and sloping hills. But take a dive into the colder waters, and discover a new type of wonder: the California kelp forest. The kelp forests are...
Subscribe to Plants & Algae