Plants & Algae

FEATURES

Blog entry
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...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
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,...

LATEST POSTS

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 "...

LEARN MORE

Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day...
Sargassum fluitans , a.k.a. “Gulfweed,” forms dense clumps up to the size of a beach ball that slowly rotate as they drift. The fronds are quite dense, but if you look carefully, sometimes you can...
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,...
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...
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...
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 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...
Hardy head silversides ( Atherinomorus lacunosus ) are abundant fish in shallow water seagrass meadows throughout the Indo-Pacific that often form shoals. They feed primarily on zooplankton and small...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
Johnson's seagrass ( Halophila johnsonii ) is the lone ocean plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Its flowing green stalks play an important role in coastal ecosystems, where they...
An invasive strain of the plant Phragmites australis dominates this Chesapeake Bay wetland. The plant can easily grow up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall and alter coastal ecosystems. Scientists at the...
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...
“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...
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...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually...
Closest to the seeps, where the pH is lowest and the water is most acidic, corals no longer grow. Instead there are sand, rubble and seagrasses that are able to survive. Read more about how reef...
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...
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...
Subscribe to Plants & Algae