It is an omnipresent part of every ocean ecosystem. Seaweed, the colloquial term for the submerged plant life, is everywhere in the ocean and forms an important food source and habitat for many sea creatures. These types of ocean algae are threatened by many of the environmentally-damaging processes that affect other types of marine life.

Kelp, algae, and other types of ocean flora are plentiful in salt and brackish waters, where they thrive in favorable conditions for photosynthesis. They are extremely important for the ecosystems that they inhabit. Different species of fish and marine wildlife depend on these seaweeds for food and shelter. Humans also consume seaweed and seaweed products in high amounts, necessitating a careful evaluation of the farming of these plants.

Seaweed is affected by pollution from debris and run-off like many other species of marine life. But seaweed is also particularly susceptible to changes in ocean conditions. Rising temperatures and fluctuations in salinity create ocean conditions that make it difficult for seaweed to survive. This important life source for many ocean-faring creatures, including humans, must be protected in order to ensure that homeostasis is maintained in the world’s oceans.