Sea water covers almost 70% of the Earth’s surface, which is, no wonder, called the Blue Planet. The vast terrains holding the sea water within them are filled with animal and plant life of crucial importance for the survival of the planet.
Ocean plants need the sun as much as terrestrial plants in order to perform certain of their functions such as photosynthesis. Therefore, they grow either floating on the surface of the ocean or in relatively shallow waters where sunlight can penetrate. Really deep waters bear within them almost no flora or fauna.
Kelp is an alga that grows within cold coastal waters. Environmental factors, such as hard substrate, like rocks, high consistency of marine nutrients and light need to be present in order for kelp to develop. It is the largest of the ocean flora and one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Large areas of high density kelp are called kelp forests while smaller areas are called kelp beds. Both areas provide a marine refuge for marine organisms. Kelp is very important for the global ecosystem, as it provides a balance within the marine food chain.
Seaweed is a large form of algae, with no roots. It usually grows near coastal lines. It depends on sunlight and nutrients from ocean currents to survive. It is on the base of the marine food chain as it is consumed by sea animals. Seaweed is also consumed by people and many Pacific countries consider it a main vegetable in their diet.
Seagrass is rooted on the floor of the oceans. It gets its nutrients from the soil of the bottom of the ocean. It needs sunlight to perform photosynthesis, a process where the plant takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen in the air or in the ocean. This is of crucial importance for the planet as global warming is reduced the binding of the carbon dioxide. In other words seagrass cleans the air from the carbon dioxide emissions.
Hard algae that grows on rocks. It may seem as rock itself but it is actually flora and it helps support the coral reefs.
Corals are actually animals but there are a lot of algae attached to it, feeding the corals with their nutrients. Corals and algae live in a symbiotic way. They provide refuge for fishes to lay their eggs and they protect the shores from the impact of the waves. Corals can be of magnetizing beauty and they attract a lot of divers, who want to admire them from up close.
Phytoplankton is of vital importance for the environment. When it combines with animal forms they create the plankton which is the major source of food for most animals in the oceans. Without it the biodiversity of the ocean will be in danger and many species will be extinct.
As described above, ocean plants play a vital role on reducing the global warming effect firstly by binding the carbon dioxide and secondly by releasing oxygen in the environment.
They also support the marine ecosystem by providing shelter and food for the ocean fauna.