Sargassum Seaweed

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Project Description

Sargassum Seaweed

Sargassum spp.

Range/Geographical Distribution: Worldwide.

Habitat: Temperate, tropical, and subtropical waters, both intertidal and subtidal. 

Description: Algae of this genus are generally brown or green in color and are made up of a holdfast, a stipe, and a frond.  Some species have gas-filled bladders that help keep the fronds afloat. 

Size: Some species reach over 30 feet in length.

Breeding: Reproduces sexually by releasing haploid gametes or vegetatively through growth.

Predators/Ecological Importance: Rafts of these algae provide habitat and food for many species of larval and adult fish, many invertebrates, and loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings.

Conservation Status: No legal status.

Interesting Facts: Large mats of sargassum seaweed make up the “Sargasso Sea” in the Atlantic Ocean, a very specialized habitat home to many species of animals found no where else. 

On the Coast: Pieces of sargassum seaweed sometimes wash up on Georgia’s beaches, especially during the summer after storms.

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