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What is Seaweed?

Geography | 9-11 yrs | Interactive, Learning Pod

Trees on land play a very important role on the earth. This is because they use carbon dioxide, a gas that is a byproduct of multiple chemical processes, and turns this waste gas back into oxygen. In the same way water plants use the absorbed carbon dioxide present in water and gives off oxygen and allow fish to breathe. Some species also absorb waste products of other animals and recycle them for nutrition.

The term seaweed is loosely used to refer to all marine plants. However there are several types of plants that live in water such as lichens, sponges, and red/brown/green algae. Seaweed does not have roots like terrestrial plants and trees because they do not need to absorb water and nutrition from the soil. Instead they absorb it through pores on their surface. They do have growth at the bottom that look very similar to roots but are used only to attach themselves to the ground and prevent them from being carried away by currents.

Seaweeds do not produce flowers like their land cousins. Instead they reproduce using tiny particles known as spores. When a spore settles onto a rock, it will attach itself and begin to grow if the conditions are favourable. Not only does seaweed help the natural cycle of the oceans but they also provide shelter and breeding grounds for the thousands of fish that live with them.

Did you know that seaweed can be eaten? Find out which cultures harvest and eat marine plants. Make it your mission to try some seaweed yourself.

More cool stuff from under the water

For more interesting Geography articles and videos, visit our Geography for Kids category.