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In marine aquatic systems, there is a true forest-forming community.

It consists of numerous protists known simply as algae. Like terrestrial forests, this aquatic community contributes to the biosphere's oxygen supply.

The habitat and the importance of algae

Under the name algae, there are several groups of protists that are different from each other, but which have one feature in common: are all eukaryotes, photosynthesizing autotrophs with chlorophyll.

There are some algae formed by just one cell. Others are organized into different types of colonies. And there are still those that are multicellular macroscopic, without, however, forming tissues or organs. The body of an algae is a stalk, meaning it has no root, stem or leaf, even if it is giant.

Unicellular algae.

Algae with several pigments.

Although they are found in the humid terrestrial environment, it is in the fresh waters and the sea that algae are most abundant.

In the aquatic environment, depending on where they live, may constitute communities known as phytoplankton and phytobenthos.

O phytoplankton It is a community formed mainly by numerous microalgae that float freely in the waves. They are major producers of organic food and release oxygen to water and the atmosphere. It forms the basis of aquatic food chains, forming what is called "marine pasture".

O phytobenthos It is a community of algae, generally macroscopic (some reaching tens of meters) fixed in the marine soil (mainly in rocks).