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13 Importance of Seaweed in Marine Ecosystem

by Fariz Kamal

Seaweed is the other name of algae. It is not plant like as seagrass. Some of us think seaweed is a plant, because it produces food and energy for others like a plant.

Besides that, seaweed has a chlorophyll too like a plant. There are many different characteristic of seaweeds than other marine plants.

Before we discuss about the importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem, we have to know the definition of seaweed. Seaweed is marine algae like a short definintion before. But in the long definition completely, seaweed is macroalgae that refers to several species of multicellular and macroscopic.

Seaweed is an important species or important organism on the earth. Seaweed produces all what we need for life. Such as foods, energys, pharmaceuticals, habitats, oxygens, and others. Seaweed is base importance of marine food chain, it is producer and it build ecosystem too.

Discussion about the importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem has a lot point. Research and observation on seaweed is still being done until today. So, we will have a lot point of the importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem. On this article, we will discuss 13 importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem, and there are:

  1. Marine food for others

Seaweed has a chlorophyll to do photosynthesis in the ocean. It is autotroph species, It produce energy and food for it shelf. Seaweed provide food for other marine animal. Especially for herbivore animal that only eat herb like as algae, seagrass, and other marine plant. Therefore, the existence of seaweed in marine ecosystem has an important function.

  1. Bioindicator of marine chemical damage

Seaweed is a sensitve organism in the ocean. Agricultural waste, industrial waste, aquacultural waste, household waste and others enter the ocean at every time. They bring  a lot of material like as nutrient into the ocean. If the nutrient balance in the ocean is disturbed then the population of seaweed will increase. We call the situation as blooming algae.

Blooming algae is bioindicator of marine chemical damage. The situation occurs due to nutrient unbalance. Waste increase some nutrient then spur seaweed growth causing seaweed to bloom in the ocean. Some effects of chemical spills in the ocean that we know from seaweed as bioindicator

  1. Balance ecosystem

The function of seaweed is so important. It is a base of food chain and it provide habitat for other marine life. The lost of seaweed will damage ecosystem balance. Maybe unbalance situation in the ocean causing extinction for other marine species. There are many threats to ocean ecosystems.

  1. Protect marine biodiversity

Marine biodiversity has a numerous variety of species and organism. Seaweed has a variety species and genetic. Research on seaweed will make us understand the importance of biodiversity. Seaweed provide habitat like a coral reef, mangrove, and other marine habitat. Seaweed can protect marine life from threats to marine biodiversity.

  1. Absorb nutrient

The important function of seaweed in marine ecosystem is absorbing nutrient. Not all nutrient entering the ocean have a good effect for marine ecosystem. Some nutrients have a bad influence in the ocean. They can kill marine life and make a marine ecosystem damage.

Seaweed in this situation has an important action for protecting marine life. It will absorb an excess nutrients so that will make marine ecosystem safe.

  1. Iron ions trap

Iron is an essential nutrient on marine ecosystem for living marine organisms. Iron is required for photosynthetic by seaweed and other autotroph organism. Excees iron ion in the ocean will be dangerous for marine life. Although some marine organism need iron ion but excees iron ion is threat for other marine life.

Seaweed can protect marine ecosystem from excees iron ion by trapping iron ion. Biomass of seaweed trap all iron ion. All heavy metal in the marine ecosystem is can trapped by seaweed. That is an important seaweeds in marine ecosystem.

  1. Waste trap

The waste from land into ocean has a negative impact for marine life. The contents of waste are heavy metal, such as iron, calcium, pottasium, mercury, mangant, chrom, selenium and other. They are dangerous nutrient in the ocean.

Waste enter the ocean can kill all marine life. Besides that, waste can evolve marine species to another species if waste can not kill them. Like a point before, seaweed can trap waste and process the  waste to another form. It will help marine life and it will make marine ecosystem safe.

  1. Representative of pathogen

Seaweed as important species in marine ecosystem has a function to send danger signals to others. The function of seaweed as trapper of waste and iron ion make seaweed can make their shelf representative of pathogen. Alga bloom is one of danger singnal to other. It means that has a disease and can endanger other marine life.

Some pathogen in seaweed change seaweed color or smell. That is very dangerous. Fortunately, seaweed can show that it is dangerous. Representative of pathogen is one function of importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem.

  1. Host of parasites

Capability of trapping waste and heavy metal make seaweed as host of parasites. Maybe it is the dangerous for other, but it is the important function of seaweed. It will protect other marine life from disease and parasites. Some types of ocean parasites can attach and make seaweed as host.

  1. Produce oxygen

Important functions of seaweed is producing oxygen. Scientists believe that seaweed has a biger role of producing oxygen than another plant on land. The forest of seaweed can produce oxygen from all parts. Especially, seaweed is not plant, it is a fake plants. So seaweed can do photoshyntetic at all parts of it. Public has known the importance of oxygen in the ocean.

  1. Marine habitat

Seaweed provide habitat for marine life. Brown algae or we call it kelp can make a forest in the ocean. Like as forest, seaweed provide all what other marine species need. Food, nutrient, energy, and others is provided by seaweed.

  1. Provide energy

Food is energy for living. Seaweed provide energy as a food for other marine species. Because seaweed is producent at food chain. Energys from seaweed are some nutrients needed in marine ecosystem.

  1. Supply organic nutrients

The last point of importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem is supplying organic. Not all species in marine ecosystem can produce organic nutrient. Only autroph species like seaweed, bacterial, and others can produce it. Supplying orgnanic nutrients for other marine life is important.

Those are 13  importance of seaweed in marine ecosystem that you know and understand earlier.

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