Q:

What kind of plants live in the Pacific Ocean?

A:

Plants that live in the Pacific Ocean include algae, phytoplankton, diatoms, kelp, dinoflagellates and seagrass as well as coral reefs. The Pacific Ocean has an expansive coral reef structure that provides a place to live for many of the smaller ocean animals that would be otherwise unprotected.

Coral reefs are living organisms that consist of thousands of coral polyps. A coral polyp is a tiny animal that has tentacles to capture pray and a singular mouth. Coral reefs serve as homes, but they also provide food and regulate the food chain.

Seagrass is a type of flowering marine plant that grows near the bottom of the ocean floor in shallow water areas. Seagrass can carpet the ocean bottom or can appear in patches. The plant helps to slow currents by absorbing waves.

Kelp beds are in colder oceans, such as the Pacific Ocean, and they are referred to as either a bed or a forest depending on their formation. Kelp beds do not have a surface canopy, whereas kelp forests do. Kelp helps to support marine life and harbor seals, California sea lions, whales and sea otters, which feed on smaller animals hidden in the kelp as well as hide from nearby predators. During threatening weather, such as storms, kelp slows currents by absorbing waves in the same way that seagrass does.


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