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Plants That Live in Tide Pools

tidal flats image by michael luckett from <a href=''></a>

Tidal pools are rocky pools that are usually created by seawater during low tide. During high tide, water completely covers the pools. When the tide begins to go out the rocks hold the water in, which forms the pools. These pools are an important habitat for many types of marine animals and plants. Organisms in tidal pools do run the risk of dying if the pool dries up too quickly.


There are four different families of seagrasses--Cymodoceaceae, Posidoniaceae, Hydrocharitaceae and Zosteraceae--and they all grow in saltwater environments. The leaves of the seagrass are long and slender and are usually found growing in beds or clusters with one another. They occur in shallow waters where they can receive filtered sunlight. They provide a habitat for small fish and microscopic organisms. These plants are important in helping prevent erosion along the ocean shore. They increase the sediment and stabilize the seabed.


Seaweed is a type of algae that can frequently be seen along seashores. They are free floating and can collect in tidal pools. They are dark green in color and are not true vascular plants--technically, they are neither plants nor animals, but most people confuse them as plants. Seaweed that collects in tidal pools has learned to adapt to constantly changing temperatures and low-water conditions. Seaweed is also referred to as kelp. Sea palms are a type of seaweed that resemble small palm trees growing in tidal pools. They prefer to grow in pools where the tide is roughest, and can tolerate high winds.


Although algae carry out photosynthesis like plants, they lack leaves and roots. Coralline algae is a type of red algae that live in tidal pools and can range in color from pink, red, blue, green and purple. They feel crusty to the touch, much like coral. They can be found all over the ocean, especially in rocky areas and tidal pools where the water goes down and it is exposed to the heat of the sun.

Algae are an important life form that provide food to many different species of marine life. Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates are types of algae that bloom. Algae uses carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen back into the air.

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