converts energy from sunlight and nutrients
brown algae, family Phaeophyta
Pacific coast, southern Oregon to San Diego
This harmless-looking seaweed packs a potent weapon, each cell contains a tiny pocket of sulfuric acid to discourage grazing fishes and invertebrates.
Acid seaweed is the most abundant marine algae associated with giant kelp forests. Without the kelp forest, many kinds of fish, snails, crabs, and other animals would be much scarcer. The kelp provides sheltered habitat for hundreds of species.