The marine biome is the largest ecosystem on Earth, covering three-fourths of the planet surface in the form of coral reefs, estuaries and oceans. The algae found in the marine biome supply the major portion of the world's oxygen while absorbing a huge chunk of the carbon oxide. When the seawater evaporates, it produces rainwater for land. The marine biome is home to a vast diversity of plant species.
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Manatee grass is an ocean plant native to tropical waters, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The grass has 4- to 12-inch-long thin blades and grows into dense colonies with its deep roots and rhizomes. Manatee grass produces inconspicuous flowers and seed. The grass commonly grows in shallow subtides at a depth of 2 to 3 feet but is often found growing at 60 feet as well. Manatee grass is also found in mixed grass beds and prefers sand and fine mud to root.
Kelp is a fast- and dense-growing ocean plant that commonly occurs along the rocky coastline at depths of 18 to 90 feet. The plant is a type of brown algae that attaches itself to rocky bottoms in the ocean with rootlike structures referred to as holdfasts. Kelp develops into long and thin streamerlike plants from these holdfasts that grow erect toward the water surface. Each leaf of the kelp has gas bladders that help the plant grow straight up and keep it from flopping to the ocean floor. Kelp provides important habitat and spawning ground for marine creatures.
Paddle grass is found at ocean depths of 32 to100 feet but also grows as deep as 280 feet. The ocean plant thrives in salinity and is rooted in the sand and sediment on the ocean floor. The plant is widely distributed through the tropical and subtropical oceans, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Paddle grass colonies grow to a mature height of about 2 inches. The low-growing grass has 1/2- to 1-inch-long oval foliage and grows with thin rhizomes. The blade margins are delicately toothed with two scales at the base. Paddle grass produces small flowers and fruits.
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