These primitive plants thrive in Scotland’s wet places, from puddles and other freshwater to our coasts and seas.
Algae are immensely productive and important species. Some of our largest marine mammals feed on microscopic plankton, while a kelp forest may feed and shelter hundreds of marine species.
Freshwater algae are abundant in Scotland, especially in standing waters. Most species of algae in freshwater lochs are microscopic in size – yet they can support entire ecosystems. Other types of algae such as stoneworts are much larger and usually grow in dense beds.
Marine algae – more commonly known as seaweeds – flourish on our coasts and in our seas. Like kelp beds, sea loch egg wrack beds are a particularly valuable feeding station and habitat, and they’re unique to Scotland.