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Vegetation - important indicator

From the surface down to approximately 20 (?) m depth, the Baltic seafloor is to a varying degree covered by plants and algae, which is visible to the naked eye. These macroscopically observable flowering plants, brown-, green- and red-algae are collectively called macrovegetation.

In many coastal areas of the Baltic, different species of vegetation cover extensive areas and by forming a tree-dimensional structure it provides an excellent environment for a large diversity of animals and plants. Apart from values associated with high biodiversity, areas dominated by macrovegetation are also particularly productive areas, both in terms of primary production and recruitment areas for many species of fish.

Anyone that has ever visited the seashore and perhaps taken a swim, also know that macrovegetation has a large impact on the human well-being. The sight of healthy and fresh areas of bladder-wrack or seagrass meadows are positive experiences to most people, while wading in stinking masses of filamentous algae is not so pleasant.

Because of these properties and because its abundance and quality is strongly affected by human pressures such as eutrophication and physical disturbance, macrovegetation is a very important indicator of the status of marine ecosystems around the world.

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