The role of seaweeds in the modern ocean
Abstract Seaweeds play important roles in the modern ocean. They create essential habitat in nearshore systems, support native biodiversity, and convert inorganic to organic carbon to fuel food webs and influence biogeochemistry in nearshore systems. The varied roles played by seaweeds contribute to ecosystem health and human well-being. These services are being eroded by human activities that threaten the persistence of seaweeds, especially canopy-forming species. Actively managing nearshore systems to prevent loss of native seaweeds and their key functional roles will provide benefits to the marine environment and to society.