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Algae are photosynthetic organisms that occur in most aquatic habitats. They vary from small, single-celled forms (microphytes) measuring only a millimetre across to complex multicellular forming many centimetres or even meters in size, such as the giant kelps that grow in the sea to 65 meters in length.
Algae are important as primary producers of organic matter at the base of the food chain for most aquatic life. They also provide an important source of oxygen for other aquatic life.