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Genus of brown macroalgae (seaweed) in the order Fucales. They are generally brown or dark green in color and consist of a holdfast, a stipe, and a frond. Some species have berrylike gas-filled bladders that help the fronds float to promote photosynthesis.
Numerous species are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, where they generally inhabit shallow water and reefs, and the genus is widely known for its planktonic (free-floating) species.