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The Sargasso Sea is unique in being the only area in the world to function as a center of distribution for a self-sustaining community of holopelagic drift algae.
Defined by the currents that envelope it, the Sargasso Sea is seasonally dynamic as well as the only “sea” without coastlines. Sitting on the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre and correlated roughly with the Azores High Pressure System, the Sargasso Sea at any given time is approximately 1126 kilometers wide and 3219 kilometers long (Conover and Seiburth 1964).
Information relevant to other international criteria
The Sargasso Sea is unique in being the only area in the world to
function as a center of distribution for a self-sustaining community of
holopelagic (continuously pelagic) drift algae, consisting of massive
amounts of floating Sargassum dominated by two species (S. natans and S.
fluitans) (Conover and Sieburth 1964, Algaebase, Hemphill 2005).
Globally, the paramount importance of such drift algae is its provision
of structural habitat for a range of fauna, including endemic,
threatened and commercially important species. In other regions of the
world this habitat is rare and ephemeral, whereas in the Sargasso it is
close to ubiquitous.