Cystoseira stands are structurally and functionally very similar to terrestrial forests. Like trees, Cystoseira are foundation species that provide habitat for many other associated species (algae, invertebrates and fish). Although miniaturized, they are analogous to terrestrial forests and thus, they can be consid-ered as submerged Mediterranean forests.
Cystoseira is a genus of canopy-forming brown algae, amongst the largest and most long-lived in the Mediterranean. Several species are endemic and many of them are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic activities.