The review deals with the role of Bacillariophyta in the formation of biofilms, the microbial communities immersed in matrix of sticky mucus secreted by them into the extracellular space and consisting of a complex of polymeric substances. We discuss the ecological function of biofilms in coastal ecosystems and estuarine areas, and the role of diatom exudates in the ecology of cells, inhabiting marine sediments and being an important source of carbohydrate components. More than half of the organic carbon incoming the ocean depths, a significant portion of which are soluble organic compounds, is a product of Bacillariophyta photosynthesis. Depending on external conditions and motility, diatoms can release into the environment substantial amounts of polymeric substances, mainly exopolysaccharides (EPS). One of the main ecological functions of EPS in aquatic ecosystems is bio-stabilization of sedimentary material, providing preservation of the structure of the intertidal zones subject to erosion.
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