Photosynthesis and respiration of the salt-marsh fucoids Ascophyllum nodosum ecad scorpioides and Fucus vesiculosus were investigated using an infrared CO2 gas analyzer under a variety of light intensities, temperatures, and levels of desiccation while the algae were exposed to the atmosphere. Results indicated that net photosynthesis (0.5 to 2.0 mg C/g dry weight/h) saturated rapidly at light intensities (0.1 to 0.2 g cal/cm2/min) which were approximately 10 to 50% of the daily summer maximum intensities for algae found under phanerogam (Spartina alterniflora) canopies. Desiccation exhibited the most pronounced effect on photosynthesis, which increases slightly between 0 and 25% water loss, levels off, and decreases sharply at water losses greater than 50%. Dark respiration (0.1 to 0.3 mg C/g dry weight/h) is also inhibited by desiccation. Both species of algae appear to be broadly adapted to all three parameters investigated.