Colonization and growth of Ascophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jol. were investigated in two Maine estuaries from 1972 to 1978. Following denudation of intertidal rock, substrata were initially colonized by Fucus vesiculosus L.; eventually, Ascophyllum supplanted Fucus, and became dominant in terms of percentage cover. Ascophyllum settled first and most densely in the low intertidal zone, but its fastest growth occurred in the mid-intertidal zone. Some, but not all, Ascophyllum germlings produced a vesicle within one year of colonization. The mean annual growth of A. nodosum was variable among sites, zones and years.