Kelp Forest

Kelp Forest

Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Smaller areas of anchored kelp are called kelp beds.

Kelp forests occur worldwide throughout temperate and polar coastal oceans. In 2007, kelp forests were also discovered in tropical waters near Ecuador.

Physically formed by brown macroalgae of the order Laminariales, kelp forests provide a unique three-dimensional habitat for marine organisms and are a source for understanding many ecological processes. Over the last century, they have been the focus of extensive research, particularly in trophic ecology, and continue to provoke important ideas that are relevant beyond this unique ecosystem. For example, kelp forests can influence coastal oceanographic patterns and provide many ecosystem services.

However, the influence of humans has often contributed to kelp forest degradation. Of particular concern are the effects of overfishing nearshore ecosystems, which can release herbivores from their normal population regulation and result in the over-grazing of kelp and other algae. This can rapidly result in transitions to barren landscapes where relatively few species persist. The implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) is one management strategy useful for addressing such issues since it may limit the impacts of fishing and buffer the ecosystem from additive effects of other environmental stressors.

Read more about Kelp Forest:  Kelp, Ecosystem Architecture, Trophic Ecology, Patch Dynamics, Human Use, Threats and Management

Other articles related to "kelp forest, kelp forests, kelp":

Kelp Forest - Threats and Management
... Given the complexity of kelp forests – their variable structure, geography and interactions – they pose a considerable challenge to environmental managers ... With respect to kelp forests, major issues of concern include marine pollution and water quality, kelp harvesting and fisheries, invasive species and climate change ... It has been argued that the most pressing threat to kelp forest preservation is the overfishing of coastal ecosystems, which by removing higher trophic levels ...
Ecological Extinction - Examples
... sea otter as the keystone predator in near-shore kelp forests ... With high sea otter densities the herbivory of sea urchins in these kelp forest was severely limited, and this made competition between algal species the main determinant in ... of the sea urchins was greatly intensified to the point of decimation of the kelp forest community ...
Monterey Bay Aquarium - Kelp Forest Exhibit
333,000-US-gallon (1,260,000 l 277,000 imp gal) Kelp Forest exhibit was designed as the centerpiece of the aquarium, and was the first exhibit in the ... tanks, a surge machine at the top of this exhibit provides the constant water motion that kelp requires ... The kelp in this exhibit grows about 4 inches (100 mm) per day, and requires divers to trim it once a week ...
Kelp - Gallery
... Giant kelp in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Scuba diver in kelp forest Blue Rockfish in kelp forest Anemone and seastar in kelp forest An underwater shot of a Kelp forest ...

Famous quotes containing the word forest:

    The forest of Compiegne. Look at it. Like a kind grandmother dozing in her rocking chair. Old trees practicing curtsies in the wind because they still think Louis XIV is king.
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