What is kelp?

Kelp are big brown algae (Phaeophyta) that live in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore. There are about 30 different species of kelp worldwide. They grow in dense groupings lot like a woodland on land, and are found predominantly follow me the Pacific shore from Alaska to components of Baja California. You can see kelp forests in countless of ours national marine dearteassociazione.org, including Monterey only National marine Sanctuary, Channel islands National naval Sanctuary, higher Farallones National naval Sanctuary, and Olympic coast National maritime Sanctuary.

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Why space kelp forests important?

Kelp woodlands harbor a greater range and higher diversity the plants and animals than virtually any other ocean community. Countless organisms use the thick blades as a safe sanctuary for their young indigenous predators or even rough storms. These underwater towers the kelp provide food, shelter, and protection for all kinds of marine life, consisting of seals, sea lions, sea otters, invertebrates, fish, whales, birds, and also more. Kelp forests also provide a range of ecosystem solutions to humans and serve together habitat because that a variety of commercially vital fishery species such together kelp bass and also black rockfish.

What threats carry out kelp woodlands face?

Unfortunately, kelp forests today confront a range of threats, such together commercial kelp harvesting, pollution, and also climate change, which exacerbates El Niño southern oscillation (ENSO) events and negatively impacts kelp reproduction and survival.

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Overgrazing by fish and sea urchins is a particularly huge problem for kelp forests. Predators such as sea otters and also sea stars commonly keep populations of urchins and grazing fishes in check; this keeps the number of urchins and fish in balance therefore they don"t mow down entire kelp forests. However, recent declines in otters and sea stars ~ above the West coast have resulted in an explosion in the variety of urchins, i m sorry is negative news for kelp woodlands as they face increased grazing. You can learn an ext about dearteassociazione.org"s kelp conservation plan.

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Kelp ForestsManagement that Kelp ForestsImpacts ~ above Kelp ForestsKelp Helps!Lending a Kelping Hand in higher FarallonesUrchin Barrens in West coastline dearteassociazione.orgKelp woodland Restoration & recovery in the better Farallones National naval Sanctuary
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Sea otters and also kelp woodlands go together favor peanut butter and also jelly! Sea otters keep populaces of sea urchins, which prey on kelp, in check, and also kelp forests provide otters through protection and food. Credit: Douglas Croft