The understory may be very important for the fish and invertebrates that live in kelp … Wednesday, 17 July 2013. They play an important role in the health and stability of near shore marine ecosystems. Post navigation ← Previous News And Events Posted on December 2, 2020 by Kelp harvesting is also another concern. Marine scientists discover an important, overlooked role sea urchins play in the kelp forest ecosystem. As climate change creates more severe weather, kelp forests are becoming more and more important. One third of southern California’s kelp forests are found within Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Among human activity-related factors affecting kelp forests, the most important ones are pollution and climate change. Some kelps form dense patches on rocky reefs resembling a forest of trees underwater and are referred to as kelp forests. Why are kelp forests considered important to your understanding of marine ecosystems? The iconic plants that can shoot more than 100 feet from the ocean floor are nearly synonymous with sea otters, who wrap themselves in giant kelp to keep from floating away … Some areas are even experiencing a growth in kelp forests, including the west coast of Vancouver Island, where an increasing population of urchin-hunting sea otters has reduced the impacts of the spiny grazers, allowing kelp to flourish. The Kelp forests of the western and northern Cape coast have great economic and ecological importance not only for the harvesting of the kelp itself but also for its importance in acting as habitat and feeding ground for many commercially important fish, crustacean and shellfish species (Van As, du Peez, Brown, & … Kelp forests are phyletically diverse, structurally complex and highly productive components of coldwater rocky marine coastlines. Kelp forests grow predominantly on the Pacific Coast, from Alaska and Canada to the waters of Baja California. Researching is extremely important for us. Kelp forests are highly productive and they quickly recycle nutrients so that most stay in the system. Kelp forests are vital to a diversity of marine species, new research shows, just as Charles Darwin predicted during his initial visit to the Galapagos Islands. Studies show that the presence of otters increased the carbon storage of kelp forests from 4.4 to 8.7 megatons. With the SSWD epidemic, the annual survival rate of small and medium sea urchins increased by 166 percent. The researchers have found a combined effect on kelp forests from nutrient pollution and higher CO 2, which could have a … They’re important for young fish to hide in, sea urchins to graze on, and otters and seals to hunt in. It is estimated that bacteria supply 73% of the Nitrogen supply for the kelp forests growth. "Kelp forests remain relatively stable because of the diversity and growth of these understory species. University of Adelaide marine biologists have found that reducing nutrient pollution in coastal marine environments should help protect kelp forests from the damaging effects of rising CO 2.. They eat sea urchins and other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. They are also an important habitat for creatures such as fish, crabs, sea birds and seals. Kelp is a type of seaweed (or marine algae) that describes 27 genera worldwide. Ultimately researchers say, warming ocean waters are expected to take a toll on the world’s kelp forests. Luckily the United States has regulations (otherwise if we didn't so much kelp would be used that eventually species living in the Kelp Forests would eventually be extinct messing up our whole food chain!! More kelp forests result in fewer urchin barrens, as well as an increase in the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and release oxygen back into the air. 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