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Kelp Forests The underwater rainforests By: Caroline Depuma, Molly Beech, Will Rosati, Katie Dankovic.

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Presentation on theme: "Kelp Forests The underwater rainforests By: Caroline Depuma, Molly Beech, Will Rosati, Katie Dankovic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kelp Forests The underwater rainforests By: Caroline Depuma, Molly Beech, Will Rosati, Katie Dankovic.

2 What are Kelp Forests? They are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. Highly productive and contribute significantly to the production of inshore waters

3 Like A Forest On Land… Much like the forests on land, Kelp Forests have layers. The Top layer is called the canopy, and most animal life is found there, including seabirds, fish, and marine mammals like sea otters and sea lions. The middle layer is where the stipes and blades of the Kelp grow, where the light levels are low. It is home to snails and many species of fish The bottom layer has the holdfasts, the anchors that keep the Kelp stable and in place. Sea Urchins and Brittle Stars make their homes here, where the light levels are very low.

4 Kelp-Why It’s Important Kelp forests are physically formed by brown macroalgae, of the order Laminariales Provides a three-dimensional habitat for many marine organisms They have been the focus of extensive research for the last century, mainly in Trophic Ecology Kelp Forests can influence coastal oceanographic patterns Can also provide substantial ecosystem services

5 The FUNdamental Foundation… Kelp is what the kelp forests are built off of Being a primary producer, kelp provides a valuable food source for different kinds of creatures, and it also provides a habitat for a myriad of different species.

6 Animals that live in Kelp Forests!

7 Kelp Forest-living animals continued… Including different species of fish like… Pipefish!

8 Kelp Forest Food Web Kelp is the primary producer and is grazed upon by Sea Urchins, species of scallops, and species of crab-like the Kelp Crab These in turn are consumed by the Sea Otters and Sea Lions and Horn Sharks The Horn Shark eggs are then eaten by Northern Elephant Seals

9 Where to find Kelp Forests Kelp Forests thrive best in cold, nutrient-rich waters They are found in shallow open waters, and the Antarctic and Arctic circles, living in waters with a temperature less than 20°C As of 2007, Kelp Forests have been recorded in tropical waters near Ecuador. The need for light to perform photosynthesis restricts them to depths no greater than meters.

10 Human Interactions with Kelp Forests Kelp has been harvested by humans as a food source for other aquatic animals such as Abalone The compound Alginic Acid is used to make products like tooth paste and antacids Humans also depend on kelp for other edible species such as lobster and rockfish. The Kelp Forests provide recreational activities like SCUBA diving and Kayaking.

11 Human Interactions Continued… During World War 1, 400,000 pounds of Kelp were extracted to make potash for explosives and for fertilizer The 1930’s sparked the “Algin craze”, when the food, scientific and pharmaceutical communities harvested tons of Kelp for the algin, using it as a thickening agent for ice cream, salad dressings, cakes, and other things.The 1930’s sparked the “Algin craze”, when the food, scientific and pharmaceutical communities harvested tons of Kelp for the algin, using it as a thickening agent for ice cream, salad dressings, cakes, and other things. In the 1980’s, Kelp Harvesting supported an industry worth more than 40 million a year Some mariculture farms hand-harvest kelp to feed abalone

12 Negative Human and Non-Human Effects on the Kelp Forests Sea Otters normally keep the Kelp-eating sea urchins in check, but human endeavors such as oil spills drastically reduce populations, and the urchins become uncontrollable due to the lack of Sea Otters being around to eat them. The rising of temperatures due to El Niño events and other possibly human caused temperature increases can destroy the canopy blades and kill off the kelp. Other contributions include pollution, sewage, disease outbreaks, and invasion of human- introduced species.

13 Pictures of Urchins eating Kelp Forests Omnom nom…

14 In Conclusion-What We Have Learned Kelp Forests are magnificent ecosystems that house a variety of marine life, whether it’s at the base buried in mud or in between the kelp fronds. Humans have made some bad decisions in the past that have led to the destruction of some valuable Kelp Forest ecosystems, like the effects from Overfishing The implementation of MPA’s (Marine Protected Areas) is a useful strategy for the protection of these valuable underwater rainforests.

15 Mmmmm…. Sea Urchins. Save our Environment! Bye-Bye! :D


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