Transcript of Kelp Forests!!!
• The kelp forest is a forest, but it is not a forest of trees. It is made of seaweed called giant kelp.
• Only kelp plants with air bladders form forests.
• Kelps belong to a group of plants called algae.
• Algae are autotrophs, they photosynthesize
• Three kinds of algae—red, green, and brown—live in the ocean.
• Giant kelp is a type of brown algae.
• Seaweed is a non-scientific name for all large marine algae.
Giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera is one of the world's fastest growing plants. It can grow as much as 300 feet in a single year. When the tops reach the surface, they keep on growing to form a floating mat.
The kelp forest provides shelter and protection for many animals.
Kelp consists of at least three parts: the holdfast, stipe, and blade.
The holdfast is a part that attaches the kelp to the ocean floor. The blade is the leaflike part that takes in sunlight to make food. The stipe is the part that connects the holdfast to the blade.
Giant kelp grows in cool coastal waters where sunlight can go down to a rocky sea floor.
Kelp Forest Ecosystem: basics
• Cold, clear water
• Rocky bottom, close to shore
• Autotrophs: seaweed (giant kelp and other species), phytoplankton
• Heterotrophs: depend on the kelp forest is.
• Very diverse and productive
Seaweed for breakfast?
• Seaweed is used commercially for many things.
• Examples include: biofuels, cosmetics, fertilizers, seaweed bath or wraps, wastewater treatment, animal feed, and is in chocolate milk and yogurt.
What lives in the forest?http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/learning/learning_res/
Basic food chain
Sea Urchin• Sea urchins are members of a large group of marine invertebrates
in the phylum Echinodermata (spiny skinned animals), that also include starfish, sea cucumbers, sea lilies, and brittle stars.
• All sea urchins have a hard calcareous shell called a test, which is covered with a thin epithelium (skin) and is usually armed with spines. The spines are used for locomotion, protection, and for trapping drifting algae for food. Between the spines, are tube feet that are used in food capture, locomotion, and for holding on to the substrate.
• The mouth is located on the underside. It consists of a complex array of skeletal elements, plates, and teeth arranged in five symmetry called the "Aristotle's lantern." The mouth leads to the digestive tract which empties through the anus located on the top of the test
• Sea otters exert strong control on kelp forest food webs. By feeding upon sea urchins, otters reduce the intensity of grazing and allow kelps to develop dense populations. Sea otters bring urchins, abalones, and other benthic animals to the surface and often smash them on their chests with the aid of a rock.
• Some sea otter populations off the west coast of Canada have declined by over 90%!
• Scientists have discovered that killer whales which normally feed on larger seals and sea lions have started feeding on sea otters.
• This is leading to an explosion in the sea urchin population and they are eating all the giant kelp.