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Since the giant kelp is not a plant, ..

Asteroid starfish are abundant in kelp forests and are important predatorson benthic invertebrates such as urchin. Locally abundant starfish predationis sufficiently intense to eliminate urchins and to allow patches of kelpto grow.

Vertical displacement of blades within the kelp canopy occurred on a time-scale of 1 min to 1 h.

The word forest is very appropriate for eastern and northern Pacifickelp habitats. In many cases, a surface canopy is present. Kelps such as and have floats that keep fronds atthe water surface. Several other distinct vertical layers may also be present.

Oceans Information and Facts | National Geographic

Photosynthetic response of Arctic kelp zoospores …

This Alaskan kelp forest site is dominated by (foreground). If urchins are relatively sparse and disturbance infrequent,this species tends to take over. It is a perennial, and shades out otherspecies, including the annual , which can growto the surface, if it can get a start from the bottom. When Laminaria issparse this is possible, but when it is very dense, thalli shade out newlyestablished sporelings of .

In the Pacific northwest, subtidal kelps are dominated by , a leafy laminaria-like plant. Their dominance may relateto their high concentrations of secondary compounds that defend them fromurchin grazing. From the surface, however, you will probably more likelynotice the enormous fronds and floats of .

Photosynthetic response of Arctic kelp zoospores ..

Dense urchin populations graze kelps efficiently and leave a low-lyingturf, dominated by red algae. Kelps may not recolon- ize until urchins havedied off, owing to disease or a strong storm. When kelps are rare, someurchins adopt a "roving" habit, which ensures that kelp recruitmentis poor. When kelps are lush, many urchins keep to crevices and capturedrift algae on oral tube feet. As a consequence, the urchins do not affectkelp plants very much.

Kelp forests on the east coast of North America have fewer speciesbut often are quite lush, and support rich commu- nities of benthic invert-ebrates. They range southward to Cape Cod and occur only sporadically southwardto the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. Urchins are important grazersand may reach densities sufficient to eliminate the kelp forest.

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for photosynthesis in different Arctic kelp species ..

Two alternative states in kelp forests, as conceived by Harrold andReed. At the top we see luxuriant kelp growth. The urchins live in cracks,presumably to avoid predators, and catch drifting fragments of seaweed onaboral tube feet. Below we see a barrens, which occurs when urchins aremore abundant and kelps are grazed down. In order to feed, urchins mustrove about and therefore maintain the bottom in the barrens state.

Photosynthetic characteristics of giant kelp ( …

Kelp forests are rich in animal species, as shown by this colorfuland rich bottom of epibenthic invertebrates. David Duggins and colleagueshave found that the large number of suspension feeders found on kelp forestbottoms can be associated with kelp detritus, by means of similarities inabundances of a number of stable isotopes. The reason for benthic abundancemay also relate to the concentrated settlement of planktonic larvae beneathkelps, where water flow is relatively more sluggish than in more exposedhard bottoms. Recent research by Duggins and colleagues demonstrates thatsuspension feeders such as mussels and serpulid polychaetes grow well whenfed particles of kelp.

Apart from limiting the kelp photosynthesis, ..

Sea otters exert strong control on kelp forest food webs. By feedingupon sea urchins, otters reduce the intensity of grazing and allow kelpsto develop dense populations. Sea otters bring urchins, abalones, and otherbenthic animals to the surface and often smash them on their chests withthe aid of a rock.

How can the answer be improved?

This site is in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. (foreground); (rear). Kelp forests in the easternand northern Pacific commonly have complex three- dimensional structure,with many coexisting species. As in coral reefs, shading is a major mechanismof intra- specific and interspecific competition.

Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp

These aggregations cause the appearance of gaps, creating a patchylandscape in a kelp forest area. Urchin behavior is connected to kelp communitystructure by a fascinating feedback loop. Food abundance affects urchinfeeding behavior and feeding behavior, in turn may determine the patternof kelp recruitment.

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