Kelp Forests

Kelp Forests

News: A recent study has revealed that Kelp forests are declining because of climate change. 

Key Findings:
• Ecklonia radiata, a dominant kelp species in the southern hemisphere, is vulnerable to climate change, especially in regions near the equator.
• Rising temperatures are causing declines in the species along the eastern Australian coastline and it is expected to decline further in the future globally.
• In situ protection may not be possible but its unique genetic diversity can be preserved through ex situ preservation in culture banks for use in future restoration, hybridization, or adaptation strategies.

What are Kelp Forests?
• Kelp forests are underwater ecosystems formed in shallow water by the dense growth of several different species.
• Kelp are large brown algae that live in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore.
• They attach to the seafloor and eventually grow to the water’s surface and rely on sunlight to generate food and energy, kelp forests are always coastal and require shallow, relatively clear water.
• They provide underwater habitats to hundreds of species of invertebrates, fishes, and other algae and have great ecological and economic value.

World Distribution of Major Kelp Forests: 
• Remember the key names associated with Kelp Forests.

Way Forward:
• Kelp forests are incredibly important ecosystems that are worth protecting and preserving for their ecological, economic, and social benefits. To ensure that genetic diversity is protected, it is essential to identify refuge areas, which are places that support a lone or extinct population of a once more common species.

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