Kelp harvest is only one of several human activities in the coastal zone threating seabirds worldwide (Dias et al. 1998; Tegner and Dayton 2000). The human impact on the kelp forests occurs in two ways. Kelp forests support diverse and productive ecological communities throughout temperate and arctic regions worldwide, providing numerous ecosystem services to humans. Anthropogenic Effects on Kelp Forests 11. Around the world, kelp forests are a crucial component of a healthy coastal ecosystem and an essential nursery for coastal fish populations. 2006), seagrass meadows (Orth et al. Thinning of kelp and increased patchiness of kelp forests because of warming ocean temperatures and spreading of the invasive long-spined sea urchin are having significant impacts on the ecology of rocky reefs in eastern Australia, which are home to hundreds of species that use kelp forests … As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. This impact allowed sea urchin populations to go around almost unchecked and eat as much kelp as they can. Fish thrive in kelp forests, as do mussel beds, for example. The factors influencing kelp forest stability are diverse: kelp harvesting; grazing by fishes, sea urchins, and crustaceans; plant competition; storms; El Niño events; sedimentation; and pollution. Literature suggests that kelp forests are increasingly threatened by a variety of human impacts, including climate change, overfishing, and direct harvest. 9. Tiered like a terrestrial rainforest with a canopy and several layers below, the kelp forests of the eastern Pacific coast are dominated by two canopy-forming, brown macroalgae species, giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana). Human impact on kelp forests. The remoteness of this region has, until recently, spared it from many of the direct anthropogenic stressors that have negatively affected these ecosystems elsewhere. Kelp forests grow predominantly on the Pacific Coast, from Alaska and Canada to the waters of Baja California. Because kelp forests serve such an important ecological role both structurally and functionally, they require monitoring and, when necessary, effective management. You may be using it when you don't even know you are. Re-examining the remote kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego, where there is a distinct lack of direct human impact, gives us a better understanding of the processes accounting for their resilience. off the coast of California) to farm the kelp in an artificial environment. Kelp forests dominate rocky reefs in temperate latitudes and are also found in subtropical and polar regions, lining approximately 25% of the world’s coasts. But both bull kelp and giant kelp are being threatened by marine heat waves and other climate change stressors.. Pristine state (prior to Kelp forest Kelp forest Kelp forest human contact) Scale (patch size) 100– 500 km 2 (Johnson & Mann 200– 1000 km 2 (Estes et al . Kelp forests are also important to humans. Human activities also impact the health of kelp forests through coastal development, sedimentation, pollution, and fishing. HUMAN USAGE, MANAGEMENT, AND CONSERVATION 10. A new analysis of California’s Monterey Bay evaluates kelp’s potential to reduce ocean acidification, the harmful fallout from climate change on marine ecosystems and the food they produce for human populations. Click here to listen to Max Calloway, from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, express significant human impacts on kelp forest … Kelp forests provide important habitat for numerous invertebrates, fish, birds and marine mammals. When the water is too hot the kelp dies, which is why global warming is such an issue for kelp. Human Usage of Giant Kelp and Kelp Forest Organisms 12. by Alison Auld, ... kelp forests and rockweed beds, which provide food and shelter to a variety of animals. Global Change 14. Overall, kelp forests have declined over time throughout southern California including at the Channel Islands. GLOBAL CHANGE AND THE FUTURE 13. Kelp forests represent some of the most diverse and productive habitats on Earth, and provide a range of ecosystem goods and services on which human populations depend. To understand and manage this critical habitat, we must first determine what drives the dynamic nature of the system, disentangling natural variation from human-induced change. Marine Protected Areas and Fisheries Effects PART IV. Kelp forests are important ecosystems that harbor diverse microbial communities and their impacts extend far beyond simply serving as habitat for invertebrates, fish, and mammals.
2020 human impact on kelp forests