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International team maps the world’s giant kelp forest

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The world’s largest kelp forests (sea wilderness as important to the Earth’s ecology as rainforests and coral reefs) have been mapped by a team of international scientists.


The University of Queensland PhD candidate Nur Arafeh-Dalmau will lead the project to map and identify potential sanctuaries. Huge kelp forestAre increasingly threatened by Climate change..

“Marine Kelp forest It is found on 25% of the Earth’s coastline, “says Arafeh-Dalmau.

“They are one of the most productive and magnificent ecosystems on Earth, but they are disappearing due to increased human activity and ocean heat waves.

The research team analyzed 35 years of satellite data to identify areas where huge kelp forests could serve as potential climate reserves and calculate how much protection needed.

The mapped area covers thousands of kilometers along the coastlines of the United States and Mexico and the islands of the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

“We found that the level of protection of the internal kelp forest was surprisingly uneven. Marine protected area Less than 1% of the region is protected along the coast of Baja California, Mexico, “said Alafe Darmau.

“In this region, sea surface temperatures are high, nutrients are scarce, and kelp biomass and spread are limited.”

“Okimo is the fastest growing organism on the planet, and when it loses its forests, it has incredible carbon storage, marine biodiversity habitats, fish resource breeding grounds, and coastal community erosion buffers. Will be lost.

“As the frequency and severity of heat waves in the ocean increases, we need to find the best way and place to protect them.

“We are working hard on this very issue, monitoring where kelp forests thrive for a long time and quantifying how fully protected these permanent kelp habitats are. . “

The research team analyzed 35 years of satellite data to identify areas where huge kelp forests could serve as potential climate reserves and calculate how much protection needed.

The mapped area covers thousands of kilometers along the coastlines of the United States and Mexico and the islands of the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

“We found that the protection of kelp forests in the region’s marine protected areas has surprisingly uneven levels, with less than 1% being protected along the coast of Baja California, Mexico,” Alafe said.・ Mr. Dharmau said.

“In this region, sea surface temperatures are high, nutrients are scarce, and kelp biomass and spread are limited.”

This study method is used worldwide to map the persistence of giant kelp and other canopy-forming kelp species in countries such as Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Arafeh-Dalmau considers it to be one of the biggest barriers to kelp forest Conservation is a lack of awareness, especially when compared to similar ecosystems such as: Coral reef..

“We need to make the public and policy makers aware that these mysterious underwater forests exist and are threatened globally by human activity. We need to protect them, “he said.

Co-author Dr. Fiorenza Micheli of Stanford University said the government needs to fully protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, including most of the kelp forest.

“It is imperative to protect the persistent kelp forest and determine where it can act as a climate shelter,” said Dr. Micheli.

“But other measures will be needed, including recovery from the degraded state. kelp Forests, identification of genetically resilient kelp for targeted protection and recovery, reduction of anthropogenic stressors such as overfishing and pollution. ”


Biodiversity is the key to the health of the kelp forest


For more information:
Nur Arafeh-Dalmau et al, Permanent giant kelp forest protection in the northeastern Pacific diminishes southward, Communication Earth and environment (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s43247-021-00177-9

Quote: International team maps the world’s giant kelp forest (June 11, 2021), June 11, 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021-06-international-team-world-giant Obtained from -kelp.html

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International team maps the world’s giant kelp forest

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