Kelp Forests

Rising Sea Levels and the Salt Marsh

This guest blog highlights the experience of a Santa Rosa Junior College - Bodega Marine Laboratory Internship Program participant. The SRJC-BML Internship program is committed to creating an inclusive space for the development of new scientists and leaders and to provide interns with experience conducting research essential to developing careers in the sciences. 
Learn more, apply, or donate on the program website.

Reviewing Research on Kelp Forests in Changing Oceans

This guest blog highlights the experience of a Santa Rosa Junior College - Bodega Marine Laboratory Internship Program participant. The SRJC-BML Internship program is committed to creating an inclusive space for the development of new scientists and leaders and to provide interns with experience conducting research essential to developing careers in the sciences. 
Learn more, apply, or donate on the program website.

Survivors of Climate Driven Abalone Mass Mortality Exhibit Declines in Health and Reproduction Following Kelp Forest Collapse

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to climate driven events such as marine heatwaves yet we have a poor understanding of whether they will collapse or recover. Kelp forests are known to be susceptible, and there has been a rise in sea urchin barrens around the world. When temperatures increase so do physiological demands while food resources decline, tightening metabolic constraints. In this case study, we examine red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) looking at sublethal impacts and their prospects for recovery within kelp forests that have shifted to sea urchin barrens.

Long Term Impacts of Marine Heatwave on Kelp Forests

A new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, with coauthors from UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis, documents the collapse of kelp forest ecosystems off the coast of Northern California. Analyzing the contributing events, from warming oceans to the loss of sunflower sea stars, researchers used satellite imagery from over 30 years to assess historical changes and better understand the dynamics and resilience of kelp forests.

Read the study in Communications Biology

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Written by Jane Park

Using science to inform the restoration of California’s underwater forests

Kelp forests are underwater forests that support some of the world’s most productive fisheries and unique ecosystems.  Kelp forests occur throughout the world.  California’s kelp forests are particularly unique, as our “redwood forests of the sea” are among the tallest and most productive of the world: Northern California’s “bull kelp” grow an average of 4 in./day and can reach heights over 100 ft.