Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests

Thomas Wernberg, Kira Krumhansl, Karen Filbee-Dexter, Morten Foldager Pedersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Kelp forests are extensive underwater habitats characterized by the presence of large seaweeds that form canopies over the seafloor. Kelps are typically competitively dominant and long-lived, with some species reaching tens of meters in height. They grow very fast and rapidly produce a vast amount of biomass (Krumhansl & Scheibling, 2012; Mann, 1973) and create a three-dimensional structure that alters their surrounding physical environment (Eckman, Duggins, & Sewell, 1989; Reed & Foster, 1984; Wernberg, Kendrick, & Toohey, 2005). As a consequence, kelp forests provide habitat, shelter, and food to a huge number of associated species (Teagle, Hawkins, Moore, & Smale, 2017). Kelp forests dominate along approximately one-quarter of the world’s coastlines, in Arctic and temperate latitudes in both hemispheres (Krumhansl et al., 2016). Their diverse variety of habitat types (Fig. 3.1) delivers a broad range of valuable ecosystem services (e.g., Bennett et al., 2016). Kelp forests show global declines and, like so many other marine ecosystems, they are under pressure from the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic activities. These processes have been driving rapid changes in the distribution and abundance of many kelp forests globally over the past couple of decades, and in many instances declines in kelp forests threaten ecosystem services vital to human well-being (Filbee-Dexter & Scheibling, 2014b; Filbee-Dexter & Wernberg, 2018; Krumhansl et al., 2016; Steneck et al., 2002). There is some debate about what constitutes ‘kelp’ (Fraser, 2012). Some reserve the term only for species of Laminariales whereas others use it more broadly to also include fucalean and other large seaweeds (Fraser, 2012). Here, we focus predominantly on subtidal laminarian kelps (Fig. 3.1) because these species constitute a well-defined group with respect to taxonomy, life cycles, ecology, distribution, and socioeconomic importance. However, ‘kelp’ is a non-taxonomic name and many other types of seaweeds provide similar functions (Bolton, 2016), with no imperative or precedence for limiting its use to the Laminariales per se (Fraser, 2012).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Seas: An Environmental Evaluation : Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts
EditorsCharles Sheppard
Number of pages22
Volume3
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Publication date2019
Edition2
Pages57-78
Chapter3
ISBN (Print)9780128050521
ISBN (Electronic)9780128052044
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

Wernberg, T., Krumhansl, K., Filbee-Dexter, K., & Pedersen, M. F. (2019). Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests. In C. Sheppard (Ed.), World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation: Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts (2 ed., Vol. 3, pp. 57-78). London: Academic Press.
Wernberg, Thomas ; Krumhansl, Kira ; Filbee-Dexter, Karen ; Pedersen, Morten Foldager. / Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests. World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation: Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts. editor / Charles Sheppard. Vol. 3 2. ed. London : Academic Press, 2019. pp. 57-78
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abstract = "Kelp forests are extensive underwater habitats characterized by the presence of large seaweeds that form canopies over the seafloor. Kelps are typically competitively dominant and long-lived, with some species reaching tens of meters in height. They grow very fast and rapidly produce a vast amount of biomass (Krumhansl & Scheibling, 2012; Mann, 1973) and create a three-dimensional structure that alters their surrounding physical environment (Eckman, Duggins, & Sewell, 1989; Reed & Foster, 1984; Wernberg, Kendrick, & Toohey, 2005). As a consequence, kelp forests provide habitat, shelter, and food to a huge number of associated species (Teagle, Hawkins, Moore, & Smale, 2017). Kelp forests dominate along approximately one-quarter of the world’s coastlines, in Arctic and temperate latitudes in both hemispheres (Krumhansl et al., 2016). Their diverse variety of habitat types (Fig. 3.1) delivers a broad range of valuable ecosystem services (e.g., Bennett et al., 2016). Kelp forests show global declines and, like so many other marine ecosystems, they are under pressure from the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic activities. These processes have been driving rapid changes in the distribution and abundance of many kelp forests globally over the past couple of decades, and in many instances declines in kelp forests threaten ecosystem services vital to human well-being (Filbee-Dexter & Scheibling, 2014b; Filbee-Dexter & Wernberg, 2018; Krumhansl et al., 2016; Steneck et al., 2002). There is some debate about what constitutes ‘kelp’ (Fraser, 2012). Some reserve the term only for species of Laminariales whereas others use it more broadly to also include fucalean and other large seaweeds (Fraser, 2012). Here, we focus predominantly on subtidal laminarian kelps (Fig. 3.1) because these species constitute a well-defined group with respect to taxonomy, life cycles, ecology, distribution, and socioeconomic importance. However, ‘kelp’ is a non-taxonomic name and many other types of seaweeds provide similar functions (Bolton, 2016), with no imperative or precedence for limiting its use to the Laminariales per se (Fraser, 2012).",
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Wernberg, T, Krumhansl, K, Filbee-Dexter, K & Pedersen, MF 2019, Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests. in C Sheppard (ed.), World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation: Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts. 2 edn, vol. 3, Academic Press, London, pp. 57-78.

Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests. / Wernberg, Thomas; Krumhansl, Kira; Filbee-Dexter, Karen; Pedersen, Morten Foldager.

World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation: Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts. ed. / Charles Sheppard. Vol. 3 2. ed. London : Academic Press, 2019. p. 57-78.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests

AU - Wernberg, Thomas

AU - Krumhansl, Kira

AU - Filbee-Dexter, Karen

AU - Pedersen, Morten Foldager

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Kelp forests are extensive underwater habitats characterized by the presence of large seaweeds that form canopies over the seafloor. Kelps are typically competitively dominant and long-lived, with some species reaching tens of meters in height. They grow very fast and rapidly produce a vast amount of biomass (Krumhansl & Scheibling, 2012; Mann, 1973) and create a three-dimensional structure that alters their surrounding physical environment (Eckman, Duggins, & Sewell, 1989; Reed & Foster, 1984; Wernberg, Kendrick, & Toohey, 2005). As a consequence, kelp forests provide habitat, shelter, and food to a huge number of associated species (Teagle, Hawkins, Moore, & Smale, 2017). Kelp forests dominate along approximately one-quarter of the world’s coastlines, in Arctic and temperate latitudes in both hemispheres (Krumhansl et al., 2016). Their diverse variety of habitat types (Fig. 3.1) delivers a broad range of valuable ecosystem services (e.g., Bennett et al., 2016). Kelp forests show global declines and, like so many other marine ecosystems, they are under pressure from the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic activities. These processes have been driving rapid changes in the distribution and abundance of many kelp forests globally over the past couple of decades, and in many instances declines in kelp forests threaten ecosystem services vital to human well-being (Filbee-Dexter & Scheibling, 2014b; Filbee-Dexter & Wernberg, 2018; Krumhansl et al., 2016; Steneck et al., 2002). There is some debate about what constitutes ‘kelp’ (Fraser, 2012). Some reserve the term only for species of Laminariales whereas others use it more broadly to also include fucalean and other large seaweeds (Fraser, 2012). Here, we focus predominantly on subtidal laminarian kelps (Fig. 3.1) because these species constitute a well-defined group with respect to taxonomy, life cycles, ecology, distribution, and socioeconomic importance. However, ‘kelp’ is a non-taxonomic name and many other types of seaweeds provide similar functions (Bolton, 2016), with no imperative or precedence for limiting its use to the Laminariales per se (Fraser, 2012).

AB - Kelp forests are extensive underwater habitats characterized by the presence of large seaweeds that form canopies over the seafloor. Kelps are typically competitively dominant and long-lived, with some species reaching tens of meters in height. They grow very fast and rapidly produce a vast amount of biomass (Krumhansl & Scheibling, 2012; Mann, 1973) and create a three-dimensional structure that alters their surrounding physical environment (Eckman, Duggins, & Sewell, 1989; Reed & Foster, 1984; Wernberg, Kendrick, & Toohey, 2005). As a consequence, kelp forests provide habitat, shelter, and food to a huge number of associated species (Teagle, Hawkins, Moore, & Smale, 2017). Kelp forests dominate along approximately one-quarter of the world’s coastlines, in Arctic and temperate latitudes in both hemispheres (Krumhansl et al., 2016). Their diverse variety of habitat types (Fig. 3.1) delivers a broad range of valuable ecosystem services (e.g., Bennett et al., 2016). Kelp forests show global declines and, like so many other marine ecosystems, they are under pressure from the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic activities. These processes have been driving rapid changes in the distribution and abundance of many kelp forests globally over the past couple of decades, and in many instances declines in kelp forests threaten ecosystem services vital to human well-being (Filbee-Dexter & Scheibling, 2014b; Filbee-Dexter & Wernberg, 2018; Krumhansl et al., 2016; Steneck et al., 2002). There is some debate about what constitutes ‘kelp’ (Fraser, 2012). Some reserve the term only for species of Laminariales whereas others use it more broadly to also include fucalean and other large seaweeds (Fraser, 2012). Here, we focus predominantly on subtidal laminarian kelps (Fig. 3.1) because these species constitute a well-defined group with respect to taxonomy, life cycles, ecology, distribution, and socioeconomic importance. However, ‘kelp’ is a non-taxonomic name and many other types of seaweeds provide similar functions (Bolton, 2016), with no imperative or precedence for limiting its use to the Laminariales per se (Fraser, 2012).

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Wernberg T, Krumhansl K, Filbee-Dexter K, Pedersen MF. Status and Trends for the World's Kelp Forests. In Sheppard C, editor, World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation: Ecological Issues and Environmental Impacts. 2 ed. Vol. 3. London: Academic Press. 2019. p. 57-78