Kelp forest

underwater areas with a high density of kelp
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Kelp forests are a type of marine ecosystem that is present around colonies of kelp; they contain rich biodiversity. Kelp can stretch 2-30 meters or more (up to 60 m in Macrocystis pyrifera) from their anchors on the sea floor to the surface. It provides a vertical infrastructure that is home to many fish and invertebrate species. Kelp forests also often attract mammalian visitors, including whales, sea lions, sea otters, and SCUBA-diving humans.

Kelp Forest

Kelp forests draw their name from an analogy to forests on land.

In some places, sea urchins eat so many kelp plants that the kelp forest becomes an urchin barren.[1][2]


  1. Doug Simpson (February 2017). "Underwater Barrens: Monitoring the fate of Southern Californian kelp requires a long view". Natural History Magazine. Retrieved May 22, 2020. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. "With otters away, what keeps urchins at bay?". California Sea Grant. March 14, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2020.