University of Adelaide. A mix of kelp, Irish moss, and sea lettuce harvested off the coast of Maine. Destructive fishing practices, coastal pollution, and accidental damage caused by boat entanglement are known to negatively affect kelp forests. Air pollution has been a serious problem for the forests of the Northeast (especially those at high altitudes), which are downwind of the industrial heartland. Studies on microscopic stages of kelp suggest that kelp is sensitive to sewage, industrial waste discharges, and other causes of poor water and sediment quality. From the extractions of kelp during World War I for potash to the modern use of kelp for food additives and pharmaceutical products, kelp has proven to be a dynamic and highly demanded product. Non-point and point source pollution including sewage, industrial disposal, and coastal runoff might contribute to kelp forest degradation. Area based management (e.g., designation of marine protected areas) is known to be an effective way to protect kelp forests from excessive use or harm by people. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Kelp forests generally occur in cold, nutrient-rich water and are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide in order to grow. Kelp forests are highly productive ecosystem engineers of rocky cold-water marine coastlines, providing shelter, habitat and food for a variety of associated organisms. Kelp forests are monitored for kelp size and distribution, physical oceanic conditions, and … Materials provided by University of Adelaide. One of the places kelp forests can be found is long the coast of California in Channel Islands National Park. Kelp forests are found off coastal shores, which leaves them vulnerable to pollution from land. The researchers have found a combined effect on kelp forests from nutrient pollution and higher CO2, which could have a devastating impact on Australia's marine ecosystems. They measured the growth of turf algae which is a precursor to kelp forest loss. We won't be able to manage those global factors at the local level, but what we can manage is local nutrient pollution into our seas from urban areas," he says. The kelp forests are dying because of, the main problem, pollution, so an easy solution to that is stop polluting. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international body on climate change, we need to activ… The project, by PhD student Laura Falkenberg, found that removing the nutrients from the water removed the combined effect, improving the environment for kelp growth. At night, photosynthesis does not occur, and kelp actually release carbon dioxide through respiration. In the 1980's alone, kelp harvesting supported an industry worth more than $40 million a year, and in 1993, more than 4,700 wet tons of kelp were extracted from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Kelp does … The bottom line is that we need to reduce the nutrient pollution now.". As in all ecosystems, a balance exists in this complex environment, and the predators such as sea otters generally contain sea urchins or grazing fishes enough to limit the damage by grazing. So while kelp may create conditions beneficial to organisms with shells during the day, these conditions may only occur during day light and during the active growing season (spring-fall). "Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests." The researchers have found a combined effect on kelp forests from nutrient pollution and higher CO 2, which could have a devastating impact on Australia's marine ecosystems. 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