Kelp Plants Essay

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Giant Kelp: An Underwater Forest What are three take home messages from this information presented? Giant kelp (Macrocystis Pyrifera) is the fastest growing plant in the world. A fond (labeled in the sketch) can grow up to two feet per day and can reach lengths of 200 feet+. Each kelp plant is anchored to a rock, as they do not have roots. A cluster of strands attaché themselves to a rock, called a holdfast. From the holdfast, dozens of stipes grow and reach the surface by gaining buoyancy from gas filled bubbles on the stripe called bladders. Individual stipes, bladders, and blades are called fronds. You can think of a frond as a branch and the blades as leaves. Most of the fronds make it near the water’s surface and grow into a thick canopy. The blades in the canopy receive sunlight the plant needs for photosynthesis. This particular exhibit depicts the Naples Reef, twenty feet in depth off the cost of Santa Barbara. Kelp forests are a wonderful habitat for sea life. Kelp is harvested and processed to be used as food supplements for both humans and animals. It is a thickening agent used in many products such as ice cream, pudding, salad dressing, beer, frozen food, paper paint, pharmaceuticals, and adhesives. How did the exhibit relate to the Channel Islands? / Island process? Giant kelp grows along the coastlines of the Channel Islands. The growing conditions are suitable for their growth because the California Counter Current brings colder water to the CIs, but also receive warmer water from the Southern California Countercurrent. Upwelling not only transfers cold water from the bottom of the ocean, but also sends nutrients to the top (pelagic zone) kelp uses to grow. Along with nutrients and colder water, kelp needs sunlight for photosynthesis. As a result it grows in relatively clear water that allows sunlight to reach the kelp. Kelp forests are habitats
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