These kelp forests contain more than 20 species of fish. Sea urchin populations have been used to gauge the health of kelp forest ecosystems for years; when an excessive sea urchin population combines with an inadequate amount of floating vegetation, the sea urchins will begin to eat on the kelp that has embedded into the substrate. These larger algae in turn create a habitat for smaller algae and a wealth of animals that can either live attached to the rocks beneath the kelps, on the kelps themselves, or in the sheltered waters between individual plants. The Circle of Life The term "trophic process" describes exactly how the kelp forests function as a vital underwater ecosystem. If live means "having life," what does lively mean? Yet if in any country a forest was destroyed, I do not believe so nearly so many species of animals would perish as would here, from the destruction of kelp. Sea urchins will often completely remove kelp plants by eating through their holdfasts. Kelp Forests. Kelp forests also provide birds with a refuge from storms. Sea lions are proof that not all marine animals of the kelp forest are fish or invertebrates. Animals that live in the kelp forest range from large active species that move along the seafloor or in between the individual kelp plants to a plethora of immobile animals that live attached to the reef surface or the plants themselves. This diverse and light-filled habitat, alive with leopard sharks, jack mackerels and garibaldis, is an example of the kelp forests that grow along the Pacific coast from southern Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. Giant and bull kelp are two species of algae that create the magnificent kelp forests that attracts divers from around the world. Here are just five marine animals of the kelp forest that contribute to the diversity of these habitats. Kelp forests are remarkable places: not only are they immensely beautiful and home to a startling array of wildlife, they are also highly productive and of considerable economic importance. Asked by Wiki User. In kelp forests, the most commonly found invertebrates are bristle worms, scud, prawn, snails, and brittle stars. Temperature: Kelp forest temp range ranges from 42-72 degrees Fahrenheit; Salinity: The salinity is very high in the Kelp Forest area. Kelp is also eaten by a lot of invertebrate species. In the crevases and under boulders Abalone and Urchins come out at night and eat Algae they scrape off the rocks. The giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) moves into the kelp forests to breed. Animals that you might find in a holdfast include worms, baby sea urchins, snails, brittle stars, tiny crustaceans, and maybe even mussels or barnacles. Solve the mystery behind why kelp is found in some spots along the coast and not others. Outside the holdfasts, sponges, tunicates, anemones, cup corals and bryozoans are probably the most commonly occurring sessile animals within kelp forests (Foster and Schiel 1985; Table 1). While the diversity of plants and animals in giant kelp forests is large, little is known about the plankton and decomposers in the water. Visit Elkhorn Slough's real-time Otter Cam. Top Answer. Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is a plant, not an animal, but it’s crucial to the ecosystem of a kelp forest. Other invertebrates found in kelp forests … Many animals, including seals, sea lions, and grey whales, use the thick kelp blades to shelter their young and hide from storms or predators. Light: Light easily penetrates the top part of the kelp forest. More than 800 species of marine animals have been documented to inhabit kelp forests, and while some of these creatures are microscopic in size, the easily visible species range from tiny rainbow-colored nudibranchs to the occasional California gray whale, creatures that reach proportions of 50 feet (15 m) and 100,000 pounds (45,000 kg). Discover an underwater forest — at 28 feet, the Kelp Forest is one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world. Weekly Special: Oceanic Viper Full Foot Fins, Why You Shouldn’t Hold Your Breath on a Dive, 5 Ways Coral Reefs Are Important to Humans, Top 8 of the Ocean’s Most Poisonous Creatures, The Fascinating Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies and Shrimp. And small, live in the kelp holdfast their home rockfish are one of the ocean and algae that abundant! In crevice ) forests also provide birds with a refuge from storms in bodies of freshwater buoyed by their bladders. 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