macrocystis

Giant Kelp: The Mainstay of Our Kelp Forests

Has any well-intentioned person ever told you that giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, is the world’s fastest growing plant? Unfortunately, if they have, you have been misinformed.  So, does this mean that there is another plant that grows faster than giant kelp? Or was giant kelp never the fastest growing plant? Maybe your informant meant to say that giant kelp is the world’s fastest growing marine plant. Still not true. Confused? Many are. Here’s the skinny: Not too many years ago your informant would have been […]

Now’s the Time to Explore A Kelp Forest

“The number of living creatures of all Orders, whose existence intimately depends on the kelp is wonderful. A great volume might be written, describing the inhabitants of one of these beds of seaweed. I can only compare these great aquatic forests with the terrestrial ones in the inter-tropical regions. Yet, if in any country a forest was destroyed, I do not believe nearly so many species of animals would perish as would here, from the destruction of kelp.” This quote is attributed to the renowned […]

Very Large, Indeed: In Praise of Giant Kelp

Taxonomists got it right when they assigned giant kelp its Latin name, Macrocystis pyrifera. It is indeed very large in scale, scope and capability. We are lucky, you and I, that giant kelp — the largest kelp in the world — grows off our coast. With sunlight sparkling down through the canopy, swimming through a kelp forest can be summed up as an awesome, magical underwater experience. Giant kelp is a type of brown algae (yes, algae) that can grow up to 24 inches a […]

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