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The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests$
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David R. Schiel and Michael S. Foster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520278868

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520278868.001.0001

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(p.317) Afterword
The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests

David R. Schiel

Michael S. Foster

University of California Press

This chapter concludes that giant kelp forests have achieved the status of “rain forests” of temperate seas in being the most widely recognized inhabitant of temperate reefs and known for the high diversity they support. Giant kelp forests are largely thriving, and have remained so despite the numerous stressors on coastal ecosystems throughout the past few centuries. With ever-increasing numbers of nature tourists, scuba divers, recreational fishers, and wide-reaching nature documentaries, both the natural beauty of giant kelp forests and the key role they play in the provision of “services” are much better appreciated globally. Moreover, within the scientific literature, giant kelp forests have been a focal point for discussions about regime shifts and alternate states of coastal ecosystems, and they have contributed to the emerging ecological theory and management models related to spatial planning.

Keywords:   giant kelp forests, coastal ecosystems, regime shifts, ecological theory, spatial planning

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