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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Abiotic Environment

The Abiotic Environment

(p.41) 3 The Abiotic Environment
The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests

David R. Schiel

Michael S. Foster

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the structure, function, and abiotic requirements of giant kelp, providing a general guide to interpreting variation in Macrocystis populations in nature. In growth rates, kelps are most like bamboos, which are large grasses, and in ecological importance they are analogous to forest trees. Iodine is especially abundant in plants relative to seawater and may function as an antioxidant and an antimicrobial agent; the surface canopy of giant kelp is exposed to airborne particles and aerosols, and can rapidly take up and concentrate iodine as well as other radionuclides. With regard to abiotic requirements for growth and reproduction of giant kelp, these include water temperature, salinity, and light requirements.

Keywords:   giant kelp, Macrocystis, iodine, seawater plants, radionuclides, water temperature, salinity, light requirements

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