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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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Grazing in Kelp Communities

Grazing in Kelp Communities

Chapter:
(p.177) 8 Grazing in Kelp Communities
Source:
The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests
Author(s):

David R. Schiel

Michael S. Foster

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520278868.003.0008

This chapter examines the facilitative and competitive interactions in giant kelp communities. Broadly defined, facilitation denotes positive interactions between species where at least one species benefits and no harm is done to the other. The clearest examples of facilitation in giant kelp forests are the numerous invertebrates that use the fronds and holdfasts of giant kelp as a place to live, a refuge from predators, and perhaps an enhanced food supply in the form of plankton and the small epiphytes on fronds or detritus in holdfasts. On the other hand, competition, a negative interaction, occurs within and between species when individuals require the same resource that is insufficient for all and therefore compromises growth, reproduction, and survival. Within kelp forest patches, the array of species may be partially dictated by intraspecific competition within kelp species. The reduction in understory algae beneath thick canopies suggests that the giant kelp outcompete understory species for light.

Keywords:   facilitative interaction, competitive interaction, giant kelp communities, plankton, epiphytes, detritus, kelp forest patches, understory algae

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