Behaviour

The three-dimensional structure and high productivity of the Macrocystis forests mean they play an important ecological role by providing food and habitat for an enormous number and diversity of animals, including fish and invertebrate animals.

Some animals live on the kelp, including:

  • crustaceans (especially decapods)
  • starfish (seastars)
  • echinoderms
  • mollusks
  • bryozoans
  • other species in the water column that may be very closely associated with the kelp

The holdfast alone may contain over 150 species and the fronds more than 100 invertebrate animal species.

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Glossary
Abalone

Edible sea snails.

Alginates

A compound rendered from seaweed that can be used to make temporary casts.

Fronds

Leaf-like parts of the seaweed.

Holdfasts

Root-like structures that anchors the seaweed to a substrate.

Macroscopic

A size large enough to be visible with the naked eye.

Microscopic

A size so small that is only visible with a lens or microscope.