Chapter

Rocky Reefs and Kelp Beds

JOHN S. STEPHENS, RALPH J LARSON and DANIEL J. PONDELLA

in The Ecology of Marine Fishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246539
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246539.003.0009
Rocky Reefs and Kelp Beds

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California's kelp bed and rock-reef habitats are among the most spectacular marine habitats in the world, due in part to the assemblage of fishes that occupy these areas. This chapter discusses the shallow subtidal reef assemblages associated with kelp beds and rocky reefs. Kelp beds are largely restricted to rocky reefs because they depend on hard substrate for the attachment of holdfasts. The composition of fishes within these two habitat groups overlaps almost entirely because there are very few obligate kelp species. Kelp may be limited in its abundance and distribution by various factors, but most of the fishes associated with it are not susceptible to the same limitations. In fact, the abundance and distribution of kelp along California's coastline fluctuates appreciably because of seasonal and annual variability and episodic events.

Keywords: California's coastline; kelp bed; rocky reefs; subtidal reef assemblages; kelp distribution; obligate kelp species

Chapter.  20092 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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