The Abiotic Environment

David R. Schiel and Michael S. Foster

in The Biology and Ecology of Giant Kelp Forests

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2015 | ISBN: 9780520278868
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780520961098 | DOI:
The Abiotic Environment

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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

Chapter.  12170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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