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Kelp forests

Old Wife (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Old Wife (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Blacklip Abalone (photo: William Boyle)

Blacklip Abalone (photo: William Boyle)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Eastern Rock Lobster (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Eastern Rock Lobster (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Bull Kelp (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Bull Kelp (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Giant Kelp (photo: William Boyle)

Giant Kelp (photo: William Boyle)

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Seaweed forests are made up of a special group of large brown algae called kelps. These large plants attach themselves to solid structures such as rock and extend their blades into the waters reaching towards the sunlight.

These large algae forests create habitat for smaller algae and a wealth of animals that either live attached to the rocks beneath the kelps, on the kelps themselves or in the sheltered waters between individual plants.

In the same way that trees provide shelter and food for many different species, kelp forests are the forests of the sea.

The kelp forest has a dense canopy of blades blocking out light and shading the surface of the rock. This provides an ideal environment for smaller algae and non-moving animals.

Kelp species populating these forests include Giant Kelp (Macrocystis angustifolia) and Bull Kelp (Durvillea potatorum). Animals that make their home in kelp forests are Eastern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardii), Black Lipped Abalone (Haliotis rubra) and Old Wife (Enoplosus armatus) .

Key Threats

  • Fishing or removal of animals and plants
  • Marine pests as the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) or the Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida)which compete for food or space such
  • Anchor damage
  • Oil and chemical pollution
  • Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity
  • Large numbers of over-abundant grazers such as native sea urchins

Where to see kelp forests

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Down to Earth

24 Sep 2016 8:00pm - 17 Dec 2016 8:30pm

Down to Earth is a theatrical production performed at the Werribee Park farm at night. Set in 1862 it combines the history of the farm with interactive comedy and scary elements. Suitable ages 10 and up. Dates available 24 sept, 14, 22 October, 4 November 9 and 17 December.

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Down to Earth

4 Nov 2016 8:30pm - 28 Feb 2017 8:30pm

A highly entertaining theatrical performance that takes you through the restored historic farm at Werribee Park. It's scary, fun and based on the history of the farm.

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Carols by Candlelight

10 Dec 2016 8:00pm-11:00pm

Celebrate Christmas and join in the festivities singing carols and being entertained under the stars at this popular family event.

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11 Dec 2016 9:00am-11:00am

Carpark maintenance. Morning tea provided.