You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Ecosystems > Marine > Kelp forests

Kelp forests

Old Wife (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Old Wife (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Blacklip Abalone (photo: William Boyle)

Blacklip Abalone (photo: William Boyle)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Eastern Rock Lobster (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Eastern Rock Lobster (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Bull Kelp (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

Bull Kelp (photo: Mark Rodrigue)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Kelp forests

Giant Kelp (photo: William Boyle)

Giant Kelp (photo: William Boyle)

2 years ago from 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

Related links

Hooded Plover and chicks. Photo by Michele Sawyer Click to view the news RSS feed.

Hope for better Hooded Plover season

09 Oct 2014

There is renewed hope for a better Hooded Plover breeding season on the Mornington Peninsula this year with a fresh batch of volunteers enlisted to help Australia’s most threatened beach-nesting bird. Last year was a particularly bad year for these vulnerable birds, with just one chick surviving from 59 nests,…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

1 Nov 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Discover the Prom from 1-3 November 2014

1 Nov 2014 12:30pm - 3 Nov 2014 4:30pm

Get to know Wilsons Promontory National Park with a Ranger on a Discovery walk or activity on Melbourne Cup Long Weekend from 1-3 November 2014. A range of activities are available including Junior Ranger activities for 6-12 year olds, StoryTime activities for pre-school age children and guided walks, presentations and…

Click to view RSS Feed

Little Desert Discovery

3 Nov 2014 8:00am - 6 Nov 2014 5:00pm

Make a big difference at Little Desert! Learn about the endangered Mallefowl recovery program, support wildlife monitoring and encounter a range of native wildlife species held at the Little Desert Sanctuary including Suger Gliders, Bruh-tailed Bettongs and Bush-stone Curlews.

Click to view RSS Feed

Grampians Conservation Explorer

3 Nov 2014 8:30am - 6 Nov 2014 5:30pm

We will take you behind the scenes on this exclusive, small group adventure as you work alongside a Parks Victoria Ranger to 'track and protect' the elusive Brush-tailed Phascogales, which are on Victoria's threatened species list. You will sample some of the region's best wines, see ancient Aboriginal rock art…