Monday, August 13, 2007

Kelp Range

What with concern about deforestation in Siberia and Amazonia (via Mark Thoma) I think of drowning my sorrows in the cool Pacific and viewing some Kelp forests.

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/rjw88/kelp_forest_15_4.jpg[/IMG]

Kelp fixes Carbon fast.

The problem is that Kelp only grows in cool water. It seems that the limiting factor is the extreme vulnerability of kelp gametocytes (very very roughly like pollen for flowering plants) to warm temperatures. Kelp grows in warm water, but it doesn't reproduce.

I think


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Journal Article Printable view
Marine Biology

Effects of ocean temperature on the southern range limits of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea , at multiple life-stages
Journal Marine Biology
Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN 0025-3162 (Print) 1432-1793 (Online)
Issue Volume 151, Number 5 / June, 2007
Category Research Article
DOI 10.1007/s00227-007-0630-3
Pages 1941-1949
Subject Collection Biomedical and Life Sciences
SpringerLink Date Tuesday, February 13, 2007

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Research Article
Effects of ocean temperature on the southern range limits of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea, at multiple life-stages

Paul G. Matsonand Matthew S. Edwards, the authors of this article might have a secret dream that some day kelp forests will be extended by cool kelp nursuries. I bet they also have thought about the economics of kelpthonol. However limited by the restrictions of scientific seriousness their abstract (which I steal in full) only says

Abstract Environmental factors have long been shown to influence species distributions, with range limits often resulting from environmental stressors exceeding organism tolerances. However, these abiotic factors may differentially affect species with multiple life-history stages. Between September 2004 and January 2006, the roles of temperature and nutrient availability in explaining the southern distributions of two understory kelps, Pterygophora californica and Eisenia arborea (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales), were investigated along the coast of California, USA and the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, by limiting either: (a) tissue nitrogen uptake and storage by adult sporophytes during periods of elevated temperature, and/or (b) production of embryonic sporophytes by microscopic gametophytes. Results suggest that while adult sporophytes of both species are tolerant of high temperatures and low nutrients, reproduction by their microscopic stages is not. Specifically, while E. arborea produced embryonic sporophytes at both 12 and 18°C, temperatures commonly observed throughout the southern portion of its range, P. californica produced sporophytes at 12 but not at 18°C. As a result, it appears that the southern distribution of P. californica, which ends in northern Baja California, Mexico, may be limited by temperature acting on its microscopic stages. In contrast, the ability of E. arborea’s microscopic and adult stages to tolerate elevated temperatures allows it to persist in the warmer southern waters of Baja California, as well as to the north along the California coast where both species co-occur.

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