Stability of Sea Urchin Dominated Barren Grounds Following Destructive Grazing of Kelp in St. Margaret’s Bay, Eastern Canada

Laugan Miller

Jim Spickard

Research Methods

4/7/19

 

Stability of Sea Urchin Dominated Barren Grounds Following Destructive Grazing of Kelp in St. Margaret’s Bay, Eastern Canada

 

The regrowth of kelp forest was observed in St. Margaret’s Bay in Nova Scotia Canada. This area had had no macroalgae for several years but was starting to see some regrowth. Within 10 months sea urchins had wiped out the regenerating kelp forests. There was also experimental kelp that was destroyed as well. This report says that in an area, even at the lowest biomass of sea urchins, regeneration of kelp forests seems unlikely. There were two questions looked at in this research. The first question was would the newly regenerating sporophytes become reproductive and re-establish mature forest? The second question was regeneration occurring on a wide scale in St. Margarete’s Bay? The research showed that no new kelp was able to grow because it was all consumed by sea urchins. While I want to look at how predators can affect sea urchin levels resulting in less kelp deforestation I think it is also important to look at if its possible for kelp forests to regrow with any sea urchins around. This research showed that even if there is some regrowth of kelp forests sea urchins are able to wipe them out before they grow big enough. This made me interested in a follow up question to my research question of how long it would take kelp to grow big enough that sea urchin levels wouldn’t have as big of an effect. With this, how hard would it be for humans to manage this.

 

Chapman, A. R. O. “Stability of Sea Urchin Dominated Barren Grounds Following Destructive Grazing of Kelp in St. Margaret’s Bay, Eastern Canada.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00397697.

 

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