Kelp grows in "underwater forests" (kelp forests) in shallow oceans, and is thought to have appeared in the Miocene, 23 to 5 million years ago. The organisms require nutrient-rich water with temperatures between 6 and 14 °C (43 and 57 °F). They are known for their high growth rate—the genera Macrocystis and Nereocystis can grow as fast as half a metre a day, ultimately reaching 30 to 80 metres (100 to 260 ft).
Through the 19th century, the word "kelp" was closely associated with seaweeds that could be burned to obtain soda ash (primarily sodium carbonate). The seaweeds used included species from both the orders Laminariales and Fucales. The word "kelp" was also used directly to refer to these processed ashes.
In most kelp, the thallus (or body) consists of flat or leaf-like structures known as blades. Blades originate from elongated stem-like structures, the stipes. The holdfast, a root-like structure, anchors the kelp to the substrate of the ocean. Gas-filled bladders (pneumatocysts) form at the base of blades of American species, such as Nereocystis lueteana, (Mert. & Post & Rupr.) to hold the kelp blades close to the surface.
|Seaweed, kelp, raw|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||180 kJ (43 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.3 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Growth occurs at the base of the meristem, where the blades and stipe meet. Growth may be limited by grazing. Sea urchins, for example, can reduce entire areas to urchin barrens. The kelp life cycle involves a diploid sporophyte and haploid gametophyte stage. The haploid phase begins when the mature organism releases many spores, which then germinate to become male or female gametophytes. Sexual reproduction then results in the beginning of the diploid sporophyte stage, which will develop into a mature individual.
The parenchymatous thalli are generally covered with a mucilage layer, rather than cuticle.
Kelp may develop dense forests with high production, biodiversity and ecological function. Along the Norwegian coast these forests cover 5800 km2, and they support large numbers of animals. Numerous sessile animals (sponges, bryozoans and ascidians) are found on kelp stipes and mobile invertebrate fauna are found in high densities on epiphytic algae on the kelp stipes and on kelp holdfasts. More than 100,000 mobile invertebrates per square meter are found on kelp stipes and holdfasts in well-developed kelp forests (Christie et al., 2003). While larger invertebrates and in particular sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (O.F. Müller) are important secondary consumers controlling large barren ground areas on the Norwegian coast, they are scarce inside dense kelp forests.
Giant kelp can be harvested fairly easily because of its surface canopy and growth habit of staying in deeper water.
Kelp ash is rich in iodine and alkali. In great amount, kelp ash can be used in soap and glass production. Until the Leblanc process was commercialized in the early 19th century, burning of kelp in Scotland was one of the principal industrial sources of soda ash (predominantly sodium carbonate). Alginate, a kelp-derived carbohydrate, is used to thicken products such as ice cream, jelly, salad dressing, and toothpaste, as well as an ingredient in exotic dog food and in manufactured goods. Alginate powder is also used frequently in general dentistry and orthodontics for making impressions of the upper and lower arches.
Kombu (昆布 in Japanese, and 海带 in Chinese, Saccharina japonica and others), several Pacific species of kelp, is a very important ingredient in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines. Kombu is used to flavor broths and stews (especially dashi), as a savory garnish (tororo konbu) for rice and other dishes, as a vegetable, and a primary ingredient in popular snacks (such as tsukudani). Transparent sheets of kelp (oboro konbu) are used as an edible decorative wrapping for rice and other foods.
Kombu can be used to soften beans during cooking, and to help convert indigestible sugars and thus reduce flatulence.
In 2010, researchers found that alginate, the soluble fibre substance in sea kelp, was better at preventing fat absorption than most over-the-counter slimming treatments in laboratory trials. As a food additive, it may be used to reduce fat absorption and thus obesity. Kelp in its natural form has not yet been demonstrated to have such effects.
Commercial production of kelp harvested from its natural habitat has taken place in Japan for over a century. Many countries today produce and consume laminaria products; the largest producer is China. Laminaria japonica, the important commercial seaweed, was first introduced into China in the late 1920s from Hokkaido, Japan. Yet mariculture of this alga on a very large commercial scale was realized in China only in the 1950s. Between the 1950s and the 1980s, kelp production in China increased from about 60 to over 250,000 dry weight metric tons annually.
Kelp has a high rate of growth and its decay is quite efficient in yielding methane, as well as sugars that can be converted to ethanol. It has been proposed that large open-ocean kelp farms could serve as a source of renewable energy. Unlike some biofuels such as corn ethanol, kelp energy avoids "food vs fuel" issues and does not require freshwater irrigation.
Some of the earliest evidence for human use of marine resources, coming from Middle Stone Age sites in South Africa, includes the harvesting of foods such as abalones, limpets, and mussels associated with kelp forest habitats.
In 2007, Erlandson et al. suggested that kelp forests around the Pacific Rim may have facilitated the dispersal of anatomically modern humans following a coastal route from Northeast Asia to the Americas. This "kelp highway hypothesis" suggested that highly productive kelp forests supported rich and diverse marine food webs in nearshore waters, including many types of fish, shellfish, birds, marine mammals, and seaweeds that were similar from Japan to California, Erlandson and his colleagues also argued that coastal kelp forests reduced wave energy and provided a linear dispersal corridor entirely at sea level, with few obstacles to maritime peoples. Archaeological evidence from California's Channel Islands confirms that islanders were harvesting kelp forest shellfish and fish, beginning as much as 12,000 years ago.
During the Highland Clearances, many Scottish Highlanders were moved on to areas of estates known as crofts, and went to industries such as fishing and kelping (producing soda ash from the ashes of kelp). At least until the 1840s, when there were steep falls in the price of kelp, landlords wanted to create pools of cheap or virtually free labour, supplied by families subsisting in new crofting townships. Kelp collection and processing was a very profitable way of using this labour, and landlords petitioned successfully for legislation designed to stop emigration. But the economic collapse of the kelp industry in northern Scotland led to further emigration, especially to North America.
In Chinese slang, "kelp" (simplified Chinese: 海带; traditional Chinese: 海帶; pinyin: hǎi dài), is used to describe an unemployed returnee. It has negative overtones, implying the person is drifting aimlessly, and is also a homophonic expression (Chinese: 海待; pinyin: hǎidài, literally "sea waiting"). This expression is contrasted with the employed returnee, having a dynamic ability to travel across the ocean: the "sea turtle" (simplified Chinese: 海龟; traditional Chinese: 海龜; pinyin: hǎi gūi) and is also homophonic with another word (simplified Chinese: 海归; traditional Chinese: 海歸; pinyin: hǎi gūi, literally "sea return").
Overfishing nearshore ecosystems leads to the degradation of kelp forests. Herbivores are released from their usual population regulation, leading to over-grazing of kelp and other algae. This can quickly result in barren landscapes where only a small number of species can thrive. Other major factors which threaten kelp include marine pollution and the quality of water, climate changes and certain invasive species.
Species of Laminaria in the British Isles;
Other species in the Laminariales that may be considered as kelp:
Non-Laminariales species that may be considered as kelp:
Some animals are named after the kelp, either because they inhabit the same habitat as kelp or because they feed on kelp. These include:
The Anthomyiidae are a large and diverse family of Muscoidea flies. Most look rather like small houseflies, but are commonly drab grey. The genus Anthomyia, in contrast, is generally conspicuously patterned in black-and-white or black-and-silvery-grey. Most are difficult to identify, apart from a few groups such as the kelp flies that are conspicuous on beaches.
The name Anthomyiidae was derived from Greek anthos (flower) plus myia (a fly). Some species are commonly called "root-maggots", as the larvae are found in the stems and roots of various plants. As larvae, some also feed on decaying plant material. The well-known grey "seaweed flies" or "kelp flies" (Fucellia) are examples. Others are scavengers in such places as birds' nests; yet other species are leaf miners; the family also includes inquilines, commensals, and parasitic larvae.
Some species in the family are significant agricultural pests, particularly some from the genus Delia, which includes the onion fly (D. antiqua), the wheat bulb fly (D. coarctata), the turnip root fly (D. floralis), the bean seed fly (D. platura), and the cabbage root fly (D. radicum).Aquaculture of giant kelp
Aquaculture of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, is the cultivation of kelp for uses such as food, dietary supplements or potash. Giant kelp contains compounds such as iodine, potassium, other minerals vitamins and carbohydrates.Brown algae
The brown algae (singular: alga), comprising the class Phaeophyceae, are a large group of multicellular algae, including many seaweeds located in colder waters within the Northern Hemisphere. Most brown algae live in marine environments, where they play an important role both as food and as habitat. For instance, Macrocystis, a kelp of the order Laminariales, may reach 60 m (200 ft) in length and forms prominent underwater kelp forests. Kelp forests like these contain a high level of biodiversity. Another example is Sargassum, which creates unique floating mats of seaweed in the tropical waters of the Sargasso Sea that serve as the habitats for many species. Many brown algae, such as members of the order Fucales, commonly grow along rocky seashores. Some members of the class, such as kelps, are used by humans as food.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 species of brown algae are known worldwide. Some species, such as Ascophyllum nodosum, are important in commercial use because they have become subjects of extensive research in their own right. They have environmental significance as well, through carbon fixation.Brown algae belong to the group Heterokontophyta, a large group of eukaryotic organisms distinguished most prominently by having chloroplasts surrounded by four membranes, suggesting an origin from a symbiotic relationship between a basal eukaryote and another eukaryotic organism. Most brown algae contain the pigment fucoxanthin, which is responsible for the distinctive greenish-brown color that gives them their name. Brown algae are unique among heterokonts in developing into multicellular forms with differentiated tissues, but they reproduce by means of flagellated spores and gametes that closely resemble cells of other heterokonts. Genetic studies show their closest relatives to be the yellow-green algae.Carmel Pinnacles State Marine Reserve
Carmel Pinnacles State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area in Carmel Bay including a unique underwater pinnacle formation with adjacent kelp forest, submarine canyon head, and surfgrass. Carmel Bay is adjacent to the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea and is near Monterey, on California’s central coast.Erimo, Hokkaido
Erimo (えりも町, Erimo-chō) is a town located in Hidaka Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.
Erimo is famous for its strong winds, kelp (konbu), and its scenic cape, Cape Erimo (Erimo-misaki). The cape was made famous by Shinichi Mori's enka song Erimo Misaki. It is supposed to be a romantic place to visit. The cape hosts a population of Kurile seals, as well as a museum dedicated to wind (kaze-no-yakata). Winds in Erimo are strong enough that in addition to two windmills on the cape, Erimo Elementary School (built in 2000) is completely powered by electricity generated by its own windmill. This is a popular location in Hokkaido to view the first sunrise of the year, and hundreds of people from all over Japan brave the strong cold wind to watch.
While the main industry is fishing (salmon and squid in particular), Erimo's most famous harvest is kelp which is harvested by most of the native residents during the summer months. The kelp is sold in Japan as Hidaka konbu, and Erimo has a museum in the main part of town dedicated to kelp and fishery.
The Hidaka Mountains come right down to the ocean at Erimo. For that reason, the road north to Hiroo had to be carved out of the rock. The road is known as the Golden Road (黄金道路, Ōgon-dōro), because it cost so much to build. In March 2006, due to steady population decline, Erimo's Elementary and Junior High School along this road were closed, and students began busing into the main Junior High in the center of town.Heterocheila
Heterocheila is a genus of acalyptrate true flies (Diptera). They are placed in their own family, Heterocheilidae, in the superfamily Sciomyzoidea. They are not widely familiar outside entomological circles, but the common name "half-bridge flies" has been associated with them. They are medium-sized flies occurring mainly in temperate regions on seashores of the Northern Hemisphere, where they and their larvae typically feed on stranded kelp in the wrack zone. In this, they resemble kelp flies, which are members of a different family, though the same superfamily.
The family Heterocheilidae was established by McAlpine in 1991. He distinguished it from other families to which Heterocheila had hitherto been referred at various times and by various authorities – Helcomyzidae, Dryomyzidae and Coelopidae.KELP (AM)
KELP (1590 AM) is an American radio station licensed to serve the community of El Paso, Texas, United States. The station broadcasts a Christian radio format to the greater El Paso metropolitan area. The station is currently owned by McClatchey Broadcasting. KELP airs a mix of local and syndicated programming, including several shows from the Moody Bible Institute. The station was known as KINT until May 7, 1979, when it became KKOL. In the early 1980s it switched to the KELP call sign.
According to FCC records, the station went off the air on July 12, 2006, and returned on February 15, 2008. The station received special temporary authority during at least part of the time noted.KVIA-TV
KVIA-TV, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 17), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to El Paso, Texas, United States and also serving Las Cruces, New Mexico. The station is owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company. KVIA-TV's studios are located on Rio Bravo Street in northwest El Paso, and its transmitter is located atop the Franklin Mountains on the El Paso city limits.Kelp forest
Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Smaller areas of anchored kelp are called kelp beds.
Kelp forests occur worldwide throughout temperate and polar coastal oceans. In 2007, kelp forests were also discovered in tropical waters near Ecuador.Physically formed by brown macroalgae, kelp forests provide a unique, three-dimensional habitat for marine organisms and are a source for understanding many ecological processes. Over the last century, they have been the focus of extensive research, particularly in trophic ecology, and continue to provoke important ideas that are relevant beyond this unique ecosystem. For example, kelp forests can influence coastal oceanographic patterns and provide many ecosystem services.However, the influence of humans has often contributed to kelp forest degradation. Of particular concern are the effects of overfishing nearshore ecosystems, which can release herbivores from their normal population regulation and result in the overgrazing of kelp and other algae. This can rapidly result in transitions to barren landscapes where relatively few species persist. The implementation of marine protected areas is one management strategy useful for addressing such issues, since it may limit the impacts of fishing and buffer the ecosystem from additive effects of other environmental stressors.Kelp gull
The kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), also known as the Dominican gull, is a gull which breeds on coasts and islands through much of the southern hemisphere. The nominate L. d. dominicanus is the subspecies found around South America, parts of Australia (where it overlaps with the Pacific gull), and New Zealand (where it is known as the southern black-backed gull, simply the black-backed gull, or by its Māori name karoro). L. d. vetula (known as the Cape gull) is a subspecies occurring around southern Africa.
The specific name comes from the Dominican Order of friars, who wear black and white habits.Kelp noodles
Kelp noodles, are half-transparent noodles made from the jelly-like extract left after steaming edible kelp. They are made without the addition of grain flour or starch. Kelp Noodles have a chewy texture and are low in calories. They can be eaten raw, but for added taste, some prefer to cook them in water with spices added for flavoring.
Kelp features in the diets of many civilizations, including Chinese, Greek, and Iceland, however, the largest consumers of kelp are the Japanese, who have incorporated kelp and seaweed into their diets for over 1,500 years.Keystone species
A keystone species is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its natural environment relative to its abundance. Such species are described as playing a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community, affecting many other organisms in an ecosystem and helping to determine the types and numbers of various other species in the community. A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. Some keystone species, such as the wolf, are also apex predators.
The role that a keystone species plays in its ecosystem is analogous to the role of a keystone in an arch. While the keystone is under the least pressure of any of the stones in an arch, the arch still collapses without it. Similarly, an ecosystem may experience a dramatic shift if a keystone species is removed, even though that species was a small part of the ecosystem by measures of biomass or productivity.
It became a popular concept in conservation biology, alongside flagship and umbrella species. Although the concept is valued as a descriptor for particularly strong inter-species interactions, and it has allowed easier communication between ecologists and conservation policy-makers, it has been criticized for oversimplifying complex ecological systems.Macrocystis pyrifera
Macrocystis pyrifera, commonly known as giant kelp or giant bladder kelp, is a species of kelp (large brown algae), and one of four species in the genus Macrocystis. Giant kelp is common along the coast of the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Baja California north to southeast Alaska, and is also found in the southern oceans near South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Individual algae may grow to more than 45 metres (150 feet) long at a rate of as much as 60 cm (2 ft) per day. Giant kelp grows in dense stands known as kelp forests, which are home to many marine animals that depend on the algae for food or shelter. The primary commercial product obtained from giant kelp is alginate, but humans also harvest this species on a limited basis for use directly as food, as it is rich in iodine, potassium, and other minerals. It can be used in cooking in many of the ways other sea vegetables are used, and particularly serves to add flavor to bean dishes.Marine habitats
Marine habitats are habitats that support marine life. Marine life depends in some way on the saltwater that is in the sea (the term marine comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean). A habitat is an ecological or environmental area inhabited by one or more living species. The marine environment supports many kinds of these habitats.
Marine habitats can be divided into coastal and open ocean habitats. Coastal habitats are found in the area that extends from as far as the tide comes in on the shoreline out to the edge of the continental shelf. Most marine life is found in coastal habitats, even though the shelf area occupies only seven percent of the total ocean area. Open ocean habitats are found in the deep ocean beyond the edge of the continental shelf.
Alternatively, marine habitats can be divided into pelagic and demersal zones. Pelagic habitats are found near the surface or in the open water column, away from the bottom of the ocean. Demersal habitats are near or on the bottom of the ocean. An organism living in a pelagic habitat is said to be a pelagic organism, as in pelagic fish. Similarly, an organism living in a demersal habitat is said to be a demersal organism, as in demersal fish. Pelagic habitats are intrinsically shifting and ephemeral, depending on what ocean currents are doing.
Marine habitats can be modified by their inhabitants. Some marine organisms, like corals, kelp, mangroves and seagrasses, are ecosystem engineers which reshape the marine environment to the point where they create further habitat for other organisms. By volume, oceans provide about 99 percent of the living space on the planet.Nereocystis
Nereocystis (Greek for "mermaid's bladder") is a monotypic genus of kelp containing the species Nereocystis luetkeana. Some common names include edible kelp, bull kelp, bullwhip kelp, ribbon kelp, bladder wrack, and variations of these names. It forms thick beds on rocks, and is an important part of kelp forests. It can grow to a maximum of 36 m (118 ft). Nereocystis has a holdfast of about 40 cm (16 in), and a single stipe, topped with a pneumatocyst containing carbon monoxide, from which sprout the numerous (about 30-64) blades. The blades may be up to 4 m (13 ft) long, and up to 15 cm (5.9 in) wide. It is usually annual, sometimes persisting up to 18 months. Nereocystis is the only kelp which will drop spore patches, so that the right concentration of spores lands near the parent's holdfast. It is common along the Pacific Coast of North America, from Southern California to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
The thallus of this common canopy-forming kelp has a richly branched holdfast (haptera) and a cylindrical stipe 10–36 m (33–118 ft) long, terminating in a single, gas-filled pneumatocyst from which the many blades, up to 10 m (33 ft) long, develop. Blade growth can reach 15 cm (5.9 in) per day. Reproductive patches (sori) develop on the blades and drop to the seafloor at maturity.
This annual kelp grows on rock from the low intertidal to subtidal zones; it prefers semi-exposed habitats or high-current areas. Offshore beds can persist for one to many years, usually in deeper water than Eualaria or Macrocystis, where they co-occur.
The species Nereocystis luetkeana was named after Fyodor Petrovich Litke (also spelled Lütke) by Mertens (first as Fucus luetkeanus) and then described by Postels and Ruprecht.Seaweed
Seaweed or macroalgae refers to several species of macroscopic, multicellular, marine algae. The term includes some types of red, brown, and green macroalgae. Marine algae species such as kelps provide essential nursery habitat for fisheries and other marine species and thus protect food sources; ocean algae species from seaweeds to planktons play a vital role in carbon capture, producing up to 90 percent of the planet's oxygen. Understanding these roles provides guiding principles for conservation and sustainable use of seaweeds to take precedence over industrial exploitation. Mechanical dredging of kelp, for instance, destroys the resource and dependent fisheries. Certain species of seaweed are valuable for nutrition, biomedicine, bioremediation, and other uses.Stipe (botany)
In botany, a stipe is a stalk that supports some other structure. The precise meaning is different depending on which taxonomic group is being described.
In the case of ferns, the stipe is only the petiole from the rootstock to the beginning of the leaf tissue, or lamina. The continuation of the structure within the lamina is then termed a rachis.
In flowering plants, the term is often used in reference to a stalk that sometimes supports a flower's ovary. In orchids, the stipe or caudicle is the stalk-like support of the pollinia. It is a non-viscid band or strap connecting the pollinia with the viscidium (the viscid part of the rostellum or beak).
A stipe is also a structure found in organisms that are studied by botanists but that are no longer classified as plants. It may be the stem-like part of the thallus of a mushroom or a seaweed, and is particularly common among brown algae such as kelp. The stipe of a kelp often contains a central region of cells that, like the phloem of vascular plants, serves to transport nutrients within the alga.Thallus
Thallus (plural: thalli), from Latinized Greek θαλλός (thallos), meaning "a green shoot" or "twig", is the undifferentiated vegetative tissue of some organisms in diverse groups such as algae, fungi, some liverworts, lichens, and the Myxogastria. Many of these organisms were previously known as the thallophytes, a polyphyletic group of distantly related organisms. An organism or structure resembling a thallus is called thalloid, thallodal, thalliform, thalline, or thallose.
A thallus usually names the entire body of a multicellular non-moving organism in which there is no organization of the tissues into organs. Even though thalli do not have organized and distinct parts (leaves, roots, and stems) as do the vascular plants, they may have analogous structures that resemble their vascular "equivalents". The analogous structures have similar function or macroscopic structure, but different microscopic structure; for example, no thallus has vascular tissue. In exceptional cases such as the Lemnoideae, where the structure of a vascular plant is in fact thallus-like, it is referred to as having a thalloid structure, or sometimes as a thalloid.
Although a thallus is largely undifferentiated in terms of its anatomy, there can be visible differences and functional differences. A kelp, for example, may have its thallus divided into three regions. The parts of a kelp thallus include the holdfast (anchor), stipe (supports the blades) and the blades (for photosynthesis).
The thallus of a fungus is usually called a mycelium. The term thallus is also commonly used to refer to the vegetative body of a lichen. In seaweed, thallus is sometimes also called 'frond'.
The gametophyte of some non-thallophyte plants – clubmosses, horsetails, and ferns is termed "prothallus".The Nutty Professor
The Nutty Professor is a 1963 American comic science fiction film directed, co-written (with Bill Richmond) and starring Jerry Lewis. The score was composed by Walter Scharf. The film is a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Nutty Professor has been described as perhaps the finest and most memorable film of Lewis's career.In 2004, The Nutty Professor was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
A remake was released in 1996, starring Eddie Murphy and Jada Pinkett-Smith was released and directed by Tom Shadyac.