Tag Archives: Kelp

Resilient kelp could aid restoration efforts, scientists find

February 16, 2024 | Vancouver is Awesome via UVic News 

As the presence of floating kelp forests in marine ecosystems declines in some areas, others are remaining strong. In a recent paper, researchers at the University of Victoria investigated the conditions surrounding the resilient kelp to aid their understanding in how to recover lost kelp habitats.

Maycira Costa, the lead scientist on the research paper, explained that kelp beds are struggling to survive around the Gulf islands, and disappearing in California. However, off the coast of Victoria, Esquimalt, and Sooke, they are resilient.

Dr. Costa also explained that kelp are more likely to survive heat waves when situated in areas exposed to open ocean, wind and currents that cool the temperature of the water. However, these conditions do not necessarily ensure the kelps survival, as in the Johnstone Strait, the kelp is not doing well, regardless of the water temperatures.

Dr. Maycira Costa is the lead researcher at the SPECTRAL lab, an interdisciplinary research lab which investigates on the interaction of organic and inorganic material in water with light energy. Dr. Costa is also a professor in the geography department at UVic. Her areas of expertise include biogeophysical processes, coastal oceanography, remote sensing, and wetlands.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Maycira Costa’s research with remote sensing, you can check out her publications on UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace!

Study finds rays of hope for kelp in Salish Sea

February 26, 2024 | Vancouver Sun via UVic News

While rising ocean temperatures are proving difficult for marine life in the Salish Sea, a University of Victoria study has found that certain pockets of bull kelp are remaining resilient. The study looked into the reason why kelp in certain areas, like in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, have a greater chance of bouncing back over kelp in areas that are located closer to sheltered coasts. As kelp beds provide food and shelter for a diverse range of marine wildlife, finding out why certain kelp beds are resilient may be a key point in informing future conservation efforts.

In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Alejandra Mora-Soto, lead researcher of UVic’s Spectral Lab, explained a possible reason as to why certain kelp beds are surviving the rising temperatures. “The summer winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca increase water motion,” said Dr. Mora-Soto. “An effect that favours canopy growth and the health of the kelp in general.”

Dr. Alejandra Mora-Soto is a postdoctoral fellow at UVic’s Spectral Lab. A lab that utilizes remote sensing technology to examine organic and inorganic materials in the ocean environment. Dr. Mora-Soto’s current work dives into the resilience of the kelp forests on British Columbia coasts.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Mora-Soto’s work, we encourage you to check out her author page on UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace! Or, if you would like to find out more about how heatwaves are effecting marine wildlife try searching “marine heatwaves” in UvicSpace.