Tag Archives: Marine Heatwaves

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.