KELP PROPAGATION

M.C. Wright and Associates Ltd. (MCWA), together with North Island College (NIC) and BC Timber Sales (BCTS) are collaborating to research planted kelp beds as a habitat rehabilitation strategy for the forestry sector.

Kelp is a primary producer and keystone species in the oceans, turning solar energy into structure and habitat for aquatic organisms. Kelp is remarkable for its fast growth rate and ability to form large kelp forests or kelp beds along the coast.

SOME OF KELP’S ECOSYSTEM SERVICES:

Oxygenation

Reduce ocean acidification locally

Carbon sequestration

Habitat and spawning substrate

Toxin absorption

Food for aquatic organisms

British Columbia’s coastline has some of the richest kelp biodiversity in the world with around 30 species. This presents an opportunity to research how kelp may be grown purposefully to create marine habitat and/or rehabilitate habitat that has been degraded through anthropogenic activity.
In order to ensure the sustainability of coastal forestry operations, kelp may be used to

Minimize habitat degradation

Contain logging impacted sites

Restore logging impacted sites after they are no longer in use and/or in between uses.

USING KELP AS A RESTORATION TOOL COINCIDES WITH OUR HABITAT BANKING SERVICES AS WELL, CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HABITAT BANKING.

The overall goal of this ongoing research collaboration is to build a toolbox of techniques for using kelp as a habitat rehabilitation/habitat banking tool, and help forestry companies make informed decisions about kelp-based habitat banks by examining what site conditions and kelp cultivation techniques were or were not successful during this project.

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