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Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century.

Title: Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century.
Name(s): Krumhansl, Kira A, author
Okamoto, Daniel K, author
Rassweiler, Andrew, author
Novak, Mark, author
Bolton, John J, author
Cavanaugh, Kyle C, author
Connell, Sean D, author
Johnson, Craig R, author
Konar, Brenda, author
Ling, Scott D, author
Micheli, Fiorenza, author
Norderhaug, Kjell M, author
Pérez-Matus, Alejandro, author
Sousa-Pinto, Isabel, author
Reed, Daniel C, author
Salomon, Anne K, author
Shears, Nick T, author
Wernberg, Thomas, author
Anderson, Robert J, author
Barrett, Nevell S, author
Buschmann, Alejandro H, author
Carr, Mark H, author
Caselle, Jennifer E, author
Derrien-Courtel, Sandrine, author
Edgar, Graham J, author
Edwards, Matt, author
Estes, James A, author
Goodwin, Claire, author
Kenner, Michael C, author
Kushner, David J, author
Moy, Frithjof E, author
Nunn, Julia, author
Steneck, Robert S, author
Vásquez, Julio, author
Watson, Jane, author
Witman, Jon D, author
Byrnes, Jarrett E K, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-11-29
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Kelp forests (Order Laminariales) form key biogenic habitats in coastal regions of temperate and Arctic seas worldwide, providing ecosystem services valued in the range of billions of dollars annually. Although local evidence suggests that kelp forests are increasingly threatened by a variety of stressors, no comprehensive global analysis of change in kelp abundances currently exists. Here, we build and analyze a global database of kelp time series spanning the past half-century to assess regional and global trends in kelp abundances. We detected a high degree of geographic variation in trends, with regional variability in the direction and magnitude of change far exceeding a small global average decline (instantaneous rate of change = -0.018 y). Our analysis identified declines in 38% of ecoregions for which there are data (-0.015 to -0.18 y), increases in 27% of ecoregions (0.015 to 0.11 y), and no detectable change in 35% of ecoregions. These spatially variable trajectories reflected regional differences in the drivers of change, uncertainty in some regions owing to poor spatial and temporal data coverage, and the dynamic nature of kelp populations. We conclude that although global drivers could be affecting kelp forests at multiple scales, local stressors and regional variation in the effects of these drivers dominate kelp dynamics, in contrast to many other marine and terrestrial foundation species.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_27849580 (IID), 10.1073/pnas.1606102113 (DOI), PMC5137772 (PMCID), 27849580 (RID), 27849580 (EID), 1606102113 (PII)
Keywords: Laminariales, Climate change, Coastal ecosystems, Global change, Kelp forest
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Arctic Regions
Climate Change
Kelp/growth & development
Oceans and Seas
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Issue: iss. 48, vol. 113

Choose the citation style.
Krumhansl, K. A., Okamoto, D. K., Rassweiler, A., Novak, M., Bolton, J. J., Cavanaugh, K. C., … Byrnes, J. E. K. (2016). Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America. Retrieved from