Giant Kelp Forests


Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is the foundation species of giant kelp marine forests of the south-east Australia ecological community. These brown algae grow in cold water on rocky reeds below 8m depths with vertical fronds growing towards the water surface. They are the largest and fastest growing marine plant species. These forests provide shelter and food to a large range of marine algae, reef fish and invertebrates.

Major threats

  • Climate change
  • Extension of east Australian current
  • Warm, nutrient poor water

Key actions

  • Protection and conservation of remaining marine forests

Photo: Daniel Ierodiaconou, Deakin University