This study examined sites post disturbance and conducted field manipulations to investigate factors driving temporal variability in the southern limit of Macrocystis pyrifera.
Site Selection Criteria:
Sites were selected 500 m apart that were located 1–3 km south of the then southern limit of M. pyrifera.
Cause Of Decline:
The giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, forms dense forests on shallow rocky reefs along the west coast of North America, from central Baja California, Mexico, to central California, USA. Over the past two decades, several El Niños of varying strength have impacted the eastern Pacific Ocean and resulted in widespread mortality in M. pyrifera along the west coast of North America and increased variability in the location of the species’ southern range limit along the Baja California peninsula. Although these populations have generally recovered within 1–2 years after the El Niños ended, longer term changes near the species’ southern range limit may also have resulted from competitive interactions with subsurface kelps and turf algae that were able to survive the El Niños.
Delayed recovery of giant kelp near its southern range limit in the North Pacific following El Niño
Marine Biology, Vol. 147.https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-004-1548-7