The aim of this study was to determine whether the introduced seaweed Undaria pinnatifida is preventing re-establishment of String Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) in the Mercury Passage.
Site Selection Criteria:
Sites were selected in urchin barrens that anecdotally had Macrocystis beds twenty or more years ago but now support healthy stands of Undaria.
Cause Of Decline:
Concern has been raised over the state of Macrocystis pyrifera forests in Tasmania due to the perceived loss of the alga around the Tasmanian coastline. The alga is thought to be highly productive and provides food and shelter for a wide range of animals and plants. Possible reasons for the decline include overharvesting, overfishing of lobsters (leading to increases in urchins), increased boat traffic, sediment disturbance, invasive species, warming waters and El Niño.
Restoration of string kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) habitats on Tasmania's east and south coasts. Final Report to Natural Heritage Trust for Seacare. Technical Report. Tasmania, Australia.