Sunset over the ocean. Photo credit: Hakai Institute



Kelps are integral components of nearshore benthic communities in temperate regions, providing complex biogenic habitat that support biodiversity, and ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling. The health and distribution of kelps are threatened by anthropogenic (e.g., pollution), environmental (e.g., temperature), and biological (e.g., overgrazing by sea urchins) stressors across their range. Variation in the intensity of these factors can result in a wide array of interactions with kelp and ecological impacts.

Understanding, protecting and restoring kelp ecosystems requires collaboration and a common framework. The Kelp Node aims to build a roadmap for expanding kelp ecosystem planning and conservation in the Pacific Northwest, through working groups that are organized to address specific actions linking data standards, methodologies and participative science to policy and management for kelp ecosystems.