Kelp Forest

Habitat: Kelp Forest

Description: Kelp forests are an important habitat for a range of marine species and they play an important role in the sequestration of atmospheric carbon. Drastic losses of kelp forest habitat have already occurred in the southern part of the OSPAR Maritime Area with significant declines at several locations elsewhere. Kelp forests grow in coastal waters and are made up of several different species of kelp, some of which have shown a drastic decline and are known to be affected by destructive fishing practices and coastal pollution. Climate change is foreseen to add to the multiple pressures already impacting kelp forests.

OSPAR Regions where it occurs: I, II, III, IV, V

OSPAR Regions where under threat and/or in decline: II, III, IV

Briefing note

Image Credit: L. Hyperborea ©S Black, Scottish Natural Heritage