I. What is kelp?

II. How does it grow?

III. Who eats kelp?

IV. Living in the kelp forest (clickable diagram)

V. How is kelp affected by El Niño?

VI. Fun with kelp

Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Cam

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University of Southern California Sea Grant Program

Help with Kelp


In addition to providing food for some organisms, kelp is an important habitat for many organisms. Can you guess which organisms might live in a kelp forest?

Let's start from the top to the bottom. The structure of giant kelp (Macrocystis) affects which organisms live where. The blades and stipes of the kelp are handy homes or 'hanging out' places for other small species. A variety of fish live in the whole water column from the top to the bottom and are attracted to sections of the kelp where their favorite meal lives or spends time hanging out.

Click on each section of the plant to see who lives where.
kelp diagram


University of Southern California Sea Grant Program
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