The impact of ocean warming on the kelp distribution in the high latitude region
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Yilan Aolei, Hanyu Li and Shuhan Yu
Kelp is a big brown alga and provides net productivity, significant habitat, and ecosystem functions globally. However, kelp forest is affected by climate change as seawater temperature was increased. This study analyzes the impacts of ocean warming on the distribution of kelp forests in the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. Results show that the kelp population has northward movement or disappearing individuals in the Northern Hemisphere, and the movement of kelps is not significant in the Southern Hemisphere. However, some evidence has shown that kelps are abundant in relatively higher southern latitude with low sea surface temperature. Both abiotic factors and biotic factors drive the kelp distribution change, such as the concentration of nutrients, sea temperature, and benthic organisms. The main driving factor of the kelp distribution change is ocean temperature, which highly affects kelp's reproductive process. Thus, both the Northern and Southern hemispheres' kelp forests tend to move poleward with increased seawater temperature.
Kelp, ocean warming, high latitude region, ocean temperature