Proposed Abstract Title

Collaborative Bull Kelp Restoration Project in northern Salish Sea, BC Canada

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Kelp and Eelgrass

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Bull kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana, has declined widely in recent decades in central Strait of Georgia (northern Salish Sea) mainly due to herbivore grazing and prolonged periods of elevated temperatures (>16C). The Nile Creek Enhancement Society started a project in 2011 to study local ocean conditions at a natural kelp bed (south Denman I.) and at a kelp restoration site (Maude Reef, Hornby I.) where culture techniques are being applied to research and re-establish bull kelp. . A kelp culture grid (30m x 30m) was installed at Maude Reef site. Four years of study on kelp growout and monitoring of the restoration site in comparison with the natural kelp bed have been conducted. Diver observations and data-logged temperature and light intensity measurements at two depths at each site have been recorded. In 2015, with support from Pacific Salmon Foundation, the project was expanded in collaboration with Project Watershed Society by adding a second experimental site in northern Baynes Sound. Additional environmental data from multi-parameter sonde casts have been collected at the study sites. The project was conducted during one of the warmest spring and summer periods ever recorded locally and provided an opportunity to study the effects of temperature stress and herbivore grazing as limitations to bull kelp distribution in an important area of the Salish Sea.Further experimentation with kelp restoration methods will allow further improvement and refinement of restoration techniques, especially in addressing the need for adaptation to warming conditions in the Salish Sea. The identification and propagation of bull kelp plants with tolerance of warm water (>16 C) is a leading approach for future research. Recently we have obtained sori and produced “seed” based on kelp from Sansum Narrows (S. Gulf Islands) to compare growth and survival with kelp originating from sori collected at Campbell River.

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Collaborative Bull Kelp Restoration Project in northern Salish Sea, BC Canada

2016SSEC

Bull kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana, has declined widely in recent decades in central Strait of Georgia (northern Salish Sea) mainly due to herbivore grazing and prolonged periods of elevated temperatures (>16C). The Nile Creek Enhancement Society started a project in 2011 to study local ocean conditions at a natural kelp bed (south Denman I.) and at a kelp restoration site (Maude Reef, Hornby I.) where culture techniques are being applied to research and re-establish bull kelp. . A kelp culture grid (30m x 30m) was installed at Maude Reef site. Four years of study on kelp growout and monitoring of the restoration site in comparison with the natural kelp bed have been conducted. Diver observations and data-logged temperature and light intensity measurements at two depths at each site have been recorded. In 2015, with support from Pacific Salmon Foundation, the project was expanded in collaboration with Project Watershed Society by adding a second experimental site in northern Baynes Sound. Additional environmental data from multi-parameter sonde casts have been collected at the study sites. The project was conducted during one of the warmest spring and summer periods ever recorded locally and provided an opportunity to study the effects of temperature stress and herbivore grazing as limitations to bull kelp distribution in an important area of the Salish Sea.Further experimentation with kelp restoration methods will allow further improvement and refinement of restoration techniques, especially in addressing the need for adaptation to warming conditions in the Salish Sea. The identification and propagation of bull kelp plants with tolerance of warm water (>16 C) is a leading approach for future research. Recently we have obtained sori and produced “seed” based on kelp from Sansum Narrows (S. Gulf Islands) to compare growth and survival with kelp originating from sori collected at Campbell River.