Biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Book chapter Year: 2023

Extra Information

Smale, D., Thomsen, M., S. Bennett, C. M. Duarte, A. Eger, K. Filbee-Dexter, B. Flack, H. Gundersen, K. Hancke, C. D. Hepburn, A.-M. Jackson, N. King, C. Lavoie, P. Moore, K. M. Norderhaug, K. Schoenrock, A. J. Smit, J. A. Vásquez, A. Watanabe, T. Wernberg, H. Rodrigues, J.L. Pérez-Lloréns. 2023. Chapter 3. Biodiversity and ecosystem services. Pp 45-70, In:  United Nations Environment Programme. Into the Blue: Securing a Sustainable Future for Kelp Forests. Nairobi.


> Kelp forests are sites of increased biodiversity. Kelp extend into the water column and create three-dimensional structures that numerous species use for shelter and food.
> Marine communities that live under the shaded canopy of kelp blades can be highly diverse, with hundreds of species on a single kelp. At the wider seascape scale, kelp canopies also offer shelter and foraging areas for marine wildlife such as seals, sea otters, octopus, sea birds, sharks and large predatory fish.
> Kelp forests also provide numerous benefits to coastal communities, through direct harvesting or farming, fisheries provision (food security), carbon storage and nutrient filtration.
> Humans have a long history and close relationship with kelp forests. These ecosystems provide a wide range of cultural benefits for people living on or near the coast around the world.
> Much of the data on these services come from a few well-studied regions, but every forest can function differently, and it is critical to have specific knowledge on ecosystem services for different systems.