Because of this, there is a large market in collecting and harvesting the kelp from these forests. Both species play important roles in keeping the ecosystem stable and balanced. 1.) Threats to the Kelp Forest. In Alaskan kelp forest ecosystems, sea otters are the keystone species that mediates this trophic cascade. Kelp forests are habitat for many invertebrates that are food for over 20 species of fish; these forests also provide spawning habitat for herring and Atka mackerel as … Preventing Ecosystem Collapse: Alaska’s Kelp Forests . Sea otters are keystone predators that maintain the dense, productive forests of kelp in coastal Alaska. (Photo: Canopic, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Sea otters are a textbook example of a keystone species: the health of the kelp forests they live among depends on these furry seafarers to keep kelp-eating sea urchins in check. Videos :) What are Kelp Forests? Sitemap. Another threat to the ecosystem of the Alaskan Kelp forest other than over harvesting, is the population of sea otters and sea urchins. Over the past few years the media, such as the NY Times, have hyped a coming apocalypse and an existential crisis as ecosystems collapse.Inside Climate News, one of the more egregious fear mongers suggests “Global Warming Could Collapse Whole Ecosystems, Maybe Within 10 YearsGlobal Warming In the eastern Pacific ocean, they occur from Alaska and Canada to the waters of Baja California in the northern hemisphere, and along the southern coast of Chile in the southern hemisphere. In Alaskan kelp reefs, otter populations help to keep sea urchin populations in check. They provide habitat and food for over 700 species of algae, invertebrates, and fish. Without all these factors working in perfect unison, the ecosystem wouldn't survive. Abiotic factors are a major part of the kelp forest and allow it to live. We may not realize it, but each day we im  pact the kelp forest by using it for gun powder and fertilizer, putting its contents in our food, and by fishing in the waters it grows There are giant viewing areas on the ocean floor that lets us view the giant forest. In Southern California, kelp forests persist without sea otters and the control of herbivorous urchins is instead mediated by a suite of predators including lobsters and large fishes, such as the California sheephead . However On July 30 th, 2011 Representative Don Young (R. – Alaska) introduced H.R. Abiotic factors are all the factors in an ecosystem that aren't living. Without these factors the Kelp forest would't be able to exist. 2714, a bill that threatens to reauthorize the sea otter fur trade for segments of the Alaskan sea otter range. In the past half century, threats to kelp forests have increased in number and severity, leading to a global decline of kelp abundances of ~2% per year. In this paper, I locate my visual perception on an ecosystem of the Alaska Kelp Forest, the top 10 most threatened ecosystem (5). Coral reefs and kelp forests in Alaska have been left vulnerable to climate change and sea urchin predation in the absence of the Aleutian sea otter. We impact the kelp forest by fishing and polluting the water. Is grown in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres ... Sea otters like to hang out in the kelp forest, where they find their favorite food and can wrap up in a kelp frond to keep from drifting away at naptime :) 7.) Kelp forests are among the most unique and ecologically diverse ecosystems in coastal temperate oceans and are found globally. This would allow for the hunting of sea otters to be allowed again. 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