Strange forests lurk beneath the waves of sunny California. These underwater forests have no trees, however. Their canopy is provided by enormous seaweed: kelp.
Kelp forests are dominated by two species of the seaweed: giant kelp and bull kelp. Giant kelp and bull kelp share many features: holdfasts, stipes, pneumatocysts, and blades.
Read the information in the photo gallery to learn more about these unusual features, and answer the following questions.
What is a stipe?
What is a pneumatocyst?
What is a blade?
What is a holdfast?
What is a thallus?
What are the differences between giant kelp and bull kelp?
What species of kelp is more likely to wash up on the beaches of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada? On the beaches of San Diego, California?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry blade Noun
large, flat, leaf-like structure on some seaweeds.
capable of floating.
canopy noun, verb
the top layer of a forest formed by the thick leaves of very tall trees.
bent into rigid folds.
steady, predictable flow of fluid within a larger body of that fluid.
Encyclopedic Entry: current El Nino Noun
irregular, recurring weather system that features a warm, eastern-flowing ocean current in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Encyclopedic Entry: El Niño holdfast Noun
root-like structure that attaches the kelp thallus (body) to the rocky substrate.
native to or characteristic of a specific place.
type of seaweed.
substance an organism needs for energy, growth, and life.
Encyclopedic Entry: nutrient photosynthesis Noun
process by which plants turn water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide into water, oxygen, and simple sugars.
air-filled sac that makes kelp buoyant.
marine algae. Seaweed can be composed of brown, green, or red algae, as well as "blue-green algae," which is actually bacteria.
stem-like stalk that supports vegetative structures such as a mushroom cap.
severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.
base of hard material on which a non-moving organism grows. Also called substratum.
body of some plants and plant-like organisms, not differentiated into roots, stems, or leaves.
rise and fall of the ocean's waters, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.
Encyclopedic Entry: tide