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Acoustic kelp bed mapping in shallow rocky coasts - case study Helgoland (North Sea)
Kelp beds are named after their habitat structuring organisms which are perennial brown macroalgae of several metres length, living submersed in the light penetrated zone of temperate and polar rocky shores (Fig. 1). Kelps provide substrate, food and protection for hundreds of different marine fishes, invertebrates, or other macroalgal species. A change or loss will have drastic consequences for coastal ecosystems.In recent years worldwide reports of changing kelp beds have been published (Japan: Kirihara et al., 2006, Norway: Moy et al., 2003, France: Cosson, 1999, Australia: Australian Marine Conservation Society www.amcs.org.au/). In Europe, including Helgoland (Gehling & Bartsch, submitted), there is evidence of a biomass decrease and/or change in depth distribution of some species. As the marine protected area off Helgoland is the only rocky area within the southern North Sea, this habitat is extremely important. Spatial information on the extent of the prevailing kelp beds is urgently needed as a baseline from which to judge future changes. This led to the current case study.
- Kirihara, S., Nakamura, T., Kon, N., Fujita, D. & Notoya, M. (2006). Recent fluctuations in distribution and biomass of cold and warm temperate species of Laminarialean algae at Cape Ohma, northern Honshu, Japan. J Applied Phycol., 18, 521-527.
- Moy, F., Aure, J., Dahl, E., Green, N., Johnsen, T.M., Lømsland, E.R., Magnusson, J., Omli, L., Olsgaard, F., Oug, E., Pedersen, A., Rygg, B. & Walday, M.(2003). Landtidsovervåking av miljøkvaliteten i kystområdene av Norge. Årsrapport for 2002, 1-69.
- Cosson, J. (1999). Sur la disparition progressive de Laminaria digitata sur les côtes du Calvados (France). Cryptogamie Algol, 20, 35-42.
- Gehling, C. & Bartsch, I.(submitted). Changes in depth distribution and biomass of sublittoral seaweeds at Helgoland (North Sea) between 1970 and 2005. Submitted to Climate Research.