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Biophysical interactions in a near-shore kelp ecosystem: Observations and implications for monitoring and design of Marine Protected Areas

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Funding Year: 2009

Research Years: Oceans

Regions: North America

Accurate assessment of marine protected areas (MPA) is critical to conservation efforts especially as the U.S. moves to a national network of these areas. To make these assessments, scientists will need a better understanding of how biophysical processes operate at small scales in these areas. By establishing a kelp forest observatory in the MPA adjacent to Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, the EVP team will be able to monitor small-scale physical, chemical and biological processes that affect near-shore fish assemblages within the marine protected area.

The observatory includes assessments of hypoxic (inadequate oxygen levels) events and carbon/pH cycling in kelp forest environments. These findings and results will help us quantify the effects of oceanic carbon increases in coastal environments where diurnal fluctuations can be significantly greater than overall predicted changes due to climate change in 100-year forecasts.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Steve Monismith, Obayashi Professor in the School of Engineering

Mark Denny, John B. and Jean De Nault Professor of Marine Sciences and Director, Hopkins Marine Station

Fio Micheli, David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

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