Studying Marine Ecology Affiliated UWA Appointed 2019
Celina’s PhD project will assess the adaptive capacity of kelp forests in a changing climate. Kelp forests are among the most productive ecosystems in the world while providing numerous ecosystem services. Yet, these valuable habitats are declining due to climate change and other anthropogenic influences. As a result, we can see a decrease in kelp performance and eventually an ecosystem collapse leading to a shift from kelp forests to communities dominated by turf algae. However, different kelp populations show varying responses to climatic stress. Identifying these differences will be crucial in predicting possible future scenarios and improving restoration efforts. The aim of this project is therefore to identify thresholds and feedback mechanisms resulting in the loss of kelp forests, and to provide novel solutions to promote kelp forest restoration and resilience.