Kelp beds

What is it: 

Beds of the kelp Laminaria hyperborea form as forests and parks in rocky coastal areas, under a variety of wave and tidal conditions. The kelp provides a canopy under which a wide range of animals and other seaweeds thrive. A rich diversity of red seaweeds grow among the kelp and on the kelp stipes, while depending on conditions, sea mats and sea firs may colonise the fronds. The rocks below the kelp are often encrusted with coralline algae or support cushion forming fauna, such as sea anemones, sponges and sea squirts. Small crustaceans and worms live among the kelp holdfasts, while sea urchins and sea snails graze on the seaweeds, and fish find shelter from predators among the fronds.

Links to Scotland's Marine Atlas: 
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