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Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A kelp forest, with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds.  Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A SCUBA diver swims through a giant kelp forest which is tilted back by strong ocean currents.   Giant kelp, the fastest plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Bryozoan grows on a red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Surf grass on the rocky reef -- appearing blurred in this time exposure -- is tossed back and forth by powerful ocean waves passing by above.  San Clemente Island, Phyllospadix Red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, Santa Barbara Island Blue shark and  offshore drift kelp, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Blue shark underneath drift kelp, open ocean, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Kelp fronds and pneumatocysts.  Pneumatocysts, gas-filled bladders, float the kelp plant off the ocean bottom toward the surface and sunlight, where the leaf-like blades and stipes of the kelp plant grow fastest.  Giant kelp can grow up to 2' in a single day given optimal conditions.  Epic submarine forests of kelp grow throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island The Kelp Forest offshore of La Jolla, California. A kelp forest. Giant kelp grows rapidly, up to 2' per day, from the rocky reef on the ocean bottom to which it is anchored, toward the ocean surface where it spreads to form a thick canopy. Myriad species of fishes, mammals and invertebrates form a rich community in the kelp forest. Lush forests of kelp are found throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera Giant kelp frond showing pneumatocysts. Small gas bladders -- pneumatocysts -- connect the kelp's stipes ("stems") to its blades ("leaves"). These bladders help elevate the kelp plant from the bottom, towards sunlight and the water's surface, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Giant kelp frond showing pneumatocysts. Small gas bladders -- pneumatocysts -- connect the kelp's stipes ("stems") to its blades ("leaves"). These bladders help elevate the kelp plant from the bottom, towards sunlight and the water's surface, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Garibaldi and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Hypsypops rubicundus, Muricea californica Garibaldi and red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Hypsypops rubicundus,  Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef below kelp forest, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Muricea californica Blacksmith Chromis and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Chromis punctipinnis, Muricea californica Drift kelp, a kelp paddy, floating patch of kelp on the open ocean which attracts marine life and forms of moving oasis of life, an open ocean habitat, aerial photo, Macrocystis pyrifera California bat ray in kelp forest, Myliobatis californica, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Blue shark and offshore drift kelp, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Blue shark and offshore drift kelp, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Blue shark underneath offshore drift kelp, open ocean, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Giant kelp, blades, stipes and pneumatocysts, backlit by the sun in shallow water, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A leopard shark, swimming through the shallows waters of a California reef, underwater, Cystoseira osmundacea marine algae growing on rocky reef, Triakis semifasciata, Cystoseira osmundacea, San Clemente Island Marine iguana, underwater, forages for green algae that grows on the lava reef, Amblyrhynchus cristatus, Bartolome Island Boat Horizon above kelp forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Garibaldi swimming through southern sea palm, San Clemente Island, Hypsypops rubicundus, Eisenia arborea Garibaldi and Asparagopsis taxiformis (red marine algae), San Clemente Island, Hypsypops rubicundus, Asparagopsis taxiformis California golden gorgonian, Garibaldi and Sheephead wrasse fishes on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Semicossyphus pulcher, Hypsypops rubicundus, Muricea californica, San Clemente Island Stephanocystis dioica (yellow) and surfgrass (green), shallow water, San Clemente Island, Phyllospadix, Stephanocystis dioica The Kelp Forest offshore of La Jolla, California. A kelp forest. Giant kelp grows rapidly, up to 2' per day, from the rocky reef on the ocean bottom to which it is anchored, toward the ocean surface where it spreads to form a thick canopy. Myriad species of fishes, mammals and invertebrates form a rich community in the kelp forest. Lush forests of kelp are found throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera   more ...

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Updated: October 18, 2017