Photo of Macrocystis Kelp Fronds

By December 12, 2007July 15th, 2021California, San Clemente Island, Underwater Photography

These kelp fronds are at the tip of a stalk of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) which is anchored to the ocean bottom and grows up toward the ocean surface. New growth such as this occurs at the tip of the stalk. Gas filled pneumatocysts provide bouyancy to the kelp plant, lifting it off the bottom and into the water column where it provides a home to many sea creatures. A veritable undersea forest.

Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts (air bladders), Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island

Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts (air bladders).
Image ID: 03410
Species: Giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera
Location: San Clemente Island, California, USA

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!