Macrocystis pyrifera, or giant kelp, forms huge beds along the western coast of North America. Individual kelp plants extend from the rocky reef and sand bottom to the surface, where they grow out and form a canopy. These kelp beds are home to a rich array of life. Kelp offers protection for prey, a hiding place for predators, and a substrate upon which smaller creatures can grow. Macrocystis pyrifera, primarily that growing at San Clemente and Santa Barbara Islands, has been a photographic subject of ours for 14 years.
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. San Clemente Island, California, USA
Species: Giant kelp
, Macrocystis pyrifera
Location: San Clemente Island
Image ID: 02411
Format: Film 3:2
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