Dictionary > Kelp

Kelp

Definition
noun, plural: kelps
A brown seaweed of the order Laminariales
Supplement
The kelp is a brown seaweed belonging to the order Laminariales. It is a member of the brown algae. Brown algae are algal species characterized by their brown or greenish brown color. The color is due to fucoxanthin and other brown pigments present within their cells in addition to chlorophyll (green pigment). The kelps are one of the macroscopic brown algae. They are large seaweeds found in shallow oceans. A number of kelp species in a habitat creates the so-called kelp forest. The kelp forest serves as a natural sanctuary for various plankton communities.
The kelp has a thallus (body) that bears flat or leaf-like structures (blades). The root-like structure (holdfast) helps to anchor the kelp to the ocean substrate. Pneumatocysts are also present. They are found at the base of the blades.
Kelps reproduce through alternation of generations. The kelp forms spores, which are released into the water. When the environmental conditions are favourable, the spores grow as male or female gametophytes. The male gametophyte produces and releases sperm that will fertilize the ovum from a female gametophyte. The union of these gametes will give rise to a sporophyte that produces spores when mature.
Examples of kelps are those from the genera Macrocystis and Nereocystis.
Scientific classification:

  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Superphylum: Heterokonta
  • Class: Phaeophyceae
  • Order: Laminariales (Migula, 1909)

See also:

  • algae
  • brown algae

Related term(s):


You will also like...

Ecosystem Succession
Ecosystem Succession

If the balance of nature is left untouched, landscapes can change dramatically over time. A previous ecosystem is supers..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

The process of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

Neurology of Illusions
Neurology of Illusions

Illusions are the perceptions and sensory data obtained from situations in which human error prevents us from seeing the..

Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes
Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes

Learn about the general structure of a eukaryotic gene, the transcription factors, and post-transcriptional regulation....

Plant Water Regulation
Plant Water Regulation

Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

Related Articles...

See all Related Topics