“Floating Forests”: Sentinels of Biodiversity (in French)

“The Amazon without trees would not be the Amazon. California without its kelp forests is no longer California.”

Tom Ford, director of the Bay Foundation in Los Angeles, is not alone in spinning the Amazonian metaphor at the mention of giant kelp forests. All specialists of this wonderful brown alga dare to compare with the lungs of the planet: same biodiversity, same vertical ecosystem, same ecological importance … and same questions as to its future.

For like the other 110 varieties of kelp, or laminaria, listed around the world, “the giant kelp is under pressure,” says Thomas Wernberg, a professor at the University of Western Australia. Co-author of a global study on all the varieties of these algae, published with 36 other researchers in November 2016 in the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), he states that “38% of the studied regions knew a decline of the kelp over the last fifty years. …