Bull Kelp, Nerocystis luetkeana

Bull Kelp, Nerocystis luetkeana

Phylum Ochrophyta, Family Laminariaceae

Habitat: Rocky environments along the coast.  Around BC it generally grows up to 30 ft deep. Its growth is limited by the amount of sunlight penetrating into the water. In California they can grow as large as 118 ft. (So up to a depth of 118 ft). 

Description: Composed of a hold fast and a cylindrical stripe ending in a gas filled bulb (pneumatocyst) from which many plant like blades grow. Generally brown, as they belong to the brown algaes and contain pigments such as fucoxanthin.

Distribution: Southern California to Aleutian Islands.

Fun Fact: Blades can grow 6 inches in a single day. Kelp forests are well known to provide nursery habitat for juvenile fishes, rockfishes, kelp crabs, urchins, and a variety of other organisms.