We are excited to share our latest publication (Witman & Lamb 2018), "Persistent differences between coastal and offshore kelp forest communities in a warming Gulf of Maine", published in the journal Plos One. The article highlights the unique biomass and diversity of the Cashes Ledge kelp forest 145 km east of the New Hampshire coast. Cashes Ledge is home to the greatest density and biomass of Saccharina latissima kelp at this depth in the Western North Atlantic, and supports a biomass of fish 305 times greater than coastal sites. The shallow kelp forest communities offshore on Cashes Ledge represent an oasis of unusually high kelp and fish abundance in the region that is functionally significant for sustained biological productivity in the Gulf of Maine.
A. view of common macroalgae at the coastal site of Mingo Rock dominated by Agarum kelp and the invasiive Dasysiphonia japonica. B. Saccharina latissima kelp forest on Cashes Ledge. C. View of S. latissima, a foundation species, at Cashes Ledge. D. Patch of Saccharina digitata kelp at Cashes Ledge. E. Photo of a deteriorating assemblage of S. latissima kelp covered with white colonies of the invasive bryozoan Membranipora membranacea during the warm summer of 2012. Fish in the foreground are cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus). Photo credits: A, B and D by Brett Seymour, C and E by Brian Skerry.
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