Nearshore & Estuary Projects

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  5. Kelp Thermotolerance & Biobanking

The Pacific Salmon Foundation is collaborating with Dr Sherryl Bisgrove's team, including Dr Liam Coleman and Silven Read, at Simon Fraser University. They are focusing on marine habitats in the Salish Sea, including kelp forests and eelgrass beds. These seaweed and plant ecosystems are occupied by different life stages of salmon and other species. Kelp forests are of particular concern as they have already lost about 80% of historic local populations, likely influenced by warming sea trends. To mitigate further losses, two of their main topics of study are biobanking and thermal tolerance. Biobanking involves the long-term storage of kelp spores, seeds, or other organic material that can be used later for many purposes, such as restoring populations or contributing to ongoing research. Thermal tolerance studies inform us on how kelp react to rising ocean temperatures, as this may damage kelp's ability to thrive. It is their hope that this research will help save local kelp forests, improve salmon recovery, and inform future restoration programs.

Here is a link to an article that goes into more detail on our projects: https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/IS/seed-bank-sea

To contact the SFU team, please email Dr Liam Coleman at liam_coleman@sfu.ca.

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