Questions for ‘Restoring giant underwater forests, one blade at a time’  

A photo of a seaweed forest as seen underneath the water looking up into the seaweed fronds at the water's surface. Sunlight bursts through the water and the top of the seawed fronds in the middle of the image.

Giant kelp form large forests in coastal waters. Like trees, these algae can pull carbon out of the environment. As such, they make promising climate-change warriors.

Douglas Klug/Moment/Getty Images Plus

To accompany: ‘Restoring giant underwater forests, one blade at a time  


Before Reading:

  1. Organisms that use photosynthesis to produce food form the basis of food webs. On land, plants are one of the most visible groups of such producers. What are some types of organisms that perform photosynthesis in the ocean?
  2. List at least three ways that climate change is affecting the world’s oceans. (If you can’t come up with three, try an internet search.)

During Reading:

  1. In what way do giant-kelp forests resemble forests on land? What ecological role do kelp forests play?
  2. Why are giant kelp important to Māori, the Indigenous people of New Zealand?
  3. Where did the Love Rimurimu project get its name?
  4. What properties allow giant kelp to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide?
  5. What are three current threats to the survival of giant kelp?
  6. Why does the Love Rimurimu team intentionally stress kelp? Why is this an important step in being able to restore kelp forests?
  7. List at least three ocean factors described in the story that can affect how well new kelp plantings fare.
  8. Based on Christopher Cornwall’s studies, how do kelp appear to respond to marine heat waves? What is one way he hopes to use this information to help restore kelp forests?
  9. In addition to science, what does Zoe Studd say is key to a successful restoration project?
  10. What role does Lee Rauhina-August play on the Love Rimurimu team? Give two examples of types of input she might provide.

After Reading:

  1. Why do you think Love Rimurimu included school and educational programs as part of it kelp-restoration project? If you had the chance to take part in this program, which activities would you like to try, and why?
  2. Love Rimurimu has been focusing on kelp restoration. “We usually look at the creatures living in the forest,” says Zoe Studd. Here, she notes, “We wanted to put our attention on the forest itself.” Give two reasons why this choice makes sense from an ecological perspective. How does giant kelp affect its local environment and ecosystem? How could giant kelp affect broader or more distant environments?