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Artificial reef study finds size is critical to kelp forest survival

The size and density of coastal kelp forests influence water flow and the ability of juvenile kelp “seed banks” to create long-term habitat stability, a University of Tasmania study has found.

Scientists from the university’s institute for marine and Antarctic studies installed 28 artificial reefs in an area near Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania. The study was designed to test how kelp forests were affected by differing densities and patch sizes.

The results are published online in the open-access journal PLOS One.

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