, Volume 375, Issue 0, pp 49–58

Regrowth of kelp and colonization of epiphyte and fauna community after kelp trawling at the coast of Norway

  • Hartvig Christie
  • Stein Fredriksen
  • Eli Rinde

DOI: 10.1023/A:1017021325189

Cite this article as:
Christie, H., Fredriksen, S. & Rinde, E. Hydrobiologia (1998) 375: 49. doi:10.1023/A:1017021325189


The kelp Laminaria hyperborea is regularly harvested along the Norwegian coast. Kelp trawling is regulated by restricting this to every 5th year in specified areas. The kelp plants form dense forests, 1–2 m high, and house a large number of epiphytes and associated invertebrates. Kelp, epiphytes, and holdfast (hapteron) fauna were sampled at two different regions in untrawled kelp forest and at sites trawled different number of years ago. We have examined the rate of kelp regrowth after trawling, and in what time scale the associated flora and fauna colonize the trawled areas. The trawl removed all adult kelp plants (the canopy plants), while small understorey kelp plants were left undisturbed. These recruits, given improved light conditions, made the new generation of canopy-forming kelp plants, exceeding a height of 1 m within 2–3 y. The recruitment pattern of the kelp ensures maintenance of kelp forest dominance despite repeated trawling. Both percent cover, abundance and number of epiphytic species increased with time post trawling, but epiphytic communities were not totally re-established before the next trawling episode. Colonization of most species of fauna inhabiting the kelp holdfast were found as early as one year after trawling, but increasing size of the habitat by age of kelp gave room for increasing numbers of both individuals and species. Slow colonization rate by some species might be due to low dispersal potential. Due to a higher maximum age and size of kelp plants in the northernmost region studied, restoration of both kelp and kelp forest community was slower there.

kelp kelp trawling recovery epiphytes holdfast fauna 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartvig Christie
  • Stein Fredriksen
  • Eli Rinde

There are no affiliations available

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