How Hot is Too hot? Bull Kelp’s Response to Climate Change


From 2013 - 2016 Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts experienced the following events: Environmental changes such as a series of marine heatwaves creating a warm stagnant called "the blob," and an outbreak of sea star wasting disease; Ecological changes such as sunflower stars driven to local extinction, and purple sea urchin populations exploding without the presence of their main predator. This resulted in 90% loss of bull kelp forest coverage in California, 96% loss of abalone, collapse of abalone recreational fishery, and kelp forests turning into urchin barrens. Our objective is to investigate the effect of warming temperatures on bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) at different life stages by measuring protein abundance, gene expression, RAD-seq, and photosynthetic measurements to determine thermotolerance difference between sites.


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How Hot is Too hot? Bull Kelp’s Response to Climate Change poster scientific poster Zachary Spade, Shelby Hotz, Maxim Kulinich, Jasmine Richardson


Key Terms: Laboratory acclimation, fertilized, acute heat shock, sporophyte, gametophyte, blade, gene expression, protein, restriction site-associated DNA sequencing, genome, SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism, PAM fluorometer, quantum yield, photosynthetic stress, life cycle, water