I have been trying to figure out the best way to quantify survival and growth of the juvenile kelp I outplanted back at the end of July. Some of them are nearly to the surface, some have been wiped out completely, but most are somewhere in between.
For example, of the medium-sized individuals outplanted at high density in plot 44 (my favorite), about 2/3 are still going strong but the rest have succumbed to something like grazing etc…In which case overall survival is not great. However why plot 44 is my favorite, is that some of these individuals are apparently the fastest growing and tallest outplanted kelp out there. They even surpassed plenty of the “large” individuals that were outplanted at 1m in height, while these were only 5-25cm when outplanted.
Another cool thing about this plot, is that just a few meters away is a medium-sized low-density plot that has been totally wiped out (see photo, the amazing plot 44 is the tall, young thing in the red box).
Anyway, counting survivors and recording heights gets complicated once individuals tangle or grow more than one stipe.
So today I brought out my SEA & SEA DX-1G, which shoots great stills when the water is calmer than it is right now, and decent video too. This allows me to get an over all view of the plot (extremely helpful for the large individuals which are spaced out over the area of 1 meter^2), and ascend to the height of the apical meristem, or the growing tip.
I have imbedded a few of these videos below so you can see why I am so proud of plot 44, and a few other cool shots from the day. Also, I learned today to avoid labeling things for underwater use with the numbers “1, 7, 6, and 9” even with my impeccable handwriting, swell makes reading more difficult than it should be.
Youtube video of plot 44:
Here is the still of Plot 44, from the vantage of the now empty plot 47 (it was a medium-sized low-density plot, but I believe the little guys didn’t make it because the were battered by waves, or possibly eaten, either way, strength in numbers I guess).
Youtube video of another medium-sized high-density plot #34, which is also doing awesome, but had been struggling earlier:
And another Youtube video of a large-sized high-density plot #57. This one originally had 8 individuals that were outplanted at 1m tall. A few of them have met their fate at the Aristotle’s lanterns of some nearby urchins, but the rest are doing well. You can see some different growth rates:
A still image of a small-sized (microscopic) plot, because they are not very dynamic YET:
And just a gratuitous pretty canopy shot: