4. Species Composition - Producers
The major species of algae that form the tallest kelp forests on the Tasmanian and Victorian coast is Giant Kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, the same species as found in California, New Zealand and South America. These sea floor. Giant String Kelp, Macrocystis angustifolia grows to around 10 metres in waters from 0 -10m depth and is more common in Victoria.
Both species are characterised by rope like stipes or stems that connect the leaf like blades, in the sunlit surface waters, to the root like holdfast attaching the plants to the rocks below. They also have elongated airfilled bladders that provide buoyancy and keep the plants upright in the water column.