Underwater Forest in South America Remains the Same

Underwater forest in South America is a remote place beneath the ocean, and it has not changed over time

Underwater Forest in South America Remains the Same
Underwater Forest

Underwater Forest in South America Remains the Same


Underwater forest, basically kelp, located off the tip of South America, remained unvisited by scientists since 1973. So, after a break of nearly fifty years, a group recently visits the pristine underwater forest. The team finds that the ecosystem there does not change since the first visit.

The underwater forest compiles a variety of seaweeds. This is likely a marine marvel situated near Tierra del Fuego. According to experts, there are many conservation lessons to learn.

Climate change is a threat to kelp forests, but this underwater forest does not show any particular sign of decaying due to human activity. The number of sea stars, sea urchins, and kelp remains the same in this forest as it was in the 1970s.

The effect of climate change on the kelp is urchin barrens, and many other kelp forests show this effect. As a result, kelp starts to reduce its levels. 

Alan Friedlander, an oceanographer, working at the National Geographic Society says, "The kelp forests of the extreme tip of South America are some of the most pristine on Earth and have not changed substantially since the early 1970s when they were first surveyed."

The researchers believe that some essential aspects keep this forest free from environmental changes threat. The place is remote and human activity-free and thus locked to its time capsule from an early period. 

The scientists had information from other sources like satellite imagery. They took the images taken by satellites for the last 20 years. The rainfall patterns' four-year cycles do not change at all as per the pictures clarify. 


But the team did find variation in fish populations. The team focused on how this forest has become a protectable shelter from the ocean waves to some species like rock cod, pink cusk-eel, and pipefish.   

It does not matter how well we know the facts about something; newer knowledge emerges. The team also finds more original wisdom in protecting the kelp forest. If the experts are willing to understand how climate change damages the kelp forest and how to protect them, then they need to focus on both who have changed and remained unchanged. 

Kelp forests are unique with their characteristics like having diverse ecosystems, survives on rocky and shallow coasts, spend whole life under cold water. This underwater forest near South America is very significant for the South American ecosystem. It has not changed until the last fifty years, but we have to keep it safe for the upcoming fifty years.

As a conclusion of the research paper, the team says, "This region is one of the last global refuges for kelp forest ecosystems and supports large populations of seabirds [and] marine mammals, and has high biodiversity value due to high endemism and unique community composition. There is, therefore, an urgent need to protect this region for its biodiversity values and the ecosystem services it provides.