Harvesting of Lessonia species.


Lessonia nigrescens and Lessonia trabeculata are important canopy-forming kelp species in Chile which are harvested by cutting the stipe just above the holdfast. It is known that the harvesting method results in the subsequent loss of the holdfast and associated fauna. Harvesting of the kelp is for export, with a total mass of 10,000 t dry weight in 1987 (Vasquez & Santelices, 1990). In harvested kelp beds the plants become more susceptible to grazers both on the outside and within the holdfasts. The increased grazing results in reduced juvenile kelp recruitment and plants of L. trabeculata become more easily removed by water currents (Vasquez & Santelices, 1990).

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