The giant kelp is the largest protist in the world. It is a member of the family known as Protista, it is a brown alga that looks like tall grass, and it is a single-celled organism. There have been debate and confusion on whether kelp is a protist or not, and this page is dedicated to sharing with you all you need to know about kelp.
Is Kelp a Plant?
Kelp is not a plant, and it is photosynthetic with structures that look just like roots, stems, and leaves, but it belongs to a separate kingdom known as protists. Kelp grows in temperate water and can be seen in forests.
It is harvestable and can be seen in many areas. It can also be used for many applications such as cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, and extracts from it can also be used as thickeners.
Is Kelp Multicellular?
Since many protists are known to be single-celled, you can easily assume that kelp is also single-celled, but it is not. Not all protists are single-celled, and that means kelp is multicellular as it possesses different cells with different functions, especially for nutrition and growth.
For feeding, kelp stores food in laminarin and the reproductive part of kelp; it possesses sperm and spores, which can undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction. Also, some kelp cells can grow so significant because it has all that is required to overgrow.
Does Kelp Have Cell Walls?
Kelp has cell walls, and there are made primarily of cellulose in the inner part, while the outer layer wall is made of a substance known as algin.
Different Kinds of Kelp
There are different kinds of kelp. The pacific kelp is known as Macrocystis pyrifera, and it very tiny. Giant pacific kelp is different from others as it boasts of rapid growth as it is known to grow as much as 50 centimeters a day.
Also, mat-like kelp is known as sargassum, has an exciting feature for slime production. It is best for sexual reproduction to keep the egg cells and sperm in close range. Another kelp is the fanlike such as Padina that is known to thrive along rocky beaches.
Another type of kelp is the babberlocks, sea whistle, mayweed, sugar kelp, and many others.
The Importance of Kelp
There are many minerals present and beneficial in kelp, such as calcium, potassium, vitamins, phosphorus, and iron. Also, it has some trace elements such as zinc, manganese, copper, and many others. Also, laminarin, which is the food storage component in kelp, can be fermented into alcohol.
Fun Facts About Giant Kelp
There are some interesting facts that you should know about kelp, and they are:
· Giant kelp is not a plant but algae that grow rapidly, and they are brown.
· Giant kelp is known to grow faster than bamboo.
· Giant kelp holds onto rocky substrates with the use of its anchors.
· Giant kelp serves as protection for sea otters whenever they sleep by wrapping themselves around the kelp.
· Kelp grows to 100 feet.
Kelp is a protist and not a plant as some think it is. Also, it is a multicellular alga which proves that not all protists are single-celled. You will get to know this page more about kelp as we’ve covered the essential aspects you should know.