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Taxon Biology

Macrocystis pyrifera plants consist of a holdfast, which anchors the plant to the substrate, bundles of fronds analogous to the branches and leaves of a land plant, and reproductive structures called sporophylls located just above the holdfast (Tegner et al. 1996). Like most kelp species, M, pyrifera is perennial. It may exceed 45 m in length and the holdfasts of old plants are conical and may reach a meter in height (Abbot and Hollenberg 1976). Macrocystis pyrifera occurs in extensive stands (kelp forests) throughout its range, providing the basis for biologically diverse ecological communities.

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