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2014 California Intertidal Ecology Survey Final Discussion and Conclusions

2014 California Intertidal Ecology Survey
Final Discussion and Conclusions
James landers, January 28, 2015

Survey Links
Statement of Purpose (link)
Final Discussion and Conclusions (link)
Report Links
White Rock      Monterey Bay    Fitzgerald
Bodega Bay      Gerstle Cove      MacKerricher
Field Data Sheets
White Rock      Monterey Bay    Fitzgerald
Bodega Bay      Gerstle Cove      MacKerricher

Other Links
Specimens posted to iNaturalist
and Project Noah (link)

Weeds in the Intertidal Garden (link)
Unidentified Rockweed (link)

Abstract. Observations and data for all six sites surveyed are compared in this final summation. Some findings from individual surveys already posted are repeated here; more findings from other research have been added in order to place our experience in a broader context and contrast our data with that of the long-term monitoring projects of UC Santa Cruz and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Our early consideration of issues such as zonation, alga growth, or species diversity in the California Intertidal zone has matured over the course of our surveys and led to an improved understanding of the value of long-term observation of the dynamic and highly diversified ecological environment of the intertidal zone as a component of a complex ocean system crucial to the health of our planet. Continue reading 2014 California Intertidal Ecology Survey Final Discussion and Conclusions

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MacKerricher State Park Survey Report, June 14, 2014

2014 Intertidal Ecology Survey
Laguna Point, MacKerricher SMCA, Fort Bragg CA
Field Survey Report
James Landers, June 14, 2014 (Rev. November 30, 2014)

 Abstract. Laguna Point is on the western perimeter of MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg CA. MacKerricher is marine reserve designated as an State Marine Conservation Area under the California Marine Life Protection Act (MPA) and provides limited protection for intertidal life. Laguna Point is open coast with a western exposure that is frequented by tourists, abalone divers, and shellfish harvesters. The area was settled by Pomo and other hunter/gatherers thousands of years ago and at Laguna Point their descendents continue the old traditions of harvesting from the sea.

At minus tide, the area just south of Laguna Point’s north margin becomes a small inlet (where on higher tides doghole schooners loaded lumber in the 1880s) below a marine terrace composed of Quaternary sedimentary deposits. Abalone are common in the inlet and the Indians take them by hand from under exposed rocks. Much of the intertidal rock surface is encrusted by marine algae including Endocladia, Neorhodomela, Mastocarpus and Petrocelis. As with other sites in this survey, marine herbivores ̶ limpets, littorines, and chitons ̶ seemed low in proportion to the amount of rockweed, turfweed, and other algae that predominate here. Mussel beds exist outside of the inlet where they are exposed to the open ocean. Continue reading MacKerricher State Park Survey Report, June 14, 2014

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Survey Report, April 7, 2014

2014 Intertidal Ecology Survey
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach CA
Field Survey Report
James Landers, April 7, 2014

Abstract. The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (FMR) is protected seashore of 32 acres owned by the State of California, managed by San Mateo County as a county park, and supported by an active volunteer group. The reserve is located at Moss Beach CA, twenty miles south of San Francisco, on exposed open coast that extends for three miles from the Montara light to Pillar Point. The reserve’s intertidal zone consists of a formation of flat rock shelves protected by a barrier of several offshore reefs. Close to large metropolitan areas, the reserve is visited by over 100,000 people yearly [Tenera, 2004], placing great pressure on animal and plant life and complicating an understanding of diversity at that location. Although they have been noted as plentiful in the past at this location, this survey found few to no examples of sea stars, shore crabs, and sea urchins; mussels, Mytilus californianus, were abundant in several beds, but barnacles (Balanus) occurred only occasionally. Marine algae, however, are abundant in the FMR intertidal, covering large areas of the rock surface, in particular Endocladia muricata, Brillo Pad algae, and Neorhodomela larix, black pine rockweed, raising questions of how settlement can be accomplished by animals when so much space is taken by plants. Continue reading Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Survey Report, April 7, 2014