2014 Intertidal Ecology Survey
Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve, Salt Point State Park CA
Field Survey Report
James Landers, May 16, 2014 (Rev. November 28, 2014)
Abstract. Gerstle Cove State Marine Reserve is located within the boundary of Salt Point State Park, seven miles north of Fort Ross CA, and is part of the Salt Point State Marine Conservation Area. Gerstle is a small protected cove facing open coast. Public access is through Salt Point State Park. The survey site in the cove is frequented by divers, park visitors, and harbor seals.
Purple shore crabs (Hemigrapsus nudus) are plentiful along the higher margin of the rock-littered beach, acorn barnacles (Balanus and Chthamalus) are abundant in a few small crevices, and barnacles and limpets (Lottia) are sparsely distributed over middle to higher zone rocks. No mussels (Mytilus californianus), sea stars (excepting one bat star, Asterina miniata) or sea urchins were observed. Endocladia muricata is present in small amounts, and Petrocelis is common, however two unidentified rockweeds are the prominent cover in middle zones of the intertidal and occupy much open space. Marine herbivores ̶ limpets, littorines, and chitons ̶ seemed low in proportion to the amount of these unidentified rockweeds. Continue reading Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve Survey Report, May 16, 2014