Tag Archives: rockweed

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

Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve Survey Report, May 16, 2014

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

Weeds in the Intertidal Garden

Out of long, long, consideration of the parts he [Darwin] emerged with a sense of the whole. Where we wished for a month on station, and took two days, Darwin stayed three months. Of course, he could see and tabulate. It was the pace that made the difference, and in the writing of Darwin, as in his thinking, there is this slow heave of a sailing ship, and the patience of waiting for a tide.
– Steinbeck speaking of Darwin, in the Sea of Cortez, 1941.

In the California marine intertidal we have prominent rockweeds and turfweeds that arrogate broad swaths of rock surface, preventing other species from settling in the space they occupy, and often becoming the predominant species in an intertidal community. We have wondered how long the intertidal has been overrun by these marine algae, and how settlement could be accomplished by animals when so much space is taken by “weeds.”

At the same time our surveys presented this abundance of plants, we found an apparent lack of biodiversity at sites where one or more of several species ̶ barnacles, mussels, sea stars, shore crabs, and sea urchins ̶ appeared absent from the intertidal community, and whether biodiversity is impacted by this rank population of algae.Missing species by survey site Continue reading Weeds in the Intertidal Garden

Specimens posted to iNaturalist and Project Noah

We have posted for identification four specimens at Project Noah, and one at iNaturalist, and are waiting to see what sort of responses we receive.

At Project Noah, we have posted these four specimens:
DSCN0531

 A white, pink-ringed variation of the usually green aggregating anemone Anthopleura elegantissima from deep under a rock ledge in Gerstle Cove at Salt Point State Park? See Project Noah. Continue reading Specimens posted to iNaturalist and Project Noah