Recolonization of a high latitude hard-bottom nearshore community
- 110 Downloads
Early recolonization of sessile organisms and grazer effects on recolonization was examined in a high latitude nearshore rocky environment. A manipulative experiment using cleared boulders and cages was used to determine the time needed for initial recruitment and composition of early recruits. The hypothesis tested was invertebrate grazing is causing slow recolonization. Four years of monitoring cleared boulders resulted in an initial recruitment of primarily barnacles in year 3 on boulders that were caged to exclude grazers. The total percent cover on these boulders after 4 years was less than 2%. Cage control and uncaged boulders showed less recruitment. Uncleared and uncaged control rocks showed insignificant temporal variation. Concurrent observations revealed that macroalgae were reproductive during the study and that space was limiting in this community. This study strongly suggests that perturbations causing removal of hard substrate sessile communities in the Beaufort Sea will result in very slow community recovery.
KeywordsArctic Recruitment Grazers Boulders
This project could not have been completed without the logistical support of the Dunton Brothers and BP (particularly everyone at Endicott Production Island). I also would like to thank my field assistants: Katrin Iken, Casey Debenham, Nicholas Harman, and Chris Wyatt. Ken Dunton guided many stimulating discussions on Boulder Patch biology. Katrin Iken and Ken Dunton provided insightful advice during this study and on the manuscript. This project was funded by the Coastal Marine Institute and BP.
- Adey WH, Vasser JM (1975) Colonization, succession and growth rates of tropical crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Cryptonemiales). Phycologia 14:55–69Google Scholar
- Belliveau SA, Paul VJ (2002) Effects of herbivory and nutrients on the early colonization of crustose coralline and fleshy algae. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 232:105–114Google Scholar
- Bertness MD, Trussell GC, Ewanchuk PJ, Silliman BR, Crain CM (2004) Consumer-controlled community states on Gulf of Maine rocky shores. Ecology 85:1321–1331Google Scholar
- Connell SD (2005) Assembly and maintenance of subtidal habitat heterogeneity: synergistic effects of light penetration and sedimentation. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 289:53–61Google Scholar
- Coyer J, Steller D, Witman J (1999) A guide to methods in underwater research: the underwater catalog. Shoals Marine Laboratory, Ithaca Google Scholar
- Dunton KH, Schonberg SV (2000) The benthic faunal assemblage of the Boulder Patch kelp community, Chap. 18. In: Truett JC, Johnson SR (eds) The natural history of an Arctic oil field. Academic, New York, pp 338–359Google Scholar
- Dunton KH, Reimnitz E, Schonberg S (1982) An Arctic kelp community in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Arctic 35:465–484Google Scholar
- Jenkins SR, Coleman RA, Della Santina P, Hawkins SJ, Burrows MT, Hartnoll RG (2005) Regional scale differences in the determinism of grazing effects in the rocky intertidal. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 287:77–86Google Scholar
- Konar B, Estes JA (2003) The stability of boundary regions between kelp beds and deforested areas. Ecology 84:174–185Google Scholar
- Schmidt GH, Warner GF (1984) Effects of caging on the development of a sessile epifaunal community. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 15:251–263Google Scholar