Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 663–667 | Cite as

Recolonization of a high latitude hard-bottom nearshore community

  • Brenda KonarEmail author
Short Note


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.


Arctic 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.


  1. Adey WH, Vasser JM (1975) Colonization, succession and growth rates of tropical crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Cryptonemiales). Phycologia 14:55–69Google Scholar
  2. Airoldi L (2000) Effects of disturbance, life histories, and overgrowth on coexistence of algal crusts and turf. Ecology 81:798–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Coyer J, Steller D, Witman J (1999) A guide to methods in underwater research: the underwater catalog. Shoals Marine Laboratory, Ithaca Google Scholar
  7. Deysher LE, Dean TA (1986) In situ recruitment of sporophytes of the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera (L) CA Agardh: effects of physical factors. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 103:41–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunton KH (1990) Growth and production in Laminaria solidungula: relation to continuous underwater light levels in the Alaskan High Arctic. Mar Biol 106:297–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 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
  10. Dunton KH, Reimnitz E, Schonberg S (1982) An Arctic kelp community in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Arctic 35:465–484Google Scholar
  11. Foster MS (1975). Algal succession in a Macrocystis pyrifera forest. Mar Biol 32:313–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harrold C, Reed DC (1985) Food availability, sea urchin grazing, and kelp forest community structure. Ecology 66:1160–1169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 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
  14. Konar B (2000) Seasonal inhibitory effects of marine plants on sea urchins: structuring communities the algal way. Oecologia 125:208–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Konar B, Estes JA (2003) The stability of boundary regions between kelp beds and deforested areas. Ecology 84:174–185Google Scholar
  16. Konar B, Iken K (2005) Competitive dominance among sessile marine organisms in a high Arctic boulder community. Polar Biol 29:61–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Konar B, Foster MS (1992) Distribution and recruitment of subtidal geniculate coralline algae. J Phycol 28:273–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Matsuda S (1989). Succession and growth rates of encrusting crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Cryptonemiales) in the upper fore-reef environment off Ishigaki Island, Ryukyu Islands. Coral Reefs 7:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Milazzo M, Badalamenti F, Riggio S, Chemello R (2004) Patterns of algal recovery and small-scale effects of canopy removal as a result of human trampling on a Mediterranean rocky shallow community. Biol Conserv 117:191–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Scheibling R (1986) Increased macroalgal abundance following mass mortalities of sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. Oecologia 68:186–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schmidt GH, Warner GF (1984) Effects of caging on the development of a sessile epifaunal community. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 15:251–263Google Scholar
  22. Sousa WP (1979) Experimental investigations of disturbance and ecological succession in a rocky intertidal algal community. Ecol Monogr 49:227–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sousa WP (1980) The responses of a community to disturbance: the importance of successional age and species’ life histories. Oecologia 45:72–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. vanTamelen PG (1987) Early successional mechanisms in the rocky intertidal: the role of direct and indirect interaction. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 112:39–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilson WG, Osenberg CW, Schmitt RJ, Nisbet RM. (1999) Complementary foraging behaviors allow coexistence of two consumers. Ecology 80:2358–2372CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Fisheries and Ocean SciencesUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

Personalised recommendations