7/24/11. Zones of the Ocean. Green algae. Red algae. Kelp. Fucoid brown. Some of the abundant animal groups. barnacles. Physical Environment

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1 7/24/11 Zones of the Ocean I. Physical Environment III. Patterns in the Biota III. Processes Only lines on the outline of the ocean; belies its importance to humankind as a key component of nearshore coastal systems, and to science as a center for scientific ferment IV. Regulation -wave exposure along vertical & horizontal scales -tidal excursion with exposure to air, thermal and UV stress - produce a wide range of conditions Some of the abundant animal groups Green algae Red algae mussels snails Kelp barnacles anemones Fucoid brown 1

2 Community Structure in the Pacific Physical Factors: species tolerances to waves, dessication, temperature determine patterns; dominated early explanations of organization. Biological Interactions: in 1960 s attention shifted dramatically toward view that patterns were controlled by biotic factors. III.A. Role of Competition Joe Connell conducted translocation and separation experiments Chthamalus (higher up) & Is it due the preferential settlement of larvae in specific habitats? Juvenile barnacle Cyprid larva 2

3 Translocation Experiments Chthamalus to the mid intertidal and removed Adult added to the upper zone Adult were also transplanted to the Low Intertidal Zone to determine why they were absent from there not present With transplanted Present removed Conclusions: Chthamalus is routinely excluded from the mid intertidal zone habitat by It coexists in the community by taking refuge in upper zone where young cannot survive What keeps both Chthamalus and especially from moving into the lower intertidal? Competition from Mussels and Predation by snails Thais III.B. Role of Predation Dominant competitor Bob Paine: Pisaster removal experiments Apex predator Results of exclusion of Pisaster Paine s study was important in showing: 1. Predation can control the diversity of species 2. Established concept of Keystone species 3. First clear demonstration of indirect effects with Pisaster w/o 3

4 Keystone species: one with a powerful influence which is highly disproportionate to its biomass Do these observations apply to intertidal in other regions? Corallina Green algae Ulva Chondrus (Irish moss) Foliose & articulated Red algae At Pemaquid Point etc % Semibalanus 4-13% Mytilus; fucoids 1-8% Semibalanus ~25-65% Mytilus; 6-70% fucoids 24-87% Chondras Some Mytilus, Semibalanus especially at exposed sites; not in sheltered sites Mastocarpus (false irish moss) Predators are Thais and Asterias Herbivores are Littorina and Strongylocentrotus -- Remove Mytilus from mid intertidal and Semibalanus spreads downward -- Exclusion of Thais : Mytilus to spread downward; in absence of Mytilus, Semibalanus spreads downward. -- If Chondrus and Littorina are removed: Fucus moves into the low intertidal. Thais lapillus -- If Littorina is left: Fucus moves down but not as successfully. -- Sea urchins removed from the subtidal kelp area and Chondrus extends downward 4

5 A. Environmental Stress Regulation B. Recruitment-Limited Regulation: coastal subsidies C. Nutrient/Productivity Models: underlying gradients of nutrients and plant productivity determine intensity of competiton for space, herbivory and predation: strength of interactions WHAT CONDITIONS REGULATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE PROCESSES? Space utilization varies with sites (local scales) Lubchenko & Menge 1978 A. Environmental Stress Regulation: differences are predictably related to environmental stress Predators particularly Asterias are generally ineffective at exposed sites but prey heavily on Mytilus and barnacles in sheltered sites 5

6 A. Environmental Stress Regulation: differences are predictably related to environmental stress B. Recruitment-Limited Regulation: coastal subsidies set the pace for intertidal community dynamics C. Nutrient/Productivity Models: underlying gradients of nutrients and plant productivity determine intensity of competiton for space, herbivory and predation: strength of interactions Discussion of paper by Menge et al (2003) Coastal Oceanography sets the pace for rocky intertidal community dynamics. PNAS A. Environmental Stress Regulation: differences are predictably related to environmental stress B. Recruitment-Limited Regulation: coastal subsidies set the pace for intertidal community dynamics C. Nutrient/Productivity Models: underlying gradients of nutrients and plant productivity determine intensity of competiton for space, herbivory and predation: strength of interactions According to the Nutrient/Productivity Models, the abundance of species and interaction strengths of the rocky community are directly proportional to the amount of productivity in local nearshore regions Predictions Along the coast of central Oregon, studies at Boiler Bay and Strawberry Hill sites revealed different communities; at BB, benthic plants dominate and invertebrates were scarce, at SH the opposite trend was evident A combination of bottom up and top-down forces interact to determine community dynamics Menge 1992, 1994 In contrast to Maine, Pacific predators are MORE active in wave-exposed sites, yet at SH mussels still dominate! 6

7 Along the coast of central Oregon, studies at Boiler Bay and Strawberry Hill sites revealed different communities; at BB, benthic plants dominate and invertebrates were scarce, at SH the opposite trend was evident Menge 1992 etc. Conclusions: Bottom up forces interact with top down forces to establish community dynamics. Keystone and top down effect are still present but bottom up forces prevent complete top down control Where in the model would Boiler Bay belong? Strawberry Hill? Predictions Summary/Conclusions: -- Rocky intertidal communities show parallels in composition organization, processes, and regulation worldwide -- Steep environmental gradients produce a wide range of conditions that, along with biotic interactions, establish a series of biological zones dominated by different species -- The interplay of competition, herbivory and predation are key determinants of species distribution and abundance -- Horizontal variation in environmental stress, recruitment and productivity in coastal waters at local and regional scales regulate the magnitude and pace of community dynamics A combination of bottom up and top-down forces interact to determine community dynamics 7

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