Tide pools and other rocky-intertidal habitats are the focus of this project. These habitats are being described and compared inside and outside the South Coast MPAs based on invertebrate and algal biodiversity surveys and counts of target species. The survey methods replicate those developed for the West Coast by scientists with the Multi-agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe). In the project’s first year, scientists completed baseline biodiversity surveys and target-species sampling at 22 sites. Target-species sampling was continued at these sites during the project’s second year. In the project’s final year, researchers will analyze, document and describe the patterns, statuses and trends of rocky intertidal ecosystems and species along the South Coast. Additionally, researchers will co-host a workshop with staff from the LiMPETS program to train teachers on the baseline research and revised protocols for characterizing abundances of key species over time. Details on the protocols for the biodiversity and target-species surveys are available at the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring: Trends and Synthesis website at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Baseline Characterization and Monitoring of Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems for MPAs in the South Coast Region