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Monitoring Rocky Shores

Monitoring Rocky Shores

Steven N. Murray
Richard F. Arnbrose
Megan N. Dethier
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Monitoring Rocky Shores
    Book Description:

    Monitoring changes in the intertidal zone of rocky shores has never been more critical. This sensitive habitat at the interface of land and ocean may well be the marine equivalent of the canary in a coal mine as we advance into an era of global climate change. This handbook describes effective methods and procedures for monitoring the ecological and environmental status of these areas. Written by three collaborating authors with extensive field experience, it provides critical discussions and evaluation of the various sampling techniques and field procedures for studies of intertidal macroinvertebrates, seaweeds, and seagrasses. Rather than prescribing standard protocols or procedures, the authors break down the decision-making process into various elements so investigators can become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a particular method or approach. Chapters discuss topics such as site selection, field sampling layouts and designs, selection of sampling units, nondestructive and destructive methods of quantifying abundance, and methods for measuring age, growth rates, size, structure, and reproductive condition.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93271-5
    Subjects: Environmental Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xvii)
  7. CHAPTER 1 Designing Rocky Intertidal Monitoring and Impact Field Studies: A Brief Overview
    (pp. 1-15)

    Field sampling programs provide the information needed to determine the status and dynamics of populations and communities and thus are the foundation for many kinds of research, including impact and monitoring studies. Certain habitat types present more formidable challenges compared with others when it comes to designing and performing field studies. The rocky intertidal zone is one of these habitat types. Basic descriptions of the natural history and abiotic and biotic patterns and processes that characterize rocky intertidal environments are not addressed here. The interested reader can find such discussions in many sources, including, for example, Lewis (1964), Stephenson and...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Site Classification and Selection
    (pp. 17-43)

    For any intertidal sampling program, site selection probably has the greatest influence on the overall program design. As discussed in later chapters, the answer to “Where to sample?” depends on the program goals. Is the goal to characterize the health of an entire coastline or to determine the impact of pollutants at a specific site? Do we need to infer from our data how a population is changing loo km up the coast or simply how many species were at a site before oil hit it? Are we trying to detect impacts on all intertidal substratum types or only on...

  9. CHAPTER 3 Biological Units
    (pp. 45-69)

    The biological units targeted by a sampling program can vary from individual-based parameters such as the size of a particular limpet species’ gonads, to population-level parameters such as counts of all macroscopic organisms, to higher taxonomic units such as the numbers of phyla (fig. 3.1). The biological units to be selected will vary (as always) with the goals of the sampling program and with available knowledge about the ecology of the populations and communities being studied. The investigator will want to choose the most informative biological units-that is, those that best address the goals of the study and that have...

  10. CHAPTER 4 Sampling Design
    (pp. 71-97)

    In rare cases, it is possible to determine the abundance of an organism by counting all of the individuals in an area, making it simple to look for changes in a population or differences between populations. This is usually impossible, though, and sosamplingis performed to provide an estimate of abundances or other parameters of interest. Regardless of the details of sampling methodology, the overarching goal is to obtain an accurate, unbiased estimate of a parameter. In addition the efficiency of a selected sampling approach is of concern, because the time or money available to carry out the study...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Transects, Quadrats, and Other Sampling Units
    (pp. 99-123)

    One of the most fundamental decisions that must be made concerning a sampling program is the choice of sampling units, which is the topic of this chapter. A wide variety of sampling units can be used for intertidal sampling. The most common units include line transects and plots or quadrats (fig. 5.1). In addition, plotless designs are sometimes used.

    The choice of sampling unit depends on the goals of the sampling program, especially the species to be sampled. Chapter 2 addresses how to decide where to sample on the scale of study sites. Chapter 4 considers issues of sampling design,...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Quantifying Abundance: Density and Cover
    (pp. 125-157)

    Most rocky intertidal studies require quantification of abundance, of either individual species or other taxonomic units of the investigator’s choice. Data indicating species abundances can be collected quickly using subjective scales or by determining the presence of species in defined sampling units. Robust studies of species abundance, however, require more objective approaches that extend beyond subjective estimates or simple presence or absence determinations. Three kinds of quantitative data are used to express the abundances of rocky intertidal organisms in these more powerful studies: numerical counts or density, percentage cover, and biomass. The particular method of quantifying abundance will vary with...

  13. CHAPTER 7 Quantifying Abundance: Biomass
    (pp. 159-173)

    Abundances of rocky intertidal organisms are generally expressed as numerical density or counts and as cover. Occasionally, however, the goals of a sampling program require that the biomass of rocky intertidal organisms be determined and used to express abundance. Biomass is defined as the mass of living organisms in a population at the time of sampling (Poole 1974). Biomass data usually are expressed as wet, dry, or ash-free dry weight per unit area, but also can be converted to calories, carbon, or other units. Generally, these conversions are made using mathematical relationships between biomass and the metric (e.g., calories) of...

  14. CHAPTER 8 Individual-Based Parameters: Age Determination, Growth Rates, Size Structure, and Reproduction
    (pp. 175-210)

    Most rocky intertidal monitoring and impact studies are designed to determine the status of sampled populations solely in terms of abundance. This approach can present two problems. First, abundance data alone do not adequately describe a population in a way that depicts its dynamics. Population density is a result of what Chapman (1985) has referred to as primary and secondary population parameters. Primary population parameters include natality, mortality, immigration, and emigration. Secondary population parameters, such as size and age class distribution and sex ratios, are end products of population dynamics, but also provide a sharper picture of existing structure compared...

    (pp. 211-216)
    (pp. 217-218)
    (pp. 219-220)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 221-223)