It’s the setting, height, and shape that make the rock below an intertidal superstar. This surf zone heavy-hitter sits in an intertidal sweet spot where accessibility and rarely exposed lower reaches find the optimal balance. It’s a leviathan tall enough to support all the intertidal zones, and its steep broad faces impart visibility to the…Read More
With the last bout of sea star wasting syndrome eastern Pacific starfish took a big hit. I describe the progression at this intertidal site in A Peek at Pisaster After Two Years of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. After three years their numbers are still down. Removal experiments have shown we can expect changes in rocky…Read More
Last fall this vertical rock wall lay buried under a smothering layer of sand. The resident barnacles, Balanus glandula, couldn’t tolerate it. Winter surf removed the sand revealing empty B. glandula shells and something more; a dense settlement of new recruits. Open space doesn’t stay open long in the in the exposed rocky intertidal. Larvae arrive in…Read More
Just four photos portraying familiar beach and rocky intertidal boundaries. These boundaries frequently serve as frames of reference for my intertidal tales.
Boundaries on the Rocks
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”
In the rocky intertidal space is at a premium, so there’s lots of competition for it. Wherever there is competition, there are winners and losers, but disturbance can reset competitive outcomes by creating a clean slate.
Ironically, the stability of familiar intertidal communities depends on disturbances that change competitive outcomes.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”
It’s a good time to check in on the rocky intertidal. All along the west coast sea star wasting syndrome has, to varying degrees, reduced Pisaster ochraceus, a potent predator and organizing force in rocky intertidal communities. Generations of intertidal ecologists, students, fisherpeople and other harvesters, tide poolers, and beachcombers have grown to count on…Read More
I plan weeks or even months ahead for low tide explorations on the outer shores. The lowest tides, those below 2.0′ below mean lower low water on my home beaches, reveal rocks and sand we hardly ever get to see. On the exposed outer coast, this zone is rarely examined closely because it is usually…Read More
The sandy beaches where surfperch live much of their lives can be vast and featureless. The sand is constantly on the move so we don’t see plant and animal landmarks indicating the zones so familiar in the rocky intertidal. In the shot above, could you place yourself with respect to mean lower low water (0.0′…Read More