|Steneck, Robert S.||University of Maine (U Maine DMC)||Principal Investigator|
|Estes, James||University of California-Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz)||Co-Principal Investigator|
|Rasher, Douglas B.||Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences||Co-Principal Investigator|
|Copley, Nancy||Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)||BCO-DMO Data Manager|
We characterized the ecological status of each island by quantifying the density, size frequency distribution, and biomass of the sea urchin community (primarily Strongylocentrotus polyacanthus) at randomly selected sites, using the same methods that have been employed by us and others over the past 30 years (Estes et al. 2010). Originally, we identified potential study sites by laying a grid over a map of each island, marking every place a grid line intersected the coast; these marks were later assigned GPS waypoints. During the 2014 research cruise, we randomly selected and resampled six sites per island, or in the Semichi Islands (Alaid, Nizki, and Shemya)—island group—as this level of sampling is sufficient to determine the ecological status of an island (Estes et al. 2010). We performed identical community surveys at the sites we studied with respect to algal reef bioerosion (see associated metadata forms and datasets).
At each site, a diver placed a 0.25-m^2 quadrat at 20 feet depth and counted all urchins within the quadrat, then collected the urchins in a bag. The diver then took a random number of kicks along the same depth contour and repeated this process until 20 quadrats were sampled or 200 urchins were collected, whichever occurred first. If 200 urchins were collected quickly, additional density counts were made to yield a better density estimate (n = 4 minimum). Shipside, we measured the size (test diameter; mm) of each collected urchin with calipers. We then calculated its biomass using a known size-weight relationship (Estes et al. 2010). To estimate total urchin biomass for a site (grams per 0.25-m^2), we summed the biomass of all urchins collected at the site and divided that sum by the number of quadrats deployed.
BCO-DMO Processing Notes:
- added conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
- modified parameter names to conform with BCO-DMO naming conventions
- re-formatted date from m/d/yyyy to yyyy-mm-dd
|island||name of island||unitless|
|site_name||identity of site||unitless|
|latitude||latitude of study site||decimal degrees|
|longitude||longitude of study site||decimal degrees|
|depth_feet||depth of benthic survey||feet|
|date||calendar date of survey formatted as yyyy-mm-dd||unitless|
|observer||last name of observer||unitless|
|replicate||replicate 0.25-m^2 quadrat||unitless|
|urchin_density||density of sea urchins||count per 0.25 m^2|
R/V Point Sur
|Start Date|| |
|End Date|| |
Benthic community studies associated with project "Project: Ocean Acidification: Century Scale Impacts to Ecosystem Structure and Function of Aleutian Kelp Forests".