Ecological Interactions, Kelp Forest

Similar to the research on rocky shores, PISCO researchers examine species interactions in kelp forests in relation to nearshore oceanic conditions and patterns of recruitment.  These subtidal interaction studies are focused near the same core set of study sites that form the basis of the program’s long-term oceanographic and biological data series.  This approach enables researchers to tap into the valuable information about trends in the coastal ocean and link experimental results with understanding about broad ecological patterns.  Ecological interaction studies in the subtidal are often performed as part of monitoring and research programs focused on larval recruitment, hypoxia, coastal oceanography, including hypoxia and kelp forests.

Types of research performed by PISCO

  • Structural and functional roles of kelp forest canopies

  • Determinants and consequences of the availability of detritus (such as detached drift kelp) to kelp forest ecosystems

  • Patterns, rates, and determinants of adult fish movement

  • Land-sea connectivity (via river discharge) on the structure and functioning of kelp forests along the Big Sur coast of central California

  • Effects of algal species diversity and composition on invertebrate communities in kelp forests

  • Relationships between fish recruitment and the distribution and dynamics of populations

  • Ecological interactions of managed species, such as California sheephead

  • The effects of human use, such as fishing intensity, on ecological interactions among marine species

  • Impacts of hypoxia on soft-bottom and reef communities

MLPA: Central Coast Study Region (CCSR) Baseline Data Collection

CCSR Subtidal Research Projects


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