Site Code: Vandenberg

MLPA site designation:

  • State Marine Reserve (SMR)


Vandenberg MPA site

The habitat at Vandenberg SMR is characterized by flat and slight relief bedrock and high cover of the giant kelp Macrocystis. Echinoderms such as the red sea star (S. franciscanus) and giant sea star P. gianteus are present in the benthic habitat. While the primary fish species found here were large numbers of the olive / yellowtail rockfish, with accompanying lower numbers of the kelp rockfish (S. atrovirens).

Vandenberg Reference

Reference sites for Vandenberg SMR were notable for an almost complete lack of giant kelp (Macrocystis) and the highest densities of bull kelp N. Leutkeana recorded on the central coast. Habitat was similar to sites within the MPA, but with higher coverage of boulder and cobble. The fish assemblage was also similar to that seen within the MPA with moderate densities for most species. Among invertebrate species, sunflower stars P. helianthoideswere notably abundant.

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