The Grand Sailboat Regatta

Weather

  • Visibility: 8 miles in the early morning, 15 later on
  • Wind: 15-20 knots East, then North, then West
  • Sky: foggy and overcast, then sunny, then overcast
  • Scattered raindrops throughout the day
  • Water: mostly calm, with swells in the afternoon

DSC_6437

Ecological

  • Maya and Tazi conducted 4 intertidal transects today.
  • Studying an intertidal transect involves measuring out a certain distance from a peg, and then documenting the different species found every 0.5 metre.
  • In some transects the 0.5 metres are measured by water elevation; in others simply by distance.
  • By comparing the species found in every zone of the transect with transect data from previous decades, you can see the change in intertidal ecosystems due to climate change.
  • We saw a California Sea Lion with the brand U374 and another with a tracker.
  • While most of the gull eggs all look the same, one particular egg is quite different.

Maintenance

  • Maya and I ran the fire pump in the morning.
  • This added a few inches to the cistern.
  • We removed the old Canadian flag and hoisted a fresh one.
  • Tazi and I removed some algae.
  • Ali whacked away at the thistles.
  • We cleaned the solar panels.

Boats

  • Over 150 sailboats from Victoria passed by Race Rocks in the late morning on their way towards the Western horizon.
  • Some of them started to return as late as 22:30.
  • The colours of their sales included: red, blue, white, fluorescent yellow, green, purple, black, orange, and many combinations of all of the above.
  • Some standouts included the Miles Davis sail and the Union Jack.
  • I couldn’t stop taking photos and ended up with dozens. Below is a selection of the best.
  • One coastguard zodiac and a search and rescue boat appeared to be accompanying the sailboats.
  • Several eco-tours came by, including one Eagle Wings tour that drove through the South Channel.
  • Passing through the South Channel is prohibited as the width is too narrow.

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West in the morning, picking up to 30-35 by noon.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 3′ chop

DSC_6368

Ecological

  • I oversaw an enthusiastic day long census with Maya, Tazi, and Ali.
  • Discovered a new Black Oystercatcher nest with 3 eggs!
  • Maya and Tazi discovered a new Canada Goose nest.
  • I begin to suspect that our new elephant seal male is actually Chuckles.
  • If he did nothing but eat for 3 months straight, that would explain his girth.
  • Saw a Steller Sea Lion branded 9628.
  • We found a blood star, and Maya showed us various chitons.
  • Maya and Tazi did a transect.
  1. Harbour Seals: 190
  2. California Sea Lions: 42
  3. Steller/Northern Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 15 (13 on Great Race, 2 in the Southern waters)
  5. Seagulls: 225 (Glaucous-winged)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 82
  7. Canada Geese: 36 (14 on Great Race, 22 flyovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8 (plus 2 nests with a total 5 eggs)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 3
  11. Barn Swallows: 2

Maintenance

  • We cleaned the solar panels.
  • Finished cleaning the boathouse floor with T.S.P.
  • Repainted some rusty propane tanks.
  • Sanded the westward facing bench by the Students’ house.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by in the morning, but as wind picked up they disappeared.

Transect Peg Locations on Great Race Rocks

Expand this map of Great Race Rocks in order to see the numbered pegs in red around the shoreline. Some of these pegs were intended as intertidal locators, and some as subtidal tethering pegs. The ones with question marks still need to be located to be sure.

Some of the  pegs were established pre-1980 and some were established after 2000.

centrelargeandislepegs
Peg 1: off west side of jetty end- subtidal
Peg 2: off point of bay west of jetty–subtidal
peg 3: further along north side– subtidal
peg 4: off base of cliff– subtidal (proved impractical because of high current)
peg 5: inter and subtidal
peg 5a:later installation- inter and subtidal
peg 5b: later installation-inter and subtidal
peg 6: for tidepool locator and intertidal and subtidal
peg 7: for subtidal minimal use
peg 8: for subtidal not used
peg 9: for subtidal not used
peg 9 : for subtidal not used
peg 10: for subtidal not used
peg 11: subtidal not used as too close to old outfall.
peg 12 inter and subtidal
peg 13: used for annual intertidal algae stratification lab exercise.
peg 14: subtidal- outer extreme North East corner.
peg 14b: inter and subtidal concrete mound with stainless steel hole for peg – inter and subtidal
peg 15: large boat mooring post — used for intertidal lab exercises
peg 15a: inter and subtidal concrete mound with stainless steel hole for peg – inter and subtidal

To be added later: links to webpages with data from these pegs:

Ecological Niche -the Empirical Model

BACKGROUND HISTORICAL TREATMENT of the ECOLOGICAL NICHE
Joseph Grinnell 1917 the habitats and habits of birds
Charles Elton 1927 the species’ place in the biological environment, its relationship to food and predators.
G.F. Gause 1934 the intensity of competition between species suggest the degree to which their niches overlapped
David Lack 1947 realized that niche relationships could provide a basis for evolutionary diversification of species
G.E.Hutchinson 1959 was the first to define the niche concept formally as the activity range of each species along every dimension of the environment.

G. E. Hutchinson on the Niche Concept:  In 1957, in a paper entitled “the Niche Concept by G. E. Hutchinson defined the niche concept formally. One could describe the activity range along every dimension of the environment. Physical and chemical factors such as temperature, humidity, salinity, and oxygen concentration, and biological factors such as prey species and resting background against which an individual may escape detection by predators, could be determined. Each of these dimensions could be thought of as one of n-dimensions in space. Visualizing a space with more than three dimensions is difficult, since the concept of the n-dimensional niche is an abstraction. We may, however, deal with multi-dimensional concepts mathematically and statistically, depicting their essence by physical or graphical representations in three or fewer dimensions.

Ricklefs (1996) notes that “… for example, a graph relating biological activity to a single environmental gradient represents the distribution of a species’ activity along one niche dimension. The level of activity, whether oxygen metabolism as a function of temperature or consumption rate as function of prey size, conveys the ability of an individual to exploit resources in a particular part of the niche space and, conversely, the degree to which the environment can support the population of that species. In two dimensions the individuals niche may be depicted as a hill, with contours representing the various levels of biological activity. In three dimensions, we must think of a cloud in space whose density conveys niche utilization. Beyond three the mind boggles.”

Please see Hutchinson, R.E. 1957. Concluding remarks. Cold Spring Harbor. Symp. Quant. Biol. 22: 415-427.
Paraphrased from Ecology by R. E. Ricklefs 1996.
Hutchinson was the first to formally quantify the niche concept in terms of geometric space. For example, suppose the distribution of a given species of tree squirrel is determined primarily by 3 variables: branch diameter, acorn size and temperature. The “level of activity” describes the ability of the individual to exploit the resources in a given part of the niche space; in this case, number of squirrels foraging for a given level of each environmental factor. Then the niche space occupied by the species is the 3-dimensional space actually occupied by all individuals (Ricklefs 1996). This can be represented graphically as a contour plot.
An empirical model ( Box and Draper 1989) can be obtained by the empirical determination of “niche occupancy” (e.g. density, number of individuals, etc.) in terms of n environmental variables (these may be both biotic and abiotic). This model may be formalized as a second-order polynomial equation; the eigenvalues calculated from the matrix of coefficients of cross-product terms formally quantify the response surface in the area of the optimum response. The simultaneous evaluation of multiple variables is important in biological systems where optimum responses usually consist of a range of values rather than a single point.

THE EXERCISE
We have developed an exercise that allows one to take images from the transect file on the internet and process them, using the computer in order to quantify the ecological niche of organisms. The example provided is from the intertidal transect files from The Race Rocks ecological reserve, in Southern Vancouver Island, Canada.
Follow through the steps as indicated below.
a0050107.

1. For instance from this image from the first transect, A00501, (A0 being the Race Rocks location, 05 being the sample station location and 01 being the first transect at that location, 07 being the seventh quadrat from the top of the intertidal zone. ). Quadrat 07 looks like this. By clicking on this icon you will see this one sample of the actual photo from the transect file.

2. If we want to define the space that the mussels occupy in this quadrat, we have to measure the percent of the quadrat that they are covering. This could be done simply by cutting out a piece of acetate that has been made by xeroxing a piece of graph paper and overlaying it on the screen.

3. A more precise way of doing this is by using an Imaging program to help analyse different aspects of the photograph. Download this image by clicking on the full size image then pressing and holding the right mouse button on a PC or pressing and holding the mouse of a Macintosh . Note that the mussels occupy a portion of this quadrat, a meter stick on the left side gives you the size of the quadrat.

4. CONVERTING THE IMAGES:
Since the above image is in a .JPG format , it has to be converted to a .PICT format for image processing. Do this with a graphic processing program .

5. Using GifConverter: Open the .jpg file obove that you have downloaded. Save it as a .PICT file. This is the format that is necessary to use in the next stage of the process, using NIH Image to measure features of the picture.

6. If you do not have a copy of the freeware NIH IMAGE. Download it from this site. (Both Mac and PC versions are available)

7. INSTRUCTIONS FOR NIH IMAGE:
Calibration:
a) To calibrate the image in terms of real units: Use the straight line tool on the left panel, and draw it the length of the meter stick.
b) Use the pull-down menu called “Analyze”; go to “Set scale” . Change the units to centimeters, and “known distance” to 100.00, then hit “OK”.
c) To compute area: From “Tools” menu, select the heart-shaped tool. Outline the total area occupied by mussels. Click on “Analyze options” ; be sure the area box is selected). Press “OK”. From tool bar, select “Analyze”, “Measure”, “Analyze”, “Show results”. A table appears with the area of mussel coverage (in cm2). To compute % area occupied by mussels, measure the total quadrat area with the above procedure except use the rectangle measurement tool to outline the entire quadrat box.

8. DOWNLOADING THE TRANSECT IMAGES: Now, repeat this procedure with all the quadrats in the belt transect strip that contain mussels, you will also have to copy down the elevation found at the base of each quadrat as well.. a00501 Go to the transect file.

 

9. Select one of the transects, and download the clips.

 

 

tr50110. USING A SPREADSHEET
Now we have to enter the data into an EXCEL or other suitable spreadsheet.. We will give the detailed instructions for EXCEL.
Enter data in column format (each column is a separate variable).
Calculate:
(a) % area covered by mussels for each transect (area covered by mussels/total area)
(b) percent slope: distance in perpendicular height (elevation change between adjacent quadrats divided by the linear distance (one meter) .
To evaluate terrain gradient for each transect (that is, the steepness of the intertidal shoreline), you can graph the relationship between elevation and slope .

excelfile See this example .Here is a sample of the mussel distribution data as it appears on this spread sheet

 

 

 

musPLOTTING IN 3D

The goal of the analysis is to both describe and predict the environmental space that mussels must occupy in order to survive. The first step in the formal process is a graphical description of the environmental space actually occupied by the animals. In this example, the environmental space is the two dimensional space defined by the variables elevation and slope; the biotic “response” is the percent area occupied by mussels.We imported the variables X1 = “elevation”, X2 = “slope”, Y = “% mussel area” into a standard 3D graphics package (e.g. JMP-Contour Plot). The resulting graph gives the contour plots of mussel density as a function of the 2 environmental variables. Interpretation is similar to reading contour lines on an ordinary topographical map. Note that the “optimum” area for mussel settlement is a range of values for elevation and slope rather than a single point.

This file on Ecological Niche Models was developed by Penny Reynolds, Richard Rosecrance and Garry Fletcher at the Bioquest Consortium Workshop, on WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM CONTEMPORARY MATHEMATICS REFORM? June 21-29, 1997.

It was supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to : The BioQuest Curriculum Consortium

Race Rocks Transects : Sample

CONTENTS: Background,
Numbering System
A00501 -West side of Great Race Rocks Island Some ideas for use of these transect photos
A00502, -West side of Great Race Rocks Island Tidal Levels
A00503 -West side of Great Race Rocks Island Procedures for Processing the Images
1998 Class Photo transects of PEG #15
North side of Great Race Rocks Island
Other transect images from different locations

BACKGROUND

The students and faculty of Lester B. Pearson College which is a member of the United World Colleges have used the ecological reserve and now the MPA of Race Rocks for studies of marine ecosystems, both subtidally and intertidally since1978. During that time a number of exercises have been developed to use in teaching ecological concepts in the International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Biology classes.

While using basic research techniques it has been possible to start to build up a library of information that can be more useful for determination of the effects of long term climatic changes or changes induced by humans, (anthropogenic). In addition this record may provide ideas to encourage others to apply the techniques to other ecosystems. In 1999 the Race Rocks Ecological Overview was added to help bring together the ecological information on Race Rocks.

NUMBERING SYSTEM

A numbering system had to be developed that reflected the concept that this was only one of many that could be referenced from this site if individuals from around the world were willing to collaborate with us in building the project.
LOCATION….PEG NUMBER…TRANSECT NUMBER….QUADRAT NUMBER..

A0………………….05………………………..01…………………………………..01………
Where:
A0 refers to the first site to be added to this WWW site
05 refers to the peg location ( we have 15 such locations permanently identified at the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.)
01 refers to the first transect entered from this location.
01 refers to the first quadrat picture that you can access on this photographic strip.

SOME IDEAS FOR USE OF THESE TRANSECT PHOTOS

  • Quantify the distribution of organisms
  • Relate the distribution to the intertidal elevation
  • Find out how to capture these images
  • Use other technology to analyze the photos
  • Study the mussels in greater depth
  • Study other organisms from the transects in greater depth.
  • Students in environmental systems will use this as a source to prepare for investigations in the intertidal zone when we have the opportunity to do a field lab at the ecological reserve. The photo strips also could be used by those living far from an ocean shore to study the relationship between abiotic or physical factors and organism distribution. Also by noting the location of certain species, for instance the mussels, M. californianus and then seeing where they would fit on a tidal level chart for the area (using the Victoria Tide Tables) ,students could calculate the length of times for submergence and emergence of the species in a week, a month, or a year. In addition they could compare the conditions in the winter months, with the extreme low tides occurring in the night with the conditions in the summer months when the low tides occur every two weeks in the daytime. Students should be encouraged to discuss the results of their investigations and pose further questions about conditions in the intertidal zone. For a more in depth exercise on the Ecological Niche of organisms go here.
  • TIDAL LEVELS Since the location of organisms in the intertidal zone is partially determined by tidal levels, that is one of the essential measurements given with our transect images. It is important to understand that the levels given here are based on the Canadian tide tables
    Victoria Tide TablesThese are not calculated the same way as tables from the United States. To convert the elevations given here to conform to the US pattern in which 0.0 equals mean lower low water, subtract 0.8 meters from these Canadian readings.You may find further explanation on the operation of Tides in any marine Biology or Oceanography text. One that may be useful is:
    Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast– by Eugene Kozloff, page 7-9.
  • For TIDAL Heights of Other LOCATIONS, use this link
  • THIS IS JUST A START!
    By looking here you might get a few ideas of how you can do some interesting investigations using these pictures. But don’t stop there, we would like you to collaborate with us by adding ideas and new transects to our list. It would be excellent if someone living on another ocean shore with different intertidal zonation patterns could supply a similar set of photographs for comparison.Go back to techniques for directions on how to contribute
  • TRANSECTS IN THE RACE ROCKS MPABy opening this picture you will see a larger view of the northwest corner of Great Race Rocks in the Race Rocks MarineProtected Area (A005), the site of the first transect in this project. The locations where the transect photos were This taken are marked in red on the photo. 2. A00502Press on the following photo to see in more detail the location of transect A00502 at the water end of the transect. (The meter stick is at the A0050209 location)

    This transect is composed of 9 photos that you can scroll through from the upper intertidal region to the water at 0 meters tidal level.

    LOAD Transect A00502 Photo Strip

    1. A00501Press on the following photo to see in more detail the location of the first transect that was done for this project . ( A00501)

    .LOAD Transect A00501 Photo Strip
    The meter stick lies in the quadrat of the site nearest the water.The red arrow indicates where the transect was located.

    In the following set of transect photos at this location, measurements of the elevation above the sea level are given for every meter beside each photo. It is suggested that you make a graph of the elevations, so you can visualize the slope of the intertidal community

    The transect picture strips may take a minute to load, they are composed of 11 consecutive pictures When loaded you can scroll up and down through the entire intertidal zone.

    3. A00503Press on the following photo to see in more detail the location of transect A00503.

    .

    This transect is composed of 9 photos that you can scroll through from the upper intertidal region to the water at 0 meters tidal level. The meter stick is at the A0050309 location. Press the back arrow to return to these directions

    LOAD Transect A00503 photo strip

Race Rocks Belt Transect Lab

BELT TRANSECT PROCEDURE

About 20 metres east from the dock on the north side of Great Race Rocks, we plotted our transect from Peg 15, a bearing of 270 degrees. Starting at peg 15 and going parallel to the environmental gradient of slope to the ocean, we laid a tape measure and at every half-meter we made a 50cm-by-50cm quadrant and counted the species in the plot.

ANALYSIS: We counted the algae by percent cover and the invertebrates by number. Some species overlapped, such as Anthopleura and Halosaccion. This coexistence was possible because the two species were not vying for the same food source. Species such as thatched barnacles and acorn barnacles did not live in the same quadrants, however. This may be because they are competing for the same substrate and nutrients and each prevents the other from invading into their space. As well, the thatched barnacles stopped growing at quadrant 15 but that is just where its competition, acorn barnacles began to grow. Perhaps one species was better suited to surviving further up the shore.

That was the case for many of the species along the transect. Invertebrates like chiton, limpets and snails needed to be covered by the tide for most of its cycle. If these species tried to grow where they were exposed for a longer period of time, they would dry out and die. Other species like lichen need to be out of the water and as expected, were only found at high elevations on the transect.

The topography also affected the species diversity. The California Mussel, for example, was found only in quadrants that had crevices and rough substrate on which to grow.    In general, the abiotic factor that had the greatest affect on species diversity on the transect was the elevation and amount of tide cover the area got during a tide cycle. Below are kite diagrams of each species we found on the transect.

Carmen and Jana Environmental Systems class April 2003  This x-axis represents percentage cover for the macroalgaes. Note it may be a different scale in the graphs. The y-axis represents the .5meter quadrat location from the peg #15

Carmen and Jana Environmental Systems class April 2003

LINK to photographic transect strip of this area.

This x-axis represents percentage cover for the macroalgaes. Note it may be a different scale in the graphs. The y-axis represents the .5meter quadrat location from the peg #15.

The “series” 1 and 2 just represent half of the value for each quadrat for the species, a way to get EXCEL to plot a symmetrical “kite” shape

Hedophylum sp. ( Brown wrinkled algae)
Analepus sp. ( rare algae)

Hedophylum sp. ( Brown wrinkled algae)

Praseola sp. (green mat algae)
Xanthorea sp. (yellow Lichen)
Porphyra.sp
Hildenbrandia sp. ( red thin crust algae)
Alaria marginata ( brown Algae)
Coralina sp. ( pink coraline algae)
Fucus sp.

LINK to photographic transect strip of this area. The “series” 1 and 2 just represent half of the value for each quadrat for the species, a way to get EXCEL to plot a symmetrical “kite” shape

Gigartina sp. (red algae)
Cryptosiphonia sp. (like wet dog hair)
Halosaccion sp.. (salt sac algae)
Golden Diatom

Ulva lactuca Sea lettuce

Californianus sp.California mussel

Searlesia dira ( Spindle Whelk

Amphysia sp. Snail

Neomolgis sp. Red Spider Mite

 

Purple Nucella Snail

INVERTEBRATES
individuals are tabulated.

Limpet
Acorn Barnacles
Thatched Barnacles
Littorina Periwinkle snail
Anthopleura elegantisima ( green intertidal anemone)

Katharina sp. (leather chiton)

Return to the Ecological Monitoring Contents page.

Transect Study- Environmental Systems Class peg-15

PEG 15 TRANSECT
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS CLASS

transect_gfApril 1998: For this Exercise, a section of gently sloping shoreline to the East of the Docks at Peg #15 was chosen.(large old original oil-barge docking post  This intertidal zone rock is exposed to the North West, but protected by the corner of Great Race Island projecting to the West. The transect was laid at a bearing of 285 degrees. Maximum exposure of the area occurs when the wind blows from the North East in the winter months. This work was done in April when the area experiences the first of the low tides in the early part of the day.

 

 

RoyalRoadstransectAlso see the images of the Royal Roads students working on peg 15 in the summer of 1999.

The following is the transect strip ( in miniature form). Click on strip for the enlarged version. It will take a few minutes to download the whole strip ..

The photos for the transect strips were taken in 8mm video by Sebastian and Garry after the class recorded the details of species distribution over the 50 cm strip, running perpendicular to the shoreline.

Images of the students were scanned from slides taken by Duane Prentice, a professional photographer who lives in Victoria and is an Alumni of Pearson College.. Images copyrighted, 1999 by Duane Prentice.

PEG 15 : PHOTO BELT TRANSECT

Bearing 285 degreesThis area has a fairly constant slope for the 12.5 meters over a vertical range of 3 meters.The photos, one half meter in length, were taken from a video at low tide, in APRIL 1998 by Garry and Sebastian.
Investigation: 1. Plot a profile of the shoreline given the information provided.2. Determine the percentage coverage of the different species of algae shown.3. The physical factors of the habitat of an algae living high in the intertidal zone like Porphyra changes with the seasons. In this area, our low tides occur in the daytime in the summer and in the night time during the winter. It would be revealing to compare the exposure during the daytime in February or March with the exposure in June. First determine from the profile drawn above, the range of tidal level where this species lives intertidal. Then go to the data page where you can access the Tidal Predictions for Race Rocks . From the tidal level profile for Victoria, you will be able to see a graph of the tide levels .Determine how many hours this Porphyra will be exposed to the air by recording the cumulative lengths of time that the water level does not go above the lower limit of the algae. If you do this for different times of the year, you will be able to quantify the time spent submerged or emmerged over a number of days. Be sure to take into account the time of the tidal cycle when choosing days to measure, because you will notice a two week pattern of Spring ( maximum range ) and Neap( minimum range) tides.

Based on your evidence, suggest a hypothesis that could explain why this algae disappears from this area for most of the summer.

BELT TRANSECT PHOTO
Distance, at the bottom of the picture from peg 15
Comments and species identification
1a 0.5 metres This is the upper level just below peg15 The yellow lichen at the top by the peg is Xanthoria parietina.

We also found the spider mite Neomolgus sp. at this level

1b 1.0 metres Life is very sparse in this high splash zone, although a prominent invertebrate that we find is the tiny red mite Neomolgus
2a 1.5 metres
2b 2.0 metres —The red algae Porphyra sp
3a 2.5 metres
3b 3.0 metres
4b 3.5 metres A few barnacles are starting to appear in the moist crevices.

 

5a 4.0 metres
5b 5,5 meters
6a 5.0 metres
6b 5.5 metres
7a 6.0 metres
7b 6.5 metres Barnacles almost totally cover this areas for several meters

 

10b

8a 7.0 metres
8b 7.5 metres
9a 8.0 metres The sea lettuce, Ulva lactuca strts to appear.
10a 8.5 metres
9.0 metres
9.5 metres The brown algae here is Alaria sp

 

11a 10.0 metres
11b 10.5 metres
12a 11.0 metres
12b 11.5 metres The wrinkled brown algae: Hedophyllum sp.
13a 12.0 metres
13b 12.5 metres ( this is close to 0 tidal level ) The green grass-like plant is Phyllospadix sp , (an Angiosperm, not an Algae)

The TRANSECT as a TOOL in COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

The initiation of this file took place at the 1995 BioQUEST Summer Workshop on: Collaborative Learning , Peer Review, and Persuasion in Biology Education Beloit College , WI. USA.This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. DUE- 9354813 (Division of Undergraduate Education).

INDEX

Return to the Ecological Monitoring Contents page.

Race Rocks Long-Term Monitoring Program

By- Jane Watson
Ed note: Our thanks to Jane Watson for taking the time to provide this possible protocol for ecological monitoring. This procedure was tried by the students but was found to be difficult to use at Race Rocks because of current, slope and exposure. It can however be adapted in part . Over 15 pegs have been established and we maintain several samples of data that are  archived in the lab at Pearson College.

What is the purpose of long-term monitoring projects?
Long-term monitoring projects are often used to follow changes in community composition or structure that occur over time. In this case you will be looking at natural changes in marine algae and invertebrate populations with respect to both long and short-term changes in water temperature.

How will this project be carried out?
You will be helping to establish the study sites which ultimately Pearson college will monitor two to three times a year. At least four of these sites will be at Race Rocks, others will be established at other sites that Pearson College divers visit regularly.

What will this involve?
Over the next three months we will be putting the permanently marked transects in. Once we have established all of the transects we will start to sample them. On each permanently marked transect Coast-watch divers will use randomly placed quadrats to estimate the abundance of selected invertebrates and algae.
In the lab the data will be entered and analyzed. These data should show how the abundance of many of many marine plants and animals change over time.
We will also be installing an underwater thermograph. This small instrument will record water temperature at predetermined intervals. Several times a year Pearson college divers will retrieve the instrument and down-load the data onto a computer. Changes in the composition of the marine community can then be examined with respect to mean temperatures, extreme temperatures and so on.
In addition to counting the abundance of marine invertebrates and algae, we will be tagging abalone, in an attempt to follow growth and mortality of individual abalone. We will also be measuring urchins which will allow us to follow changes in the population structure over time.

What will you need to know to sample these sites?
There are a number of plant and invertebrate species that you will need to be able to identify before we can sample the sites. You will also need to know how to sample using a quadrat, tag abalone and use vernier callipers… not exactly difficult stuff.
You will also need to know how to enter and analyze the data you collect. We will set things up so that this is straightforward. At the end of the school term you will be able to plot the mean abundance of the organisms we sample at all of our permanent transects. In subsequent years other Pearson College divers will continue to sample these sites.

Some species you will need to know
Invertebrates
Phylum Echinodermata

Red urchin – Strongylocentrotus franciscanus
This is the most abundant of the urchins, it is unmistakable, being big and red. We will count the number of red urchins in each quadrat, as well as measuring the test diameter of the urchins. This will be done with vernier callipers. By measuring the size of the urchin tests we will be able to trace the settlement of new “recruits” and follow their growth.

Green urchin – S. droebachiensis
This is the smaller green urchin that is quite common in sheltered areas. We will count green urchins, but not measure them, unless they are very abundant at any of our sites.

Purple urchin – S. purpuratus
A small purple urchin that is generally found in the very shallow subtidal, and sometimes in the intertidal. If it occurs on any of our sites we will count them only.

Green urchins – S. droebachiensis
A small green urchin that is generally found in more sheltered waters, we will probably not encounter too many green urchins.

Giant sea cucumber – Parastichopus californicus
A large browny red sea cucumber, These are generally found in sheltered areas, or in water depths of greater than 10m. They are found on both hard and soft-bottoms.

Orange sea cucumber – Cucumaria miniata
This cucumber has a browny red body and bright orange tentacles. It is found in crevices wifli its tentacles extending beyond the crevice.

Sunflower star – Pycnopodia helianthoides
The largest of the sea stars, it can be up to lm in diameter, it comes in a variety of colours, usually orangy brown. It has up to 24 legs.

Leather star – Dermasterias imbricata
The leather star has a red back with greeny makings. It derives its name from its ieather-like texture. If you smell it (no not underwater) it has a gunpowder/garlic smell.

Beach star – Pisaster ochraceus
Yellow or purple, generally intertidal, but also found subtidally at some locations .

Painted star – Orthasterias khoeleri
Orange pink and purple, a very attractive sea star that occurs subtidally on rocky bottoms.

Blood star – Henticia spp.
This bright red, star is very common on both rocky and soft-bottomed areas.

Basket star – Gorganocephalus eucnemis
This species usually occurs in deep water, but Race Rocks is unique in having this species in shallow subtidal water.

Phylum Mollusca
Abalone Haliotois kamtschatkana
The pinto abalone occurs from the lower intertidal to depths of about 10m. We will count, measure and tag all of the abalone we encounter. When tagged abalone are re-encountered they will be re-measured to follow growth in abalone.

Red turban snail – Astraea gibbersoa
A medium-sized snail that is very common on coralline algae. It has a hard operculum, and a shell that becomes covered with coralline algae.

Gumboot chiton – Cryptochiton stelleri
‘Ite largest chiton on our coast. You cannot see the 8 shell or plates that make up the gumboot chiton’s shell, they are hidden beneath the pinky brown tissue on the dorsal surface.

Cnidaria
Plumose anenome
Metridum senile
A very abundant bright white anenome, that does particularly well in high current areas. We will count anemones as we encounter them.

There will be other invertebrates added to this list once we determine which species are representative of the areas we are sampling.
Brown Algae
brownalgaeKelps – Laminariales
Bull kelp – Nereocystis luetkeana

Bull kelp is an annual species, it grows rapidly in areas that are highly disturbed. Bull kelp forms a floating canopy, it is very common at Race Rocks.

Tree kelpPtrerygophora californica
Tree kelp looks very much like a tree. It is a perennial species that lives in excess of 17 years. Pterygophora can be aged by cutting it down and counting the rings in its stalk or stipe. We will be tagging tree kelp on one of the transects at Race Rocks this will allow us to look at the persistence of tree kelp

Eisenia arborea
Eisenia looks
very much Pterygophora, except that it has blades which are serrated at the edges, and the blades grow in two “bunches” at the top of the plant.
Laminafia setcheIlii
Laminaria groenlandica
These two species do not have a common name. Laminaria setchellii found in similar areas to Pterygophora, except that Laminaria setchellii is generally found in slightly more exposed areas.
Laminaria groenlandica is found in more sheltered areas. It looks quite different than Laminaria setchellii, since the two species are found in different areas you should have no trouble sorting them out.

Costaria costata
Costaria is really distinctive, it has three ribs on one side and two ribs on the other. It is generally an annual species but frequently manages to overwinter.

Acid weed Desmarestia spp.
Acid weed is an annual species, which has a very “weedy” life history, it grows in highly disturbed areas, and is one of the first species to grow in areas that have been disturbed. It is very hard to count, because it forms a blanket over the sea floor, to count it you have to go down to the holdfast.

Pleurophycus gardneri
This species is generally found in very shallow areas in wave-washed areas. It is very distinctive.

There will be other species of algae that we add to our list.

ab1test

 

 


SAMPLING
To sample the invertebrates at each of the permanently marked sites we will be using quadrats. Most of you will have done quadrat sampling before.
We will be using a random – sampling method, in which quadrats are placed randomly along / or near the transect line, and the selected invertebrates and algae in each quadrat will be counted. From these data we will calculate the mean (average) abundance as well as the variation in abundance that occurs at each site. These data will plotted in graphs which compare the abundance of each species over time, and with respect to changes in temperature.
We will go over the sampling methods prior to starting the project. All data will be recorded on data sheets pre-printed on underwater paper. An example of the type of data sheet we will be using is attached.

RACE ROCKS SAMPLING PROGRAMME
Long-term sampling, a review

Long-term sampling programmes are often used to follow changes in the abundance of plants and animals over time. We will be looking at changes in the abundance of algae and invertebrates at Race Rocks. These changes will be examined with respect to changes in water temperature. The sampling method we will be using is called a stratified-random sample.

What is stratified random sampling?

In a stratified random sample we will sample the sea floor in a random manner, that is there will be no predetermined pattern to the sampling programme. The samples will be stratified because we will make sure that three depths are represented equally in our random samples.

What will we need?
Each dive pair will need
– a 30m tape measure
– a 0.7m X 0.7m quadrat (0.5m squared)
– a clip board and data sheet (with pencil)
– a slate (with pencil)
– a pair of vernier calipers
– pre-mixed epoxy, and petersen discs
– a set of 20 random number

How will we sample?
We have established 6 permanent transects around Race Rocks. Each transect is 30 metres long and runs from the shallow subtidal to about 10m depth. Once a dive pair has located the transect they will be working on, a tape measure will be tied to the shallowest pin (the 0 metre pin) and laid out down to the last pin (30 metre pin).

Before the dive, each dive pair will determine a set of 20 random numbers from a random number table (attached to these pages). There will be two numbers, both between 0 and 9. The first number will refer to the distance along the tape measure, let us say 6.9 metres (it will be the first two numbers, where-ever you start on the table, ie:69). The second number, let us say 7, will refer to the number of flipper kicks right or left of the line. The dive pair will swim along the tape locate the 6.9 mark, then left 7 kicks to the right or left of the 6.9 metre mark. After 7 kicks the diver drops the quadrat and starts to count all the invertebrates and seaweed in the quadrat.

While one diver does the counting and recording, the second diver will measure all of the sea urchins in the quadrat, recording the test diameter of each sea urchin to the nearest cm. Likewise the length of any abalone in the quadrat should also be measured, the abalone should also be tagged, using epoxy and a Petersen disc tag. The tag number should be recorded along with the length of the ablaone. Any abalone you see outside of the quadrat can also be measured and tagged.

Once the quadrat count and the measuring is completed, the dive pair returns to the tape measure, and repeats the process, using the next set of random numbers. In total divers will sample 20 quadrats between 0-10m (10 quadrats on the right side of the line, 10 quadrats on the left side), 20 quadrats between 10-20m and 20 quadrats between the 20-30m, for a total of 60 quadrats per transect. The transects will be sampled twice a year.

 Once the dive pair has sampled 20 quadrats from between the 0-10 pins, they move down to the 10-20 metre pins and repeat the process, as time and air supply allow. If it is easier, three dive pairs can work on each transect line, one dive pair working in the 0-10m area, the next pair in the 10-20m area and the third pair in the 20-30m area. Dividing the transect into three areas is the stratified part of the sampling design, using the random number table is the random part of the sampling design.

Back at the College

Wash all the sampling gear you used with fresh water, and return to its appropriate place. Back in the lab you will need to wash the salt off your data sheet, and copy the sea urchin measurements and abalone tag/measurements onto the back of the data sheet for the section of the transect line you and your partner sampled. You will also need to make sure that all of your numbers are readable, and that you have filled in all of the blanks on the data sheet.

During later lab periods you will be entering this data, and calculating the average (mean) density of the animals and seaweed you counted along each transect line. Subsequent years of Pearson College students will continue this sampling programme to generate a long-term view of how invertebrate and algae abundance changes over time.

Following is a page of random numbers, you should make sure that you are comfortable using this table. Likewise there is a data sheet, please make sure that you are familiar with the species listed on the data sheet, and that you will be able to identify them underwater.

Random number table — 10,000 random numbers

ab4random27791 82504 33523

33147 46058 92388

67243 10545 40269

78176 70368 95523

70199 70547 94331

The first ten numbers in the last line are interpreted as: 7.0 m 1 kick, 9.9 m 7 kicks, 0.5 m 4 kicks, 7.9 m 4 kicks

TABLE B.39 (cont.) TEN THOUSAND RANDOM DIGITS

RACE ROCKS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE SUBTIDAL RECORD
ab5rrmapSample of one of the underwater recording projects. The numbers on the island represent pegs that are permanently imbedded in the rock. Transect lines go out from the pegs on designated bearings and belt transects are located at intervals indicated in meters. The records for these surveys are kept at Pearson College.

T = 1994-1995 permanent transects

 

brownalgaeThere will be other species of algae that we add to our list.

 

 

 

Sampling

To sample the invertebrates at each of the permanently marked sites we will be using quadrats. Most of you will have done quadrat sampling before.

We will be using a random – sampling method, in which quadrats are placed randomly along / or near the transect line, and the selected invertebrates and algae in each quadrat will be counted. From these data we will calculate the mean (average) abundance as well as the variation in abundance that occurs at each site. These data will plotted in graphs which compare the abundance of each species over time, and with respect to changes in temperature.

We will go over the sampling methods prior to starting the project. Data will be recorded on data sheets pre-printed on underwater paper.

RACE ROCKS SAMPLING PROGRAMME
Long-term sampling, a review

Long-term sampling programmes are often used to follow changes in the abundance of plants and animals over time. We will be looking at changes in the abundance of algae and invertebrates at Race Rocks. These changes will be examined with respect to changes in water temperature. The sampling method we will be using is called a stratified-random sample.

What is stratified random sampling?

In a stratified random sample we will sample the sea floor in a random manner, that is there will be no predetermined pattern to the sampling programme. The samples will be stratified because we will make sure that three depths are represented equally in our random samples.

What will we need?

Each dive pair will need

– a 30m tape measure

– a 0.7m X 0.7m quadrat (0.5m squared)

– a clip board and data sheet (with pencil)

– a slate (with pencil)

– a pair of vernier calipers

– pre-mixed epoxy, and petersen discs

– a set of 20 random number

ab5rrmapHow will we sample?

We have established 6 permanent transects around Race Rocks. Each transect is 30 metres long and runs from the shallow subtidal to about 10m depth. Once a dive pair has located the transect they will be working on, a tape measure will be tied to the shallowest pin (the 0 metre pin) and laid out down to the last pin (30 metre pin).

Before the dive, each dive pair will determine a set of 20 random numbers from a random number table (attached to these pages). There will be two numbers, both between 0 and 9. The first number will refer to the distance along the tape measure, let us say 6.9 metres (it will be the first two numbers, where-ever you start on the table, ie:69). The second number, let us say 7, will refer to the number of flipper kicks right or left of the line. The dive pair will swim along the tape locate the 6.9 mark, then left 7 kicks to the right or left of the 6.9 metre mark. After 7 kicks the diver drops the quadrat and starts to count all the invertebrates and seaweed in the quadrat.

While one diver does the counting and recording, the second diver will measure all of the sea urchins in the quadrat, recording the test diameter of each sea urchin to the nearest cm. Likewise the length of any abalone in the quadrat should also be measured, the abalone should also be tagged, using epoxy and a Petersen disc tag. The tag number should be recorded along with the length of the ablaone. Any abalone you see outside of the quadrat can also be measured and tagged.

Once the quadrat count and the measuring is completed, the dive pair returns to the tape measure, and repeats the process, using the next set of random numbers. In total divers will sample 20 quadrats between 0-10m (10 quadrats on the right side of the line, 10 quadrats on the left side), 20 quadrats between 10-20m and 20 quadrats between the 20-30m, for a total of 60 quadrats per transect. The transects will be sampled twice a year.

ab1test

Once the dive pair has sampled 20 quadrats from between the 0-10 pins, they move down to the 10-20 metre pins and repeat the process, as time and air supply allow. If it is easier, three dive pairs can work on each transect line, one dive pair working in the 0-10m area, the next pair in the 10-20m area and the third pair in the 20-30m area. Dividing the transect into three areas is the stratified part of the sampling design, using the random number table is the random part of the sampling design.

Back at the College

Wash all the sampling gear you used with fresh water, and return to its appropriate place. Back in the lab you will need to wash the salt off your data sheet, and copy the sea urchin measurements and abalone tag/measurements onto the back of the data sheet for the section of the transect line you and your partner sampled. You will also need to make sure that all of your numbers are readable, and that you have filled in all of the blanks on the data sheet.

During later lab periods you will be entering this data, and calculating the average (mean) density of the animals and seaweed you counted along each transect line. Subsequent years of Pearson College students will continue this sampling programme to generate a long-term view of how invertebrate and algae abundance changes over time.

Insert Random number table and data sheet.

Following is a page of random numbers, you should make sure that you are comfortable using this table. Likewise there is a data sheet, please make sure that you are familiar with the species listed on the data sheet, and that you will be able to identify them underwater.

ab4random

click to enlarge

Random number table — 10,000 random numbers

27791 82504 33523

33147 46058 92388

67243 10545 40269

78176 70368 95523

70199 70547 94331

 

 

The first ten numbers in the last line are interpreted as: 7.0 m 1 kick, 9.9 m 7 kicks, 0.5 m 4 kicks, 7.9 m 4 kicks

TABLE B.39 (cont.) TEN THOUSAND RANDOM DIGITS

RACE ROCKS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE SUBTIDAL RECORD
Sample of one of the underwater recording projects. The numbers on the island represent pegs that are permanently imbedded in the rock. Transect lines go out from the pegs on designated bearings and belt transects are located at intervals indicated in meters. The records for these surveys are kept at Pearson College.

T = 1994-1995 permanent transects

There will be other species of algae that we add to our list.

Sampling

To sample the invertebrates at each of the permanently marked sites we will be using quadrats. Most of you will have done quadrat sampling before.

We will be using a random – sampling method, in which quadrats are placed randomly along / or near the transect line, and the selected invertebrates and algae in each quadrat will be counted. From these data we will calculate the mean (average) abundance as well as the variation in abundance that occurs at each site. These data will plotted in graphs which compare the abundance of each species over time, and with respect to changes in temperature.

We will go over the sampling methods prior to starting the project. Data will be recorded on data sheets pre-printed on underwater paper. An example of the type of data sheet we will be using is attached.

Jane Watson

Faculty of Science &Technology

900 fifth Street, Nanaimo,

British Columbia, Canada V9R 5S5

Tel (250) 741-2300 – Fox (250) 755-8749 http:llwww.mala.bc.cal