Intertidal Ecology along the Western Coastlines of the Pacific : Upwelling and Bottom-up Effects in Chile and Oregon Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/4x51hk984

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  • The coastal regions of Chile and Oregon are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. The intertidal communities of both areas have been well studied, but much remains to be learned about how those communities are structured over large scales. Here, I explore the upwelling regimes and the subsequent bottom-up effects which have been documented for both regions. These effects include differences in metabolic rates of invertebrates, recruitment rates, plankton and algal growth, and topdown interaction strengths. I focus on my study of the common Chilean predatory crab, Acanthocyclus gayi, to demonstrate how bottom-up effects can regulate community dynamics via facilitation. I found that feeding rates of A. gayi were mediated by algal turf heights directly linked to upwelling regimes. I conclude that understanding the complex ecological links associated with bottom-up effects are increasingly important as we attempt to understand community dynamics at the large scales relevant to conservation and management decisions.
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