The effects of interspecies interactions and environmental conditions on biomass accumulation of sessile organisms within Oregon’s rocky mid-intertidal habitats Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/w9505235d

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  • With changing climate conditions and human impacts on ecosystems becoming a big focus of study, it has become even more crucial to understand how our ecosystems work. Community structure within rocky intertidal habitats is governed by a mix of environmental conditions and species interactions. This project examined the effects of different treatments designed to test three different methods of interspecies interaction: predation, competition, and facilitation. We then examined the data in relation to the sites where the samples were collected using MANOVA and linear-contrast analysis. We found that biomass of barnacles, mussels, and algae often tended to be similar in different treatments, suggesting that interspecies interactions were overall fairly weak. The site of origin, on the other hand, had a consistent effect in determining biomass, with a general pattern of northern sites accumulating more biomass than southern sites. We believe that this is due to the interaction between upwelling strength and the width of the continental shelf along the Oregon coast with regard to the roles they play in nutrient, phytoplankton, and larval retention, leading to differences in growth rates.
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