Stars at Pillar Point

I've posted a similar graph to this in the past - this one includes more recent data. This graph represents the average number of Pisaster (all species: ochraceus, giganteus, and brevispinus) per 10m2 (the size of our permanent plots) at Pillar Point over the given timeframe. Prior to wasting disease, most of our observations were of adult stars, and of all three Pisaster species (P. ochraceus always being the most abundant, of course). We can clearly see when wasting disease hit (summer of 2013) and the subsequent crash of our Pisaster populations. Since then, we've seen numbers slowly start to climb - but for awhile our observations were primarily of "baby" and juvenile stars. More recently, we've started to find more adult stars - but fewer small stars, so we've actually had a downturn in our overall numbers, as of spring-summer 2016. We have yet to see Pisaster brevispinus back at Pillar Point.

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Posted on January 05, 2017 11:21 PM by kestrel kestrel | 1 comments | Leave a comment
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Pillar Point reef, south of San Francisco on the San Mateo coast (and home to the famous Maverick’s Surf Contest), is a diverse, rocky, intertidal site directly adjacent to the Montara State Marine Reserve. When the reserve was established as a California State Marine Protected Area in 2007, the Pillar Point reef was intentionally excluded from the reserve boundaries for use as a control site. ...more ↓

Mini kestrel created this project on May 18, 2012

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