Title

Species diversity of the intertidal zone (tide pools) in Chamela, Jalisco Mexico

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Intertidal habitats, and more specifically tide pools, can provide an excellent system for investigating to the relationship between environmental stress and species diversity. We investigated invertebrate species diversity in the intertidal zone along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico. In the intertidal zone environmental stress is thought to be related to location along a tidal gradient,with high zones having greater environmental stress due to being isolated from the ocean for longer periods. We tested the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, which states that species diversity will be at it maximum in intermediately disturbed areas (the mid-tidal zone in our system). We measured species diversity along an elevation (or tidal) gradient by counting the number of individuals (or area) of each invertebrate species, then calculating diversity indices for all tide pools. We used correlation analysis to identify any relationships between the distance above sea level along the tidal gradient and species richness, diversity, or evenness. We also explored the relationship between tide pool size (volume) and species diversity at similar elevations. The greatest species diversity occurred at the high and intermediate elevation pools, and the lowest species diversity occurred at the low elevation pools which were dominated by sea urchins, a dominant predator in this system. Larger tide pools had greater species diversity than small tide pools. Our results seem to support the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, although predation may also be an important factor.

Poster Number

1

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dan Beck, Lisa Ely

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

Geological Sciences

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Species diversity of the intertidal zone (tide pools) in Chamela, Jalisco Mexico

SURC Ballroom A

Intertidal habitats, and more specifically tide pools, can provide an excellent system for investigating to the relationship between environmental stress and species diversity. We investigated invertebrate species diversity in the intertidal zone along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico. In the intertidal zone environmental stress is thought to be related to location along a tidal gradient,with high zones having greater environmental stress due to being isolated from the ocean for longer periods. We tested the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, which states that species diversity will be at it maximum in intermediately disturbed areas (the mid-tidal zone in our system). We measured species diversity along an elevation (or tidal) gradient by counting the number of individuals (or area) of each invertebrate species, then calculating diversity indices for all tide pools. We used correlation analysis to identify any relationships between the distance above sea level along the tidal gradient and species richness, diversity, or evenness. We also explored the relationship between tide pool size (volume) and species diversity at similar elevations. The greatest species diversity occurred at the high and intermediate elevation pools, and the lowest species diversity occurred at the low elevation pools which were dominated by sea urchins, a dominant predator in this system. Larger tide pools had greater species diversity than small tide pools. Our results seem to support the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, although predation may also be an important factor.