Last week the summer field season officially began with a rocky intertidal survey blitz!
The entire Bracken Lab worked their tails off to survey the rocky intertidal biodiversity from here (Nahant, MA) to Lubec, ME; sampling 11 sites over 2 degrees of latitude and almost 400 (straight land) miles.
Our main goal was to look at how both tidal elevation (i.e. time spent exposed to air) and geography influences biodiversity and community structure on the rocky shores of the Gulf of Maine (GoM). Since we did the same thing two years ago we’ll also hopefully get a sense of whether things change over time – definitely need more year samples for this question but two time points is a start!
To get the job done we split into two groups of 3 to cover the large geographic area. Each team used transects, quadrats, data sheets, and laser levels to quantify the species present and tidal elevation every 3-meters from the water line to the high intertidal.
Day 1 was a beautiful sunny day but as the week progressed the weather changed for the worse; luckily it only poured on us on the very last day!
Besides surveying, we also collected algal tissue samples for DNA, water samples for nutrient and chlorophyll analysis, took in funny Maine signs, quickly toured Acadia National Park, saw alewife jump up a 100+ year old fish ladder, rolled around in the grass a bit, and caught a gorgeous downeast sunset!
All-in-all it was a fun and productive week… Now, back to data entry!