Effects of Physical Dimensions on Tide Pool Diversity

Effects of Physical Dimensions
on Tide Pool Diversity
Jessica Allen, Celine Morais, Hilary Mann, Erika McLellan, and Sydney Bliss
Tide Pool - Community Structure
 Species differ in diversity and abundance between the rocky
intertidal and tide pools, largely due to the physical and
biological regimes of each
 Fluctuation of physical factors is smaller in tide pools that the
general intertidal (allowing vertical ranges of species to
extend higher)
 Conversely, biological interactions (ex. grazing and
predation) are intensified in tide pools
 Communities are often patchy and somewhat
 Some species are residents, some and
transients, some are accidental visitors
 There are strong associations between a pool’s
physical size and its community structure
Tide Pools – Physical Factors
 Main factor dictating species diversity in a tide pool
 Ex. temperature, salinity, wave and splash exposure, degree
of shading, volume
 The intensity of these is largely dictated by pool shape and
 Fluctuate vertically, horizontally, diurnally and seasonally
 Thus, each pool has a unique physical regime that
largely determines community structure
 Many studies have shown that the number of species
present in a pool is associated with pool depth and
 Ex. deeper pools may support more plant and
invertebrate species
 Our study attempted determine if the physical
dimensions of a tide pool affect the diversity of
organisms within it, as previous studies have
 Null hypothesis = the physical dimensions of a tide pool
have no affect on species diversity within them
 Alternate hypothesis = the physical dimensions of a tide
pool have an affect on species diversity within them
 Measuring abiotic factors
 Sampled and recorded species within quadrates or entire tide
 Species were collected for identification
Figure 1. The effect of tide pool size on diversity at a) Indian Point and b) Green’s
 Ho: Physical dimensions of the tide pools would
have no effect on the species diversity found
within these pools
 Metaxas and Scheibling, 1993; Mahon and
Mahon, 1994
 Area, volume, and species diversity
Factors that could explain discrepancies
in the findings
 Cold weather
 Season
 Sample size
 Wave action and intertidal profile
 Size of tide pools sampled
 Omitted depths of tide pools from our calculations
Future Studies
 Larger sample sizes
 More time needed
 Greater range of tide pools
 Sampling at more locations
 Accurate methods of measurement
 Salinity and Oxygen
 Gather information at different times of day and seasons
 Limited due to tides
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