Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Land Ocean Interaction in the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER

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Poster Number: 
Presenter/Primary Author: 
Dan Reed
Filipe Alberto, Mark Brzezinski, Craig Carlson, Kyle Cavanaugh, Scott Cooper, Carla D’Antonio, Jenny Dugan, Anita Guerrini, Gretchen Hofmann, Sally Holbrook, Sally MacIntyre, Jim McWilliams, John Melack, Robert Miller, Margaret O’Brien, H. Mark Page, Pete Raimondi, Andrew Rassweiler, Dar Roberts, Josh Schimel, Russ Schmitt, Dave Siegel, Alex Simms, Libe Washburn

The Santa Barbara Coastal LTER (SBC) is an interdisciplinary research and education program established in April, 2000 to investigate the role of land and ocean processes in structuring ecosystems at the land-sea margin. Our focal ecosystem is giant kelp forests, a diverse and highly productive marine ecosystem that occurs on shallow rocky reefs at the interface of the land-sea margin in temperate regions throughout the world. Our principal study domain is the Santa Barbara Channel and the steep coastal watersheds, small estuaries and sandy beaches that border it. Our research seeks to develop a predictive understanding of the structural and functional responses of giant kelp forest ecosystems to environmental forcing from the land and the sea. The amount of nutrients and organic matter delivered to the kelp forest from land and the surrounding ocean varies in response to changes in climate, ocean conditions, and land use. Variation in the supply of these commodities interacts with natural and anthropogenic forms of disturbance to influence the abundance and species composition of kelp forest ecosystems and the ecological services that they provide.