The abundance and size of a specified number of common species of
invertebrates and algae are sampled by divers in quadrats (1 m
squared) at each of the six permanent locations along permanent
One potential manifestation of climate change is an increase in the
frequency of severe storms. Such changes are likely to have profound
effects on giant kelp forest ecosystems because storms are a major
source of disturbance that removes kelp and other biota. An increase
in the frequency of severe storms would likely result in large losses
of giant kelp every winter. Giant kelp is the foundation species of
the ecosystem and our long-term monitoring shows that the dynamics of
the benthic community of understory algae and sessile invertebrates
are directly linked to the dynamics of giant kelp (Arkema et al. 2009.
Ecology 90: 3126–3137).