Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardi) haul-out impact on and behavior in the rocky midtidal zone
Student Author(s): Boal, Jean
Pages: 30
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1979
Keywords: midtide forest community
Abstract: Seal impact on haul-out sites was evidenced by: 1) Greater G. canaliculata and R. affine cover. 2) Shorter and darker G. canaliculata plants. 3) Plant tearing shown by Phyllospadix root visibility. 4) Increassed B. haliotiphila, L. cistula, and T. pulloides populations. 5) Decreased amphipod populations. 6) Fewer L. scutulata and T. funebralis. 7) Possible alteration of bacterial composition.
Seal haul out behavior noted include: 1) Low tide population of 7 to 52 with a mean of 31. 2) Possible preference to haul out under conditions of sun and negative tides. 3) Preferred rockks low, sheltered, near deep water, inaccesible to land animals, and with as little nearby human activity as possible. 4) Particular rock preferences shown by individuals. 5) Rock conflicts characterized by snorting, snarling, head thrusts, flipper tapping, and pushing, with larger seals' success. 6) Sustained pair bonding outside of mating seasons.
Notes: Publ 1980, Marine Ecol - Prog. Ser. 2: 265-269