Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

Browse Titles | Search Citations & Abstracts

(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Abundances and distribution of turban snails in central California kelp forests
Student Author(s): Miller, Mary Katherine
Faculty Advisor(s): Pearse, John
Pages: 24
Location: Senior Thesis UC Santa Cruz
Date: July 1981
Keywords: Hopkins Marine Life Refuge, HMLR, Point Cabrillo, Lovers Point, Lovers of Jesus Christ Point, Pacific Grove
Abstract: Kelp beds in central California have long fascinated SCUBA divers and scientists for their beauty and diversity. The high productivity and diversity of giant kelp communities (Macrocystis) are well documented (Andrews, 1945; North, 1971; Mann, 1973). Within these communities many habitats have been identified and described. One such habitat which has been examined is Macrocystis itself. The stipes and blades of this alga are host to large numbers of microinvertebrates as well as larger motile organisms (Wing and Clendenning, 1971). In Monterey Bay these motile inverebrates include members of the gastropod genus Tegula, belonging to the family Trochidae in the order Archaeogastropoda. This large order includes such diverse snails as the limpet, keyhole limpet and abalone which have been characterized (Graham, 1955) as herbivores feeding, with the aid of a radula, on algae, diatoms and algal detritus (Morton, 1967). There are three species of Tegula which occur commonly in the kelp beds of central California, T. pulligo, T. brunnea and T. montereyii. The distribution of these snails within kelp beds have been investigated previously (Lowry et al., 1974; Hunt, 1977; Riedman et al., 1981). As juveniles they are common on the benthos but as adults they occur primarily on Macrocystis and other algae. It has been previously reported that they occupy distinctive zones which are species specific as to depth and vertical height on the kelp. The purpose of this study is to compare abundances of turban snails at three locations in Monterey Bay and re-examine their distribution patterns on Macrocystis pyrifera.