Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You're pulling my leg....

Look closely at these two images of the Lined you see the big difference?
Well, don't spend too much of your valuable time looking for it......for you see the images are of the same individual chiton at Constellation Park Marine Reserve.....
Well it's the same chiton for sure, but it's aged from one photo to the next.....
One photo was taken on July 13th 2010, the second photo was taken May 18th 2011...ya that's today,

So I'm trying to figure out the odds of the same person taking a picture of the exact same chiton on a third of a mile long beach in two different years.......anyone out there good at math?

Tidepool plankton.......

During a recent training session for Beach Naturalists I was showing plankton in LOTE area.  I was asked if the sample I was showing was concentrated sea water or if that's how dense the plankton was naturally.
It was concentrated many times through the use of a plankton natural density was not what was shown in the sample. 

However there are situations where the concentration of plankton...even zooplankton can be quite high in the natural in this image of a tide pool at Constellation Park Marine Reserve....5-17-11.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification is also known as CO2's other pending disaster.  As increasing CO2 from the atmosphere enters the oceans it causes a lowering of pH...normal is 8.1.  Some areas in Puget Sound have been measured as low as 7.4.  As the ocean becomes more acidic it reduces the ability of organisms that produce calcium carbonate shells and skeletons to produce those parts.  In planktonic organisms and larval stages more acidic water may  kill the organism. 
On Washington's Willapa Bay and other areas another problem is the increase in upwelling (a normal spring/summer process) brings oxygen depleted, gas saturated, more acidic cold water into shallow bays where oyster reefs are located, and into oyster hatcheries.  This water interferes with the development of larval oysters.  This is a major problem for oyster growers, not to mention the oysters.  A lowering of ocean pH will only add to this problem.  To read more on the subject check out:

Sea Cucumber Spawning


On May 3rd 2011 many of the Burrowing Sea Cucumbers Cucumaria miniata at Constellation Park Marine Reserve were spawning...both male and female.  Males produce a cream colored sperm plume while females produce green eggs that are easily visible.  No additional spawning has be noticed lately.