Oh Kelp, Where Art Thou?

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Mapping Kelp in Catalina Islands Fisherman Cove Using Handheld GPS March 1, 2017

Oh Kelp,Where Art Thou?

Stephen Daire, Alicia Evans, Trey Lee, Benecia Zahrani, 03/27/2017-05/03/2017

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Washington Department of Natural Resources standardized kelp forest mapping

Mayne Island Conservancy in British Colombia built upon this methodology, setting collection criteria based on kelp density


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Kelp SignificanceAn indicator for ocean habitat healthPopulation decline is indicative of increasing water temperature, pollution, and overfishingProvides resting and feeding grounds for marine lifeReduces beach erosion and oxygenates water


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Objective 4/21

1. Map kelp forests within the -5m bathymetric contour of Big Fishermans Cove

2. Determine feasibility of mapping kelp beds using the Mayne Island Conservancy methodology

3. Collection to establish a spatial and temporal baseline

4. Determine site suitability for kelp beds, while noting present invasive species

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Combined Data

Spatial Analysis

Data CollectionConcept and Hypothesis Formulation


Project ProposalSignificance of StudyPreliminary Site Survey Research Habitat RequirementsLocate Online DatabasesGPS Data Acquisition Analysis of Areas with Kelp Presence Based on Temperature and BathymetryFlow Chart & Data Dictionary

Mapping in ArcMapPoster Adobe InDesign

KelpData TypeValueTemperature Surface and bottomNumeric in CelsiusTide levelHigh or LowCoded Value (Y/N)DepthBathymetry Numeric in MetersSubstrateRock or sandQualitative TextConditionLiving or DeadCoded Value (Y/N)InvasivePresenceCoded Value (Y/N)

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Study Area


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Suitability AnalysisIdentified suitable habitat based on temperature, depth, and substrate for:-Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp) 6-20m depth5-20CRock substrate-Sargassum horneri 3-15m depth10-25CRock and Sand


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Suitability Map8/21

Spatial Sciences InstituteData Capture Methodology Pt. 1Appropriate data collection parameters based on: the length of the vessel (2.5m) and diver (1.5m) with a 1m buffer in between the two for diver safety

Points: individual organisms

Lines: areas narrower than 5m, with the diver guiding the vessel down the midline of the biological density

Polygons: secluded patches larger than an area of 5m2


Spatial Sciences InstituteData Capture Methodology Pt. 2

Bathymetric depth recorded at low tide using an anchored 30m tape with dive computer attached

Collection completed within the WGS 1984, and analyzed within ArcMap using UTM Zone 11N

Surface and bottom temperature measured with Shearwater Petrel dive computer

Surface line transects by snorkeling and kayaking


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11/21Diver Snorkel, Mask, FinsDry/Wet SuitAnchored 30m tape with dive computer attachedBuoy markersWhistleSurface Support 1-2 person Sea Kayaks, PaddlesTrimble Juno 3B (TerraSync)Personal Floatation DeviceDry BagLaptops

Spatial Sciences InstituteExpected ResultsDue to fluctuations in sea temperature our expectations areInvasive seagrass encroaching on kelp habitatKelp recruitment is moving into colder and deeper waters12/21

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Survey Results13/21

Spatial Sciences InstituteStatistics14/21

Spatial Sciences InstituteDiscussionWhat worked-Initial Site Survey: confirm study area viability, validity of tools and methods What Did Not-Undefined default variables.-GPS Accuracy: Receiver issues. Caused omega, phi, and kappa angles

15/21-Due to study area over water: Backscatter, Overhead obstruction-Variable Ocean Conditions:-Stability issues in 1-man kayak.-Inability to maintain position for point collection.

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Lessons Learned-Do not use a default value definition due to complications, it is better to use radial buttons-Include comments on non-numeric attributes -Ensure GPS setting integrity across all units prior to field work-More conditional information: For Kelp health than living or dead

Spatial Sciences InstituteConclusion

17/21Observed a relationship between kelp colonization, temperature, and sunlight exposure

Due to the prevalence of kelp on the South West face of the cove, which is shaded by a cliff for the entire day

Kelp within the study area is colonizing in shallow depths and shady areas to compete with Sargassum horneri

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Future ResearchShaded Shoreline and Sun exposure as temperature variables.

Research on Membranipora membranacea (Lacy Crust Bryozoan): population genetics and density decline.

Survey Man-Made surfaces as artificial reefs. 18/21

Spatial Sciences InstituteVideo19/21

Produced by Trey Lee. Footage by Alicia Evans, Benecia Zahrani, Carina Ucciferi, Stephen Frochen, Stephen A. Daire Oh Kelp Where Art Thou? https://youtu.be/7TYwq_AY2Wc

Spatial Sciences InstituteReferencesGrotefend, R. Holzer, R. Klemens, K. Ruhl, S. (2015) Spatial Distribution of Eisenia Arborea (Southern Sea Palm) in Big Fishermans Cove. Spatial Sciences Institute.Freiwald, J. Wisniewski, C. Wehrenbreg, M. Shuman, C. & Dawson, C. 2015. Reef Check California Instruction Manual: A Guide to Rocky Reef Monitoring. 8th Etd. Reef Check Foundation. Mayne Island Conservancy Society. 2010 The Mayne Island Conservancy in British Colombia established guidelines and a methodology to map kelp forest habitats, for monitoring. http://www.conservancyonmayne.com/docs/kelp%20mapping%20methodsDartf1-2.pdfProduced by Trey Lee. Footage by Alicia Evans, Benecia Zahrani, Carina Ucciferi, Stephen Frochen, Stephen A. Daire Oh Kelp Where Art Thou? https://youtu.be/7TYwq_AY2WcMarine Region GIS Downloads. Accessed March 1, 2017. https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/GIS/Downloads.Sea Surface Temperature Contour Charts. Accessed March 1, 2017. http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/contour/californ.c.gif.California Cities Point Shapefile. Accessed March 1, 2017.


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ReferencesData Library: California Seafloor Mapping Project: Catalina Island. Accessed March 1, 2017. http://seafloor.otterlabs.org/SFMLwebDATA_CSMP_Catalina.htm."Giant kelp." Giant kelp, Kelp Forest, Plants & algae, Macrocystis pyrifera at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Accessed March 01, 2017. https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/plants-and-algae/giant-kelp.Marks, L. Sargassum horneri Information Sheet. PDF. Santa Cruz: University of California, Santa Cruz, August 27, 2015.


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