Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring: Trends and Synthesis

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Pirates Cove

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Pirates Cove is located in Southeast Alaska. This site is five miles away from the city of Sitka, Alaska, and consists of a white sandy leeward cove and a contrasting rocky, moderately sloping windward cove.

Pirates Cove long-term monitoring overview

Pirates Cove is monitored by Sitka Sound Science Center due to its historical significance. Ed Ricketts and Jack Calvin surveyed the cove in 1932 as a part of a wider investigation of the littoral biology of the Pacific Coast from the Northern Baja Peninsula to Sitka, Alaska. In a 1932 paper Ricketts described Pirates Cove as “an outside cove, well protected from wave shock by two narrow entrances, as at Cape Burunof.” The two scientists complied their extensive findings on ecological paradigms in their book Between Pacific Tides. This text organized animals in terms of ecological holism verses previous text’s taxonomical ordering and has been influential to the way scientists view littoral ecology. This site is located in the Alexander Archipelago of Southeastern Alaska on Baranof Island. Pirates Cove is dominated by a mixture of consolidated bedrock and boulder fields, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of boulder fields, cobble beach, and sandy beach.

Pirates Cove long-term monitoring closeup

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Pirates Cove were established in 2011, and are conducted by Sitka Sound Science Center. Long-Term MARINe surveys currently target the following species: Chthamalus/Balanus (Acorn Barnacles), Fucus (Northern Rockweed), Phyllospadix (Surfgrass), and Pisaster (Ochre Star). In addition, motile invertebrates are monitored at this site. Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

Biodiversity Surveys were done by University of California Santa Cruz in 2012. The Biodiversity Survey grid encompasses one section that is approximately 20 meters (along shore) x 20 meters (seaward).

For more information about Pirates Cove, please contact Victoria O'Connell.

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