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Structural and interactive relationships between intertidal Fucus populations and associated faunal assemblages Nassichuk, M. D.

Abstract

Intertidal populations of Fucus at two sites along the British Columbia coast were investigated in an attempt to establish relation ships between various structural components of the alga and associated faunal assemblages. Experimental field and laboratory techniques were utilized along with a sampling program designed to monitor temporal variation in faunal diversity and to determine the role of algal complexity in the formation and maintenance of associated animal communities. Algal structure was shown to be correlated with faunal diversity although other factors, i.e., Fucus height diversity, were more strongly associated with faunal diversity at certain times of the year. The diversity of the fauna associated with Fucus differed between the two study areas and possible reasons for the differences are discussed. The factors controlling the lower intertidal distribution of Fucus were examined through field and laboratory experimentation. Biological interactions appear to be of primary importance in controlling the lower distribution of the alga.

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