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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

Chapter 10 - North-East Pacific

Summary

The north-eastern Pacific rocky intertidal has become widely recognised as a natural laboratory for experimental ecologists and as a platform for more observationally focussed ecologists seeking to understand macroecological and biogeographical patterns. In this chapter, we focus on a couple of broad topics that are central to our current understanding of fundamental ecological, evolutionary and conservation topics that have benefited from north-eastern Pacific rocky intertidal case studies. The first half of the chapter deals with recent work on the biotic and abiotic factors influencing patterns of range wide abundance and distribution of species, and how such patterns are being affected by human impacts. The second half reviews the latest research on the role of direct (e.g., size-selective harvesting) and indirect human impacts (e.g., climate change, disease) on top-down (e.g., predator/prey dynamics) and bottom-up (e.g., upwelling dynamics) control of rocky intertidal community structure and functioning. Many of the case studies presented in this chapter are a result of decades of monitoring efforts throughout the region; highlighting the utility of long time series data for understanding the temporal variability of ecological interactions and species’ abundance and distribution patterns, while providing baseline data to predict future changes.