Mearns Rock in 1995

Mearns Rock 1994   1995 Enlarged Quadrat

What You See

In mid-1995, about half of the mussels have disappeared, leaving smaller dark regions on the right side of the boulder. Fucus is making a comeback on the left side and top surface of the boulder. You can also see a resurgence of algal growth on the beach face.
1995 Quadrat

Many of the mussels in the quadrat have disappeared. In contrast to earlier photos, much of the light-colored regions of the boulder is bare rock! Some barnacles are visible (you can distinguish them from the bare rock by their bumpy texture), and in the upper section of the quadrat, you can see some young Fucus plants.

What's Happening

The disappearance of the mussels may be the result of predation (perhaps by sea otters) or
natural mortality. Regardless of whatever caused the boulder's plant life to die back in 1993-
94, the boulder now seems to be supporting new plant and animal life.