Mearns Rock in 1997

Mearns Rock 1997   1997 Enlarged Quadrat

What You See

The boulder is once again covered (about 80%) with the seaweed Fucus. There are several age groups of Fucus on the boulder. Young Fucus is growing over the top section of the boulder and adult Fucus is growing around the mid-portion. The beach face is again rich with seaweed. No mussels are visible and the areas occupied by the barnacles have shrunk. (Which other photo does the boulder resemble now?)
1997 Enlarged Quadrat

This year, the quadrat is occupied by Fucus, some dark sections of mussels, and a slimy, filamentous algae.

What's Happening

Starfish and sea otters may have been preying on the mussels, and a predatory snail, Nucella, has likely been eating the barnacles. (Although you can't tell from the photo, the Nucella population has been slowly growing on the boulder.)