Mearns Rock in 2003

Mearns Rock 1991   2003 Enlarged Quadrat

What You See

This year, the barnacles have died back somewhat, and no new Fucus plants have been established. The Fucus plants that remain appear slightly larger this year. Sea lettuce continues to grow in the lower left corner of the boulder.
2003 Enlarged Quadrat

In this photograph, we can see a few patches of mature, gold-brown Fucus, the largest appearing in the lower left section of the quadrat. Some very young (greenish) Fucus plants have also sprouted on the quad. A sprinkling of new barnacles (young of the year, which appear as small whitish bumps) are visible, but much of the boulder is bare rock (dark gray). The barnacles that covered the rock in 2002 have largely disappeared and have been replaced by new baby barnacles in 2003.

What's Happening

Conditions are very similar to 2002, with perhaps somewhat less cover of barnacles. We expected both young Fucus and mussels to colonize the rock by now, as they had in 1994/95, but they have not. This could be due to a lack of reproduction in both species or heavy grazing by animals such as limpets and snails. Neither are apparent.