Kelp forest communities along an otter gradient

Despite their profound and prolonged ecological and societal consequences, regime shifts are notoriously difficult to anticipate. For example, in kelp forest ecosystems the cascading effects of sea otters are well known to trigger shifts between forested and deforested rocky reefs, however forecasting when and where these shifts will occur a priori remains a key challenge because previous studies tend to use binary or categorical levels of otter presence. To illuminate this knowledge gap, we sampled benthic reef communities at 20 sites along a continuous gradient in sea otter occupation time (0-33 years) along the central coast of British Columbia, Canada where otters are recovering after over a century of local extinction. This dataset contains diversity, size, and abundance data on benthic invertebrate and fish species and abundance and diversity data on kelp species along a gradient of otter occupation. Because of the regression style sampling protocols, this dataset can be used to characterize tipping points between kelp forest vs. urchin barren states along the Central Coast of BC.

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Metadata Created October 26, 2018, 22:48 (UTC)
Metadata Updated October 26, 2018, 22:48 (UTC)
Reference Date(s) 2015-09-05T11:20:00 (Publication)
Frequency of Update asNeeded
Metadata Date September 25, 2018, 22:35 (UTC)
Temporal Extent Begin July 1, 2013, 00:00 (UTC)
Temporal Extent End August 15, 2013, 00:00 (UTC)

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Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Email
encoding utf8
metadata-language eng
progress completed
Responsible Party Simon Fraser University (Principal Investigator)
spatial-reference-system WGS 1984