Santa Barbara Coastal LTER - Research Topics

The primary research objective of the SBC LTER is to investigate the relative importance of land and ocean processes in structuring giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) forest ecosystems. Giant kelp forests are located at the land-ocean margin in temperate regions of both the northern and southern hemispheres, and represent one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. a. Patterns, transport, and processing of organic and inorganic inputs to coastal reefs Patterns of rainfall, land use, and constituents of runoff Rainfall and streamflow data for hydrologic modeling Instream processing Ocean monitoring of biogeochemical parameters b. Patterns and control of primary production Standing stock and productivity of giant kelp and phytoplankton c. Disturbance and population dynamics of kelp forest communities Kelp forest community structure and dynamics Historical data on kelp biomass Ecosystem changes d. Species interactions, trophic structure and food web dynamics Experiments on species interactions Food web studies using stable isotope ratio analyses Subsidies to other coastal habitats


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