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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 320:293-295 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps320293

Field technique to quantify intensity of scouring by sea ice in rocky intertidal habitats

Ricardo Scrosati*, Christine Heaven

Saint Francis Xavier University, Department of Biology, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2W5, Canada

ABSTRACT: Scouring by sea ice is an important abiotic factor affecting intertidal communities in polar and subpolar rocky shores. Traditionally, measurement of the intensity of scouring by sea ice has been done at rather coarse spatial scales, thus limiting the understanding of the role that this factor has in determining local-scale ecological variability, particularly when scouring intensity varies locally due to shore topography. We hereby present a technique to quantify the local-scale intensity of scouring by sea ice in rocky intertidal habitats. This technique is inexpensive and easy to apply and measure. We provide an example of its potential usefulness using local-scale data on intertidal species richness.

KEY WORDS: Community ecology · Field technique · Ice scouring · Sea ice · Subpolar intertidal ecology

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