Long-term observations of nearshore marine invertebrate settlement in northern, central, and southern California

PI: Stephen Schroeter


Research Institution: UCSB Marine Science Institute/Santa Barbara                                                      Coastal LTER

PI First name, Last name:            Stephen Schroeter

Phone:                                        760-438-5953

Email:                                          schroete@lifesci.ucsb.edu

Project website link:  http://sbcdev.lternet.edu/cgibin/ldapweb2009.cgi?stage=showindividual&lter_id=sschroeter


My colleagues and I have established a collaborative network that observes settlement of nearshore marine invertebrates at sites ranging from Mendocino to San Diego counties in California.  Originally established in 1990 to observe settlement of red sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) as a fishery independent index of stock health, in 1994 the number of taxa observed was increased to include crabs, bivalves, and gastropods.  Salient features of the project design include: long-term observations (15-21 years); high frequency of observations (weekly to bi-weekly); large geographical range (Mendocino to  San Diego Counties along California coast); archival collection of all settlers.

The length and geographical range of the our observations has enabled us to explore regional differences in correlations between shifting oceanographic regimes at a variety of time scales (e.g. PDO, El Nino/La Nina, within-year upwelling episodes) on settlement of a variety of taxa.  The variety of taxa, the range of habitats over which their settlement patterns have been observed, and the archival collection of settlers provide a potential resource for detecting time trends in the effects of ocean acidification on important nearshore invertebrate species.

Beginning in 2011, the data set is being housed and maintained in the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER.  The association with the SBC LTER will facilitate collaborative work with colleagues who are pursuing different aspects of the effects of ocean acidification on some of the same nearshore species of invertebrates observed in our program.


nearshore, invertebrate settlement, long time series, broad geographical range, high frequency observations, archival samples, crabs, urchins, gastropods, bivalves


California Sea Urchin Commission; South Bay Cable/Fisheries Liaison Committee