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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