Survey of Seaweeds Along Vancouver’s Coastline
Seaweeds play a crucial and diverse role in Vancouver’s coastal ecosystems. Seaweeds provide habitats for smaller organisms; they help counteract climate change and play a role in preventing ocean acidification and deoxygenation via photosynthesis. The goal of this study is to determine differences in species richness across three different coastal locations through an observational survey. To achieve this, we used line-transect quadrat sampling to estimate species biodiversity at Tower Beach, Kitsilano Beach, and Stanley Park Lighthouse. At each location, we documented the species of seaweed present, water temperature, water salinity, and oxygen concentration of water. We also documented the collection time, invertebrate species present, weather and water conditions, site direction, and substrate conditions to assess possible relationships between seaweed biodiversity and the various abiotic and biotic conditions. We found that Tower Beach had the fewest species compared to Kitsilano Beach and Stanley Park Lighthouse. These results can be explained by variations in the substrata, predation and competition, as well as zonation. However, our conclusions are limited due to our small sample size. Overall, our study demonstrates how various abiotic and biotic factors can affect the distribution and biodiversity of seaweed and provides information on their optimal growth conditions, such that we can better improve seaweed conservation methods in the future.