Pisaster Survivorship update, Summer 2014, San Juan Islands

An update on my non-class related research, but very relevant to the work we are doing on the sea star transcriptome.

The tides were low last week so the sea star survey team went out to get the end of summer surveys done in the intertidal. We finished surveys at 11 of our 12 intertidal sites. Thanks to Mo Turner, Bella Bledsoe, Zula Mucyo, and Robyn Roberts for working hard in the field last week to make sure we got the data. You guys are the best field team ever! There will be one more set of surveys at a subset of the sites at the beginning of September, then the tides are not low again during the day until next spring, so this was a critical tide to cover.  I really missed going out in the field this last time since there was so much change happening.

Here is the latest graphs, courtesy of Mo Turner. Stars considered healthy only if they displayed no signs on tissue degradation or lesions. The graphs are copied below but please open the power point to see them in more detail.

Pisaster Survivorship


Population includes all the symptomatic, non-symptomatic, and dead individuals that we  surveyed for disease prevalence, while the graph above only includes the non-symptomatic individuals.


I will now start looking at the prevalence data in depth to try to understand what the conditions for an outbreak are and why the timing differed between regions and sites. I will be looking at relationships between sites off the islands that have been repeatedly surveyed as well. The big question is how will this look in the spring. Hopefully we can use this to better understand the disease as the focus shifts to recovery in the coming years.





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