It has been said that, "coastal BC has a greater species diversity than anywhere else in North America". (Raincoast Conservation Foundation, in BC’s coastal biodiversity: the highest in North America, an article that completely bypasses marine invertebrates, but does pay attention to seaweeds; "In British Columbia, more than 500 species of macroalgae have been recognized, making up about 4.5 % of the world’s total marine algal species.")
Nowhere is this biodiversity more apparent than on the intertidal plain. With every cautious step at low tide, I crunch the shells of tiny animals, slip on seaweeds pink, red, green, brown and yellow, send critters scuttling and splashing for shelter, or squirting small fountains at my legs as clams and worms retreat deep under the sand. A tidepool is a multi-coloured, multi-textured collage, too varied to be sorted out on the fly.
I am reduced to taking photos at random, hoping something will come into focus on my computer screen.
|Tidepool about 2 inches deep; my shadow at the bottom right.|
At first glance, examining this photo, I see 9 separate species of seaweed:
- green sea lettuce
- red bladed algae; smooth, wide, translucent blades.
- pink crustose coralline algae, coating stones
- a green hairy seaweed
- a red seaweed, with stiff central blades, from which sprout thinner red "leaves"
- old eelgrass, with
- encrusting fuzzy algae along the blades (or these may be hydroids, an animal)
- yellowish algae coating an old clamshell and a snail (or hermit crab) shell.
- a burrowing anemone, Anthopleura artemisia,
- snail shells which may house the original shell, or just as likely, a small hermit crab
- several limpets
- and a couple of legs of a kelp crab who thinks he's out of sight.
|Bad (green) hair day.|
In this photo the algae are the green hair, green sea lettuce, and that red-bladed alga. In the background; rockweed and a fuzzy brown seaweed. Snails and barnacles dot the rocks.
And I know I'm missing half of what's there!
- lechuga marina, Ulva spp.
- una alga roja de hojas anchas, lisas, translúcidas
- una alga coralina incrustante, color de rosa
- una alga verde en forma de pelos
- una alga roja con tallos tiesos, de los que brotan hojas delgadas
- sargaso vejigoso, Fucus spp.
- hierba marina Zostera madura, cubierta de
- una alga encrustante a lo largo de las hojas (o puede ser un hidroide, o sea un animal)
- una alga amarillenta creciendo en una concha abandonada de una almeja y en un caracol.
- una anémona, Anthopleura artemisia
- conchas de caracol marino, que pueden contener los caracoles mismos, o si no, cangrejos ermitaños
- varias lapas
- y un par de patas de un cangrejo "kelp" que cree estar bien escondido.