Age Determination, Growth Rates, Size Structure, and Reproduction
Most rocky intertidal zone monitoring and impact studies are designed to determine the status of sampled populations solely in terms of abundance. This approach can present two problems. First, abundance data alone do not adequately describe a population in a way that depicts its dynamics. Population density is a result of primary and secondary population parameters. A second problem involves the high “noise-to-signal” ratio because of the usual high variation obtained when sampling for abundance data or other population-based parameters. This chapter describes selected approaches for measuring secondary population parameters in rocky intertidal organisms. It focuses on procedures used to determine age and class size distributions, growth rates, sex or phase ratios, and reproduction in seaweeds and benthic invertebrates.
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