A pilot study to develop and test a probability-based intertidal monitoring protocol for Sitka National Historical Park was conducted from 1999 to 2003. In 1999, the basic design, with a focus on sampling the whole of the designated intertidal was created, and sampling was conducted for sessile species and large mobile invertebrates by point-intercept sampling of vertical transects and band surveys along transects, respectively. In 2002 and 2003, the same types of sampling were conducted, but quadrat sampling for small mobile invertebrates was added and then modified. This project has produced basic data on the presence, abundance, and spatial distribution of substrates and intertidal biota. Additionally, statistical power analyses conducted on the biological data have allowed assessment of the ability of the sampling to detect trends in the abundance of the predominant species. Current sampling has an 80 percent probability to detect +10 percent annual changes in abundance of all targeted species with an a = 0.05; the ability to detect -10 percent trends is not as uniformly high. Various options are discussed for decreasing the spatial variance of the data. The information presented provides a basis for discussion of the major questions being asked, how the sampling design might be reconfigured to be consistent in approach, and how the intertidal monitoring should interface with other potential intertidal monitoring.
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Development of a Monitoring Protocol to Detect Ecological Change in the Intertidal Zone of Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska