Habitat of endangered white abalone, Haliotis sorenseni

Biological Conservation
By: , and 



Surveys with a submersible at offshore islands and banks in southern California found that white abalone were most abundant at depths between 43 and 60 m. This is deeper than estimates taken when white abalone were more abundant. Densities were highest at sites far from fishing ports. Controlling for depth and site found that white abalone were significantly more abundant in areas with Laminaria farlowii (an alga) but abalone were not associated with areas high in the cover of other algae (Pelagophycus porra or Eisenia arborea) or the amount of sand in the habitat (except that abalone always occurred on rock). Within an area with abalone, the particular rock they occurred on was significantly larger than unoccupied neighboring rocks. Occupied rocks were not significantly different in algal cover or in sea urchin density than unoccupied neighboring rocks. The position of abalone on a rock was nearer to the rock–sand interface than would be expected based on a random distribution. More white abalone were feeding when in association with red urchins, perhaps because both grazers capture drift algae to eat. These data may aid future efforts to locate white abalone brood stock and identify locations for outplanting.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat of endangered white abalone, Haliotis sorenseni
Series title Biological Conservation
DOI 10.1016/S0006-3207(03)00189-7
Volume 116
Issue 2
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 4 p.
First page 191
Last page 194
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