Study Sites

Diversity Pattern

Stuff on the beach




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Puget Sound is characterized by distinct gradients of physical features (e.g. salinity, temperature, wave action) from its southern to northern extent. Paralleling these physical gradients are striking patterns of diversity and species composition in organisms living on the shorelines.

With funding from Sea Grant scientists from the University of Washington and the Department of Natural Resources are investigating the ecological and physical processes that generate these intertidal biodiversity patterns and how modifications of these processes could lead to changes in our shorelines.

Site Overview

  • This Web site describes a current research project that is linked to a long term monitoring program on beaches in Puget Sound.

  • The purpose of the project is to understand the physical and biological processes that drive the diversity pattern of plants and animals living on and in Puget Sound’s pebbly beaches.

  • Funding for this effort is provided by Sea Grant, and the personnel involved come from both the University of Washington and the Department of Natural Resources.

  • The project is testing a series hypotheses in 3 regions of Puget Sound. Within each of the regional study sites 3 nearby beaches with similar physical characteristics are sampled.

  • The research involves a variety of relatively low-tech Experimental Approaches. For more information on our experimental approach look at Stuff on the Beach

  • View the complete project proposal