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This webpage is devoted to my two field studies from Ecology of Atlantic Shores at Clark University. The course was in the Fall semester 2010 and was lead by Dr. Robertson and Dr. Livdahl. We performed our studies at the Northeastern University Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts and at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Single frond Parrotfish

The location of our study site was Canoe Beach in Nahant, Massachusetts. We were familiar with the area and the species, having visited for Marine Biology in 2008. We returned to Nahant multiple times from September to November of 2010. Although there were plenty of species to choose from, I decided to study the brown algal species Ascophyllum nodosum because of its odd age structure. I was informed that the growth rate may be measured by the number of air bladders present on the main stem.


Ascophyllum nodosum is one of the most common algae species on the coast of the northern Atlantic, including Europe. This brown algae grown on rocky substrates, ranging from the highest to the lowest tidal areas. This experiment sought to compare growth rates of individual A. nodosum fronds according to the vertical location within the intertidal range at Canoe Beach, Nahant, Massachusetts.

On the northeastern side of Bermuda outside of St. George's is Tobacco Bay. Although commonly visited by tourists because of its seclusion, Tobacco Bay is teaming with life under the waves. This includes many parrotfish who feed on the algae covered rocks. The result is prominent scaring from the deep parrotfish bites.

The purpose of this study was to test whether parrotfish grazing could be measured by simple picture quadrats, measuring the amount of rock exposed, and lastly observing the feeding behavior of the parrotfish species present in Bermuda.
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