A conceptual model showing the interaction of nearshore vital signs monitored by the Southwest Alaska Network. The nearshore intertidal area is influenced by the ocean (blue arrow) and land (green arrow). Some of the main components of this nearshore system include sea birds that feed in the ocean and nest on land; sea stars and other marine macroinvertebrates in the intertidal zone; sea otters, keystone predators, that feed on sea urchins in kelp beds; and black oystercatchers that feed on mussels and other intertidal macroinvertebrates and nest in the intertidal zone. Learning about each of these components and how they interact increases our understanding of these important systems.
Last updated: April 5, 2018