Station KML 114/99: Arbutus Bay

General characterization of biota

Muddy sand flat

The survey was limited to an assessment of organisms larger than 4 mm based on the 4 mm screen size of the sieve used to sort out the sand and mud component of the substrate.

The mix of cobble with sand sometimes limited digging to deeper levels. However, any deeper clams such as butter clams and horse clams would have been recognized from surface holes for the siphons. No clam holes were seen.

A few dead clam shells were found during several traverses of the beach. Most were cockles with a very few little neck and butter clams. The numbers were far fewer than one would expect on a "clam" beach. One live cockle was found under a boulder.

The abundant green seaweed on cobbles below 1.4m tide level would be expected in an area with high nutrients and few herbivores. This seaweed is an annual which would settle and rapidly grow in the spring after the winter storms.

One burrowing sea anemone (Anthopleura artemisia) was found at the lowest tide level.

Bedrock slope

The bedrock just southwest of the beach was examined briefly and qualitatively. Overall it harboured a biota quite similar to that on the Fairweather shoreline. Seaweeds including:

green ribbon (Enteromorpha compressa), sea lettuce (Ulva sp.) and rock weed (Fucus gardneri) dominated. Ragged sugar kelp (Laminaria saccharina) was present at the lowest water level along with some pinnate diatom mats ("brown beard").

Attached species were predominantly blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and common acorn barnacles (Balanus glandula) with a few brown acorn barnacles (Chthamalus dalli). As at the Fairweather coastline station mobile species were notably absent (purple sea stars) or very few in number (limpets and periwinkles).