Silvetia is an important species in the intertidal zone as it provides food and shelter for many species and is highly productive. For these reasons, researchers attempted to re-establish Silvetia populations at specific locations on a southern California shore in a two-phase study which experimentally tested a series of biotic and abiotic factors that may impact restoration success.
Site Selection Criteria:
The four study sites were chosen based on similarities in physical characteristics and variations in the abundances of Silvetia. The sites are characterized by similar geologic origin, are moderately protected from large wave activity and are exposed to similar oceanographic regimes due to their close proximity, including temperature, salinity and wave action.
Cause Of Decline:
In California, increased urbanisation of coastal regions over the past several decades has resulted in increased anthropogenic disturbance and loss of fleshy seaweeds, including the rockweed Silvetia compressa. Like other canopy-forming, fleshy seaweeds, Silvetia is an important biogenic species in the mid-intertidal zone as it is highly productive, provides a source of food for many grazers and forms habitat for a diverse assemblage of seaweeds and invertebrates in southern California. This species also has low dispersal distances from parent populations, and as a consequence the rate of natural local recovery following extirpation is likely low.
Reestablishment of the Southern California Rocky Intertidal Brown Alga, Silvetia compressa: An Experimental Investigation of Techniques and Abiotic and Biotic Factors That Affect Restoration Success
Restoration Ecology, Vol. 18.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00717.x