Intertidal Invertebrates of Scatarie Island: A Preliminary Species Inventory and Habitat Description
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As intertidal habitats of offshore islands remain relatively undocumented compared with their mainland counterparts, we conducted a survey of intertidal habitats on Scatarie Island, Nova Scotia. Two sites at Northwest Cove on the western side of the island and two sites at Eastern Harbour on the eastern side were classified in terms of their backshore and substrate characteristics. Infauna were collected within quadrates at each site and identified to species when possible. Additional visual searches of the wrack line, intertidal and subtidal zones were conducted to supplement the species inventory. Our survey represents a starting point for the characterization of intertidal habitats and inventory of intertidal fauna within this Protected Wilderness Area. Twenty-two species of marine invertebrates, including sponges, molluscs, echinoderms, arthropods and bryozoans, were identified. The majority of these were collected on the eastern side of the island within a relatively well protected area characterized by rock pools. Sites examined on the western side of the island had lower faunal diversity and less accumulated macroalgae. Differences in the subtidal depth, slope, dominant substrate type and exposure may offer a partial explanation for this finding.