(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: A characterization of Octopus rubescens' habitat
and abundance in a Central California kelp forest
Student Author(s): Carner, Shawn L.
Faculty Advisor(s): Pearse, John
Location: Senior Thesis UC Santa Cruz
Abstract: Octopus rubescens is a cryptic inhabitant of the kelp forest within Hopkins Marine Life Refuge. Field research on the habitat and community structure is characterized for this species. A density of 5.1 octopuses per 1000 sq meters was observed. Habitat substrate, cover and characteristics are described. Octopus rubescens was observed in all habitat types within the kelp forest, but not in equal proportions. The octopus was most often observed in rocky substrate areas covered with foliose red algae. The community structure is compsoed of multiple predation, prey, and competitive interactions. Alerting and threat behaviors are described by observations of activity and color change.