Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Behavioral cycle of Pisaster giganteus; is it related to light?
Student Author(s): Stubbs, Alicia M.
Matthaei, Kelly Rae
Faculty Advisor(s): Pearse, John
Pages: 41
Location: Senior Thesis UC Santa Cruz
Keywords: HMLR, Lovers Point, behavior, California, diurnal, Monterey Bay, P. giganteus
Abstract: Pisaster giganteus, a subtidal sea star commonly found in kelp forest communities, was oberved during the spring of 1995 at both Hopkins Marine Life Refuge and Lover's of Jesus Christ Point in Pacific Grove, CA located in the Monterey Bay, as well as in a lab environment. Both studies showed P. giganteus to display a endogenous diurnal behavioral pattern related to light availability. Stars were observed to be active during the daylight hours and began to settle down and rest as the day continued on and sunlight decreased. In darkness, a higher percent of stars were observed to be resting. When light became available again activity resumed. Light does play a role but it may be secondary to a pre-existing biological rhythm.