Limpets, common molluscan grazers in the intertidal zone, are known to have an important role on rocky shores. Limpets graze on very young algae and can prevent them from growing into an algal canopy that shades and protects other animals and seaweed from light and desiccation. The amount of this algal canopy can play an important role in determining which animals and seaweeds thrive on the shore. Some years, there are lots of limpets and less algal canopy. Other years, there are less limpets and more algal canopy.
The simple survey of 10 – 15 quadrats is being completed in Spring and Autumn at over 30 sites nationally - get in touch with your regional hub to find out the nearest one to you!
The survey runs from February to March and from September to October each year.
The survey involves measurements of seaweed cover and limpet sizes, and takes a couple of hours.
Data from your hub and other hubs around the UK will be combined in order to find out if there are patterns in the balance between algae and limpets across the UK.