As well as offshore temperature logging, we have been collecting data from the rocky shore using a new innovative piece of technology – Robo-Limpets! Robo-Limpets provide temperature data that mimics the internal body temperature experienced by intertidal molluscs (limpets, marine snails, mussels etc). We have placed a Robo-Limpet alongside a logger recording actual air and seawater temperature in three rocky shore habitats: in a pool (underwater), on a patch of open rock (in the sunlight) and on an under hang (in the shade).
As the tide goes out, many of the molluscs on the rocky shore are exposed to the elements, meaning they must be adapted to survive in long periods of time out of the water. During times of exposure, they also must cope with high temperatures. As global temperature rise, the effect this is having on intertidal animals could be catastrophic, especially if the increase is occurring quicker than the animals are able to adapt.
Robo-Limpet (on the right) next to an atmospheric temperature logger (on the left). These particular probes are situated on an under hang on the mid-shore
The Robo-Limpet project is led by Newcastle University, and covers a large stretch of the East Coast of the UK. We have recently secured funding from Nature.Scot to purchase more Robo-Limpets which we will be deploying across the Reserve. We will be incorporating this with an ambitious citizen science project to further investigate the effect temperature is having on our rocky shore communities. Keep an eye on our website for details on this exciting project!