Temporal and Spatial Variation in the Recruitment of the Sea Hare, Aplysia californica, at Santa Catalina Island, California

Recruitment of Aplysia californica was studied at Santa Catalina Island, California. Aplysia californica recruited almost exclusively to the red algae Plocamium cartilagineum and Laurencia pacifica. Monthly sampling of Plocamium revealed two peaks of recruitment in 1986: one in January and another in June. Recruitment varied between locations, with some sites having consistently more recruits than others. This variation in recruitment is expected to have important consequences for the dynamics of A. californica populations.