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Sanctuary Currents 2002
New Technologies: Revealing the Secrets of the Sea

General Info & Program | Session Abstracts | Ricketts Lecture | MBNMS Awards | Exhibitors
Poster Abstracts & Awards

Poster Session: Abstracts & Awards

 

Poster Awards

The MBNMS presents awards for outstanding research posters presented at the MBNMS Sanctuary Currents Symposium. The judges determine the specific kinds of awards to present each year based on the posters presented at the Symposium.

Past Research Poster Award Winners


2002 Best Overall Poster

Benson, Scott R.*1, Don A. Croll2, Baldo Marinovic2, and James T. Harvey1

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

DO BIRDS AND MAMMALS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER?—SPECIES-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIPS OF MARINE PREDATORS IN A COASTAL UPWELLING SYSTEM


2002 Best Thematic Poster

Yoklavich, Mary1, Churchill Grimes1, Waldo Wakefield2, and H. Gary Greene3

1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
2. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Newport, OR
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

USING LASERS TO EXPLORE DEEPWATER HABITATS IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY


2002 Best College Student Poster

Readdie, Mark

Department of Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

VERTICAL SHIFTS IN INTERTIDAL ZONATION


2002 Honorable Mention: College Student Poster

Vlietstra, Lucy S.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL PREY ABUNDANCE IN DETERMINING THE STRENGTH OF SPATIAL ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN NONBREEDING SEABIRDS AND ACOUSTIC BIOMASS IN NEARSHORE MONTEREY BAY


2002 Best High School Student Poster

Legler, Alyssa

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

SEYMOUR INTERTIDAL MONITORING PROGRAM


Poster Abstracts

F Denotes high school student eligible for Best Student Poster Award

§ Denotes graduate student eligible for Best Student Poster Award


Acord, Brian C.1,2, Hugh A. Knechtel1,2, Michael W. Parker2, Harry R. Carter1,3, Richard T. Golightly1

1. Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife, Arcata, CA
2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Newark, CA
3. U.S. Geological Survey, Dixon, CA

LIFE ON THE EDGE: CAN THE SOUTHERNMOST COMMON MURRE COLONY IN THE WORLD SURVIVE?

The breeding Common Murre population located at the Castle Rocks and Hurricane Point colony complex (CHCC) along the Big Sur Coast was decimated in the early 1980's by oil spills and gill net mortality. There has been much concern regarding the long-term viability of the murre population at CHCC. In 2001 the murre population at CHCC was only 55% (2,527) of the 1981 population (4,549). Additionally, reproductive success at CHCC from 1996-2001 (mean = 0.56 chicks/pair) was significantly lower than murres breeding at Point Reyes Headlands (P2 = 43.5, df = 5, P < 0.05) and remains below the 29 year mean at the Farallon Islands (0.74 chicks/pair). Recent efforts of the California Department of Fish and Game have reduced gill net bycatch of murres, however, chronic and catastrophic oil spills, aircraft and boat disturbances, and Brown Pelican disturbances may be preventing this colony complex from recovering fully.


Allison, Gary1; Maria Kavanaugh1; Sheri Solhstrom1; Spencer Wood2; Carl Schoch3; Bruce Menge1, Jane Lubchenco1

1. Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, OR
2. Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
3. Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, AK

BUILDING A GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT: COMPARING THE ROCKY SHORES OF MONTEREY BAY TO OTHER SITES ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES

Researchers for the Partnership for the Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) are conducting long-term surveys of rocky shores across the West Coast of the United States. At each of 48 sites, abundance data have been collected on all macro-species at three intertidal zones since 2000. Annual surveys of sites located in the Monterey Bay area allow us to compare sites within the National Marine Sanctuary with the rest of the coastline and to detect shifts in the composition of the intertidal communities in both space and time. In 2000 and 2001, we observed over 125 species or groups of species in the Monterey Bay area. Some species were found only in the Monterey surveys, and others peaked in abundance here. These surveys help us to both document the unique qualities of the ecological communities in the Monterey Bay region and begin to understand the interconnectedness of this area with the rest of the coast.


Ames, Jack1, Michelle Staedler2, Brian Hatfield3, John Geibel4, Michael Harris5, Larry Espinosa6, Randi Imai7, Judd Muskat7, Nancy Wright8 and Jamie Kum8

1. Office of Spill Prevention and Response/California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA
3. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, San Simeon, CA
4. California Department of Fish and Game, Belmont, CA
5. Office of Spill Prevention and Response/California Department of Fish and Game, Morro Bay, CA
6. Office of Spill Prevention and Response/California Department of Fish and Game, Monterey Bay, CA
7. Office of Spill Prevention and Response/California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA
8. California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region, Monterey, CA

DEAD SEA OTTER DRIFT AND RECOVERY IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

We constructed dead sea otter dummies from half car tires. To determine if the dummies drifted and beached in a similar way to real sea otter carcasses, we released them approximately 0.8 km off the end of the Monterey Peninsula over a two year period at a ratio of one to one in 15 batches totaling 66 drift targets. Although carcasses and dummies had highly variable drift patterns, they did not drift significantly differently from one another. Wind appeared to be the dominant factor driving drift with targets generally drifting directly with the wind. Stranding in the immediate vicinity commonly happened within five to 24 hours when onshore winds of 10 kts or greater were blowing at the time of release. Light winds and offshore winds following release resulted in much wider dispersion. In 12 of 15 releases 100% of our targets stranded. In one release none stranded. Overall 79% stranded. Also, we separately monitored two tethered floating sea otter carcasses until they disintegrated. We cautiously predict that in Central California waters most freshly dead adult sea otter carcasses will float for approximately six weeks before rotting results in lost buoyancy and sinking.


§Antrobus, Rosalind

Department of Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

SEASONAL DIET OF THE KRILL SPEICES EUPHAUSIA PACIFICA AND THYSANOESSA SPINIFERA IN MONTEREY BAY, CA DURING 1999.

The diets of Euphausia pacifica and Thysanoessa spinifera collected seasonally, (Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov) during 1999 were analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Both species were determined to be omnivorous and consumed a variety of plankton, including diatoms, dinoflagellates, flagellates, crustaceans, and unidentifiable organic matter, thought to be detritus. The greatest variation between the species diet composition was observed in September 1999 when there was a high proportion of phytoplankton and organic matter in the diets of T. spinifera and E. pacifica, respectively. Within species, seasonal changes in diet composition were evident as well. In particular, there was an increase in phytoplankton consumption in summer and fall. Additionally, T. spinifera was observed to prey upon larval malacostracan crustaceans, as indicated by the presence of ommatidia (compound eye components) in the gut contents. Perhaps of greatest significance, E. pacifica and T. spinifera were found to consume substantial numbers of potentially toxic phytoplankton species including both dinoflagellates of the Genus Dinophysis, and diatoms of the Genus Pseudonitzschia. This result confirms previous observations that suggest krill may be vectors of harmful algal toxins to higher trophic levels within the Monterey Bay pelagic ecosystem.


§Benson, Scott R.*1, Don A. Croll2, Baldo Marinovic2, and James T. Harvey1

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

DO BIRDS AND MAMMALS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER?—SPECIES-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIPS OF MARINE PREDATORS IN A COASTAL UPWELLING SYSTEM

Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that successful management of marine species requires multi-species approaches towards identifying important habitats. We report on ecosystem studies conducted in Monterey Bay, California. Monthly random-systematic transect surveys were conducted between May and November of 1996-1999. The objective was to determine the distribution and relative abundance of marine mammals, seabirds and krill with respect to physical variables, including depth, slope, surface temperature, and mixed layer depth. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA), a unimodal ordination technique, was used to identify patterns of species association and habitat partitioning for the most common species. The first two canonical axes cumulatively explained 85% of the variation in species-environment patterns. Axis 1 strongly correlated with bathymetric depth and slope. Axis 2 correlated with mixed layer depth and date. Marine birds and mammals negatively associated with Axis 1 represented species known to forage on krill or krill predators. Species positively associated with Axis 1 were primarily piscivorous. Axis 2 separated late-season migrants, associated with a deeper mixed layer, from an assemblage of species associated with early-season upwelling. Multidisciplinary surveys and CCA appear to be effective for describing associations of upper trophic level predators and their habitats in a highly variable coastal upwelling system.


Black, Nancy1, Richard Ternullo1, Alisa Schulman-Janiger2, Anne Marie Hammers1, and Peggy Stap1

1. Monterey Bay Whale Watch and Monterey Bay Cetacean Project
2. American Cetacean Society

OCCURRENCE, BEHAVIOR, AND PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION OF KILLER WHALES IN MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA

In the eastern North Pacific, there are at least three ecotypes of killer whales ("residents", "transients", "offshores"). In addition a fourth type "LA Pod", has been identified off California and Mexico. All four types have been recorded in Monterey Bay, California. "Transients" were most frequently sighted, occurred in groups of 1 to 32 individuals, and were distributed in association with the edge of the Monterey Canyon. One hundred twenty individual "transient" killer whales were photo-identified. Foraging strategies and group sizes varied in relation to type of marine mammal prey. Some transient killer whales photographed in Monterey Bay were also sighted from southern California to Southeast Alaska. The "offshore" type of killer whale occurred infrequently in Monterey Bay, and ranged from 10 to 75 individuals with largest groups sighted during winter. Predation behavior on salmon, small schooling fish, and a shark was documented. One hundred ten individuals were identified in this population. Some individuals identified in Monterey Bay were also sighted from Los Angeles, California to Southeast Alaska. The "LA Pod" consists of 13 whales that appear morphologically different from the other types and range from the Sea of Cortez, Mexico to the Farallon Islands, California. The "resident" type of killer whale, specifically the well documented K and L pods that frequent the waters off Washington State and Vancouver Island were sighted on 1/29/00 in Monterey Bay foraging on salmon. This sighting extends their southern range nearly 1000 miles from their primary summer feeding locations in the Pacific Northwest.


§Braby, Caren E. and George N. Somero

Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA

MASKED MUSSELS IN MONTEREY: GENETIC IDENTIFICATION REVEALS POPULATION DYNAMICS OF A SPECIES INVASION

The bay mussels Mytilus trossulus (trossulus) and M. galloprovincialis (galloprovincialis) co-occur from Monterey to Cape Mendocino in a patchy hybrid zone (McDonald and Koehn 1988). It is apparent that galloprovincialis invaded Southern California before 1950 (Geller 1994) and is currently the only bay mussel south of Monterey. Is this invasion continuing to move north or is it stalled by physiological, ecological or physical constraints? Scoring individuals using multiple PCR loci, we have genetically identified adult and recruit populations at three sites in Monterey Bay (MB) and 5 sites in San Francisco Bay (SFBay). We have found that trossulus increases in abundance as one moves up an estuary and that most of the associated variability correlates with salinity alone. We have also found differences in genetic distribution between recruit and adult populations in MB but not in SFBay, which suggests that selective forces may be acting post- and pre-settlement, respectively, in the two systems. We are currently testing physiological limits in adult mussels to gauge the merits of this hypothesis. Finally, our results suggest that the extent of continuing freshwater input along our coast, may determine if trossulus will be able to maintain a tenuous refuge in these estuarine habitats.


§Brown, Jennifer A.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

VARIABILITY IN GROWTH RATES OF JUVENILE FLATFISHES IN ESTUARINE AND COASTAL HABITATS

Estuaries are considered vital nursery grounds compared to other juvenile habitats because juvenile fishes presumably benefit from higher growth rates, which can diminish susceptibility to size-selective predators. I used two different methods to determine if juvenile fish experience variable growth rates in different habitats. First, I conducted caging experiments with 2 species of flatfish (English sole Pleuronectes vetulus and speckled sanddab Citharichthys stigmaeus) in two habitats in central California; mudflats in Elkhorn Slough and subtidal sandflats in Monterey Bay. Second, I used the width of daily increments in otoliths to compare growth rates of juvenile speckled sanddabs collected from multiple estuarine and coastal sites along the central California coast. In the caging experiment, both species experienced higher growth rates in the estuary than on the coast. However, this difference in growth rates decreased with increasing fish size for speckled sanddab suggesting that the benefits of estuarine living diminishes for larger individuals. This pattern is consistent with the migration of larger juveniles from the estuary to the Bay throughout the summer. Preliminary results from the microstructural analysis of otoliths from speckled sanddabs support this pattern of higher growth rates in estuaries.


Carr, Mark1, Mark Denny2, Steve Gaines3, Jane Lubchenco4, Bruce Menge4, Pete Raimondi1, George Somero2, and Robert Warner3

1. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA
3. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
4. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

PARTNERSHIP FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES OF COASTAL OCEANS (PISCO)

PISCO is a consortium of four universities (Oregon State University, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, and UC Santa Barbara) who have joined together to investigate the physical and biological processes of the very nearshore region along the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. The general goals of the consortium are to overcome three major impediments to conserving marine ecosystems: (1) a lack of understanding of the basic processes governing the essential features of these systems, (2) ineffective transfer of new scientific knowledge to the public and to policy makers, and (3) a lack of effective interdisciplinary training programs for students. A major goal of PISCO is to understand the interaction of the nearshore oceanographic environment with coastal marine communities over 1200km of the West Coast of North America. This includes quantifying patterns of distribution, abundance and diversity of the biota in nearshore ecosystems, and determining how ecological, evolutionary and oceanographic processes influence these patterns. In an attempt to alleviate the lack of communication between scientists and policy makers on topics of marine conservation and management PISCO has significant resources dedicated specifically for outreach and science-policy integration. Training undergraduate and graduate students is the third critical component to the PISCO approach. Central in our interdisciplinary training efforts are the summer courses on biomechanics and molecular physiology taught at the Hopkins Marine Station. Together, these pieces offer insight into a highly unknown environment and attempt to link that understanding to meet the needs of the public along the West Coast of the United States. (http://www.piscoweb.org/)


Chan, Francis11, Bruce A Menge11, and Nicole Phillips22

1. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
2. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

PATTERNS OF NUTRIENT UTILIZATION AND PARTICULATE ORGANIC MATTER CONTENT IN THE NEAR-SHORE WATERS OF THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM

The productivity of the coastal ocean, in the form of phytoplankton cells, benthic macrophytes (seaweeds) and detrital particles, serves as the energetic and nutritional bases for both pelagic (water column) and benthic (bottom-dwelling) marine food-webs. As part of ongoing PISCO (Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans) research, we've begun an effort to characterize the availability and the nutritional quality of particulate matter in the inter-tidal waters of the California Current system. These measurements allow us to understand how variations in nutrient and food availabilities at the base of food webs may influence the productivity and composition of near-shore pelagic and benthic communities. Off the Oregon coast, preliminary analyzes indicate that nitrogen (a limiting nutrient) is converted into phytoplankton with exceptionally high efficiency when compared to other aquatic systems. Particulate samples collected along the Oregon and California coasts exhibit elevated ratios of carbon to nitrogen, and carbon to chlorophyll that nevertheless, point to important contributions by bacteria, zooplankton and/or detritus to the water column. These results suggest that some near-shore waters may be particularly productive areas of the coastal ocean, experiencing both higher rates of nutrient supply, and greater efficiency in nutrient use by the base of the food web.


§Dominik, Clare and Richard Zimmerman

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

ANNUAL CARBON BUDGET FOR PLEUROPHYCUS GARDNERI AT THE EAST PINNACLES, CARMEL BAY, CALIFORNIA

Pleurophycus gardneri, a common low-intertidal kelp in the Pacific Northwest, was found to dominate deep (30-48m) reefs in central California. I studied seasonal dynamics of productivity and resource allocation in this unique, deciduous, deep-water population. Patterns of growth, metabolism and carbon storage/mobilization were measured monthly for one year in relation to in situ light and temperature. Growth occurred between February and July, followed by senescence and sloughing from August to December. Concentrations of laminaran and mannitol (soluble carbohydrates) increased from the onset of sloughing until just prior to blade abscission (mid-December) when translocation may have occurred from the blade to perennial parts (stipe and holdfast). Carbon balance for most of spring and summer was positive. Carbon balance for the winter was negative. Winter survival was achieved by utilization of internal carbon reserves stored in the perennial parts. Pleurophycus gardneri had a thinner thallus at depth that resulted in lower respiration than intertidal populations. This adaptive decrease in respiration and reduced carbon demand of perennial tissues during winter may account for the positive carbon balance during most of the year in spite of the periodically sub-saturating light environment. Despite seasonally negative carbon balance, this P. gardneri population exported ~10.5gCm-2y-1 to the surrounding deep-water environment.


§Goldstein, Tracey1,2,3, Frances M.D. Gulland1, Teri Rowles4, James T. Harvey5, Dyanna M. Lambourn6, Steve J. Jeffries6, Lena Measures7, Pamela K. Yochem8, Brent S. Stewart8, Brian M. Aldridge2, Jeffery L. Stott2 and Jonna A.K. Mazet3

1. The Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA
2. Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine University of California, Davis, CA
3. Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA
4. Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, Silver Spring, MD
5. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
6. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Tacoma, WA
7. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute Maurice Lamontagne Insitute, Mont-Joli, Qc, Canada
8. Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, San Diego, CA

PREVALENCE OF EXPOSURE OF HARBOR SEALS (PHOCA VITULINA) TO PHOCINE HERPESVIRUS-1 IN NORTH AMERICA

Phocine herpesvirus type-1 (PHV-1) has been associated with morbidity and high mortality in neonatal harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in California, USA and in Northern Europe. Despite this high mortality, there is little information available regarding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of PHV-1 infection. The objectives for this study were twofold; to determine prevalence of exposure to PHV-1 in harbor seal populations around North America, and to determine the temporal relationship between exposure to PHV-1 and seroconversion. For the serosurvey, serum samples were collected from 781 harbor seals from three age classes (preweaned pups, weaned pups and subadults/adults) from three geographical locations around North America (northeast, northwest and southwest) and assayed by ELISA. No differences in prevalence of exposure between males and females or among geographical locations were detected. A lower percentage of pre-weaned pups were seropositive (39%), compared with post-weaned pups (85%), and almost all adults and subadults tested were seropositive (99%). A study determining timing of exposure and seroconversion was conducted on harbor seals being rehabilitated at The Marine Mammal Center. Samples were taken biweekly and presence of virus was detected by PCR in oro-nasal swabs and leukocyte samples and presence of antibody was determined by ELISA. Results suggest anti-PHV-1 antibody levels are low in neonatal harbor seals, but rapidly increase around the time of weaning, and remain high throughout subadult and adult life, suggesting recurrent exposure to this virus. Timing of seroconversion in harbor seals followed within two weeks of the presence of detectable virus in clinical samples.


Fharrill, Hunter, and Brad Johnson

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

AGE AND GROWTH STUDIES OF TWO COMMON NEARSHORE ROCKFISH USING MARGINAL INCREMENT ANALYSIS

Less than a year ago, the Department of Fish and Game established a fish ageing program for the purpose of gathering age and growth information on the 19 nearshore finfish species. In the current study, 40 blue rockfish (Sebastes melanops) and 40 gopher rockfish (Sebastes carnatus) are collected each month. The otolith bones of each are then removed, set in resin, and cut into thin sections. Using a marginal increment analysis technique, the bones can be examined, and age and growth information can be obtained. This information will allow for a better understanding of rockfish populations and the growth patterns of individual fish. As commercial fisherman begin to fish in new locations, this information is essential in protecting current and future fish populations.


Fheydeman, Greg

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

THE EFFECTS OF TRAMPLING AND NATURAL DISTURBANCES ON INTERTIDAL COMMUNITIES

Research was conducted to see if there is a significant difference concerning animals and algae between intertidal areas with large numbers of people "trampling" and with secluded intertidal areas where there is not much pressure. The team of researchers composed of Professor Micheli, undergraduate and graduate students, and interns, conducted the research. By selecting a variety of sites and taking many quadrat samplings of the 3 intertidal zones; high, medium and low, to find the percent of different types of algae and number of organisms in a given area, the team was able to gather enough information to see a trend between the animals and algae found at the "trampled" and "untrampled" sites. Results were carefully calculated and graphs were set up for each species of alga and animal. In order to get more accurate results, wave denominators were constructed to find the pull strength of the currents and waves in the different areas. Pollution levels were also calculated into the results. Since research is still going on I am hoping to have more results in late February.


§Hunt, Luke

Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA

RECONSTRUCTING THE RISE AND FALL OF ENDOCLADIA MURICATA FROM HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS

The upper limit of intertidal macroalgae at Hopkins Marine Station (Pacific Grove, CA) appears as an abrupt boundary of the turf alga Endocladia muricata. The elevation of this boundary does not appear to vary seasonally, although it can vary between locations and between years. I have used historical photographs to reconstruct a record of the upper limit of E. muricata along broad stretches of the shore at Hopkins Marine Station since 1958. Between 1958 and 1962 the elevation of E. muricata ranged 30 cm above and 30 cm below the present upper limit at any one location, but the height of this margin has been relatively constant since 1970. Furthermore, the spatial pattern along this border has persisted since 1970. The temporal stability and spatial variability in the elevation of this border suggests that the factors setting the upper limit of E. muricata at Hopkins Marine Station have been less variable over the last 3 decades than they are between sites separated by only a few meters.


Kvenvolden, Keith A., Thomas D. Lorenson, Robert J. Rosenbauer, and Frances D. Hostettler

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

HYDROCARBON RESIDUES ON THE CALIFORNIA COASTLINE

Hydrocarbon residues are ubiquitous at the coastline of California in the form of tar balls and tar mats. Delineating the sources of these hydrocarbon residues is essential to identifying whether naturally-occurring or anthropogenically-caused processes are responsible. Also source recognition of coastal hydrocarbon residues will help elucidate the effect of coastal currents on transport of petroleum hydrocarbons, thus providing information that can address the fate and transport of other contaminants introduced into coastal environments. In this study we present geochemical analyses of more than 200 samples of coastal tar residues, collected in surveys covering the California coast from San Diego in the south to Eureka in the north. Emphasis has been placed on the following areas: (1) the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa), proximate to known, active oil production and natural seeps; (2) the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a segment of the central California coast, where oil exploration and production are currently prohibited; and (3) the environs of San Francisco Bay, an urbanized estuary through which oil is transported and then processed in coastal refineries, that are located in the northern reaches of the bay. Our survey suggests that the California coastline is contaminated mainly with hydrocarbons from natural seeps.


F Legler, Alyssa

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

SEYMOUR INTERTIDAL MONITORING PROGRAM

Marine biologists at the University of California, Santa Cruz have begun a monitoring program of the intertidal region. They are monitoring the changes due to both human and natural impact. A distinguishing characteristic of this project is its dedication to involving high school students as data collectors. The program has established three sites to monitor: Natural Bridges, Soquel Point and Pt. Pinos. Organisms are counted along fixed vertical transect lines, in random samplings of uniform areas, and by species in large defined areas, depending on each site's individual protocol. The data collected in these counts can then be compiled into a database, which will over time follow the changes in the biota of the intertidal region. Now in the second-year of this three-year program, preliminary results have set the protocol and groundwork for future monitoring. Data already collected can be used to show changes in the biota of the region, and eventually detect changes in the future. The inclusion of school groups in the program has introduced students to the Sanctuary's varied intertidal habitat. By establishing monitoring programs, it is being assured that future changes in the intertidal zone shall not go unnoticed.


Marinovic, Baldo1, Nancy Gong1, Don Croll2, Scott Benson3, and Francisco Chavez4

1. Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
4. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY IN SEASONAL ZOOPLANKTON BIOVOLUMES AND KRILL ABUNDANCE WITHIN MONTEREY BAY, CA BETWEEN 1997-2001

We have measured seasonal (May-Nov) zooplankton displacement volumes as well eupahusiid (krill) abundance and species composition for the past five years (1997-2001) as part of an ongoing study on the dynamics of the Monterey Bay pelagic ecosystem. This period is of particular interest as it includes both the 1997-98 El Niño and the 1999 La Niña event. Furthermore, it appears that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) underwent a shift from a "warm" to a "cold" phase within the northeast Pacific sometime between 1999 and 2000. Our results indicate a significant increase in zooplankton displacement volumes associated with the PDO shift, yet a lack of a corresponding increase in krill abundance. Preliminary analysis suggests that the increase in zooplankton biovolume is due primarily to an increase in gelatinous taxa such as salps. Previous research conducted in the Antarctic pelagic ecosystem has suggested a negative interaction between krill and salps, however it is unclear whether a similar interaction exists within the pelagic ecosystem of the northeast Pacific.


§McConnico, Laurie

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

ECOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE PHENOLOGY OF ALARIA MARGINATA ALONG THE BIG SUR COAST AND THE POTENTIAL FOR RECOVERY FOLLOWING DISTURBANCES

The kelp Alaria marginata dominates much of the mid to low rocky intertidal along the Big Sur coast. The distribution and abundance of A. marginata in this region is essentially unknown, including the alga's growth dynamics and reproductive phenology. In July 2001 experimental clearings and controls (1m2) were established at the Big Creek Marine Ecological Reserve and an additional site ~14km south of the reserve to assess when and how often recruitment occurs. Plants are also collected monthly (n=20) to determine how the population fluctuates throughout the year. Preliminary results suggest this large brown alga is annual. Sporophyte recruitment appears seasonal and may occur in the spring with continued growth throughout the summer. Reproductive areas of sporophylls decrease throughout the fall and adult plants are tattered or ripped from substrate by winter surf. Laboratory experiments are currently underway to determine relative spore production and release throughout the year, as well as spore swimming and dispersal potential. Information on the recruitment, spore production, and dispersal potential of A. marginata may be helpful in assessing recovery potential from periodic disturbances including landslides, which are common along the Big Sur coast.


Michisaki, Reiko P., J. Timothy Pennington, Roman Marin III, and Francisco P. Chavez
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

OCEANOGRAPHY ON THE EDGE: THE MBNMS ON THE MARGIN OF THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN

A transect across the eastern North Pacific Ocean from Moss Landing, California to Honolulu, Hawaii was occupied by the R/V Western Flyer in March, 2001. The data allow us to view MBNMS waters as at the eastern border of the largest habitat on earth. We divide the transect into three regions: (1) A MBNMS region about 300 km broad (121-125 deg W), showing evidence of coastal upwelling near the surface and the California Undercurrent at depth. Near surface waters were high in macronutrients and iron, heterotrophic bacteria, picoeukaryotes, chlorophyll, primary production and zooplankton, but low in Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus; (2) a California Current region from 300-1400 km offshore (125-135 deg W), with low salinity surface waters. Near surface waters across this region had decreasing on/offshore gradients of nutrients and iron, picoeukaryotes, chlorophyll, primary production and zooplankton. Both heterotrophic bacteria and Synechococcus had peak abundances at 125 W, near the inshore margin of this current; (3) a North Pacific Central Gyre region from 1400 km offshore to Hawaii (135-158 deg W), with warm high salinity waters above the thermocline. Near surface waters had low nutrients and iron, heterotrophic bacteria, picoeukaryotes, Synechococcus, chlorophyll, primary production and zooplankton abundances, but high Prochlorococcus counts.


Mills, Kyra L.1, William J. Sydeman1, and Diana Watters2

1. Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Marine Science Division, Stinson Beach, CA
2. California Department of Fish and Game, Belmont, CA

TRAVELING IN UNCHARTED WATERS: USE OF SEABIRD DATA COMPLEMENTS TRADITIONAL INFORMATION FOR MANAGING PACIFIC HERRING (CLUPEA PALLASI) IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi), a species of commercial and ecological importance in California; is adaptively managed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Information used to assess the status of the herring population and establish quotas includes spawning biomass and age composition of the prior season's biomass estimate, information on ocean conditions, and young of the year abundance. However, spawning biomass in year "x" may not accurately predict stock size in year "x+1" if variable oceanographic conditions affect at-sea herring foraging and survival. Seabirds, as indicators of biological production at lower trophic levels, may provide a means of quantifying how oceanographic conditions and variation in prey availability influence the body condition and spawning biomass of adult herring. We report how seabird productivity data from Southeast Farallon Island (42 km west of San Francisco Bay) can serve as a basis for understanding spawning biomass and body condition for the San Francisco Bay herring stock in the following winter. Use of this non-traditional information for assessing the feeding conditions for herring "at-sea" can help manage the fishery from an ecological perspective, in accordance with objectives of California's Marine Life Management Act.


Moore, Steven W.

California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

THE BIOGADGETEERING LAB: UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS DEVELOPING NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR SANCTUARY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

The Biogadgeteering Lab at CSUMB is a small electronics/mechatronics lab where undergraduate students design, build, and test new technologies for marine biological monitoring and research. Most projects involve the creation of simple, low-cost, custom scientific instrumentation in support of Sanctuary-related research being conducted by scientists at CSUMB, Hopkins Marine Lab, Moss Landing Marine Labs, or UC Santa Cruz. Additional projects support high-school teachers and Sanctuary-related education. These cross-institutional collaborations provide students in the Biogadgeteering lab with access to a wide range of valuable learning experiences. The Lab is directed by a biologist with a doctorate in engineering and is closely affiliated with two introductory electronics courses in which students learn the electronics they need to take on advanced projects in the Lab. Recent projects from the Lab and its affiliated courses include (1) a sea lion dive depth recording system, (2) an ultra-sensitive altimeter for recording albatross flight profiles, (3) a reusable system for anchoring small scientific instruments to the sea floor, (4) a mini-ROV that can be deployed from shore or kayak for near-shore underwater exploration, and (5) datalogging flow sensor arrays for mapping ecologically important patterns of water movement in Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay. Questions? Contact: steve_moore@csumb.edu


Morrow, Aggie, Kerstin Wasson, and Andrea Woolfolk

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Watsonville, CA

INVASIVE SPECIES EARLY DETECTION PROGRAM

One of the top threats to biodiversity worldwide is the invasion of exotic species. Invasive species often have the ability to drive native species locally extinct, and to alter community composition, habitat structure, and even energy and nutrient flows through whole ecosystems. Fortunately, there is a window of opportunity for controlling exotic invasions, and this is early after the invasion occurs, when the invasive population is still very small, and eradication efforts have a chance of working. The best way to accomplish early eradication is to have regular surveys to detect new invaders. Therefore, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve has developed two identification booklets for some of "least wanted" invasive species in the Elkhorn Slough region. The goal is to detect new invasions early enough to successfully intervene. The booklets, which cover terrestrial and aquatic invaders separately, are being distributed to staff and volunteers, who use them when out in the field.


Newton, Kelly*1, Scott Benson2, Hannah Nevins2, Andrew DeVogelaere1, and Jim Harvey2

1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
2. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

BEACH COMBERS: DETECTING OILED SEABIRDS IN THE MONTEREY BAY

A beach monitoring study, utilizing volunteers to sample selected sections of beach for dead marine birds and mammals, was established within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in February 1997. Nine beaches within Monterey Bay and one beach in Carmel Bay have been monitored monthly since May 1997. A stretch of sandy beach along the outer coast, north of Santa Cruz, has been monitored since September 1998. In May 2001, six new beach segments at the southern end of the Sanctuary were added. The primary goal of the program, designated Beach COMBERS (Coastal Ocean Mammal / Bird Education and Research Surveys), is to obtain information on rates of stranding for all species of marine birds and mammals in Monterey Bay. The long-term objectives of the program are to provide a baseline of information on the average presence of beachcast marine organisms and to assist the Sanctuary in the early detection of mortality events triggered by natural and anthropogenic environmental perturbations such as red tides and oil spills. Pairs of trained volunteers survey their beach segment during the first week of each month at low tide. Beachcast seabirds are the most abundant organisms encountered during any beach survey. Average seabird deposition is greatest and most variable during the spring and summer months, and least during the winter months. Over the past 4 years there has been very few incidences of oiled birds found on surveyed beaches.


§Ort, Brian S.

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

SHELLFISH GENES: MOLECULAR ECOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION IN THE CALIFORNIA MUSSEL, MYTILUS CALIFORNIANUS

Sexual selection may be taking place within the California mussel, Mytilus californianus, through differential success of fertilization of eggs by sperm. Competition among males has been demonstrated for many species whose females have some control over which males have access to eggs. Due to the logistical problems encountered using traditional ecological approaches, it is difficult to test for male-male competition among the many organisms that spawn by broadcasting their gametes into the water column. A genetic approach may be appropriate instead. Mytilid mussels have an unusual mode of inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in which male- and female-specific mtDNA are inherited independently of each other. This has resulted in two very divergent mtDNA molecules, which I use to infer differences in the average breeding population sizes (Ne) of male and female M. californianus. A cause of smaller Ne for one sex is greater variance in reproductive success (VRS) in that sex due to differences among individuals in their access to the opposite sex. Preliminary results suggest that Ne is smaller for male M. californianus, suggesting greater VRS among males. The only avenue available to cause this increased VRS is through differential success of sperm in fertilizing eggs.


Osborn, Dawn Alexandra

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

ROCK TYPES: ARE THEY IMPORTANT FOR INTERTIDAL ECOLOGY?

Despite its significance and protected status, the intertidal region is being increasingly impacted by human activities such as harvesting, trampling, disposal of effluents and development. Major coastal engineering projects in Santa Cruz County armor eroding cliffs to stabilize the shoreline, reducing sand production and the amount of native substrate available for intertidal flora and fauna. The extensive anthropogenic armoring of the shorelines provides an unusual opportunity to determine the effect of differing rock types on intertidal community assemblages and sets the stage for experiments in the field. The importance of substrate type on community structures has been studied infrequently, partly because geologic differences generally occur over large spatial scales and transplantation studies (translocating rock types) are difficult. Along the populated coastline of California, there is the opportunity to compare "native" rock types and "introduced" rocks from quarries. Public concern is growing about the impacts to the shoreline that result from anthropogenic input. The effects of these changes have not been directly looked at in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with respect to the rocky intertidal communities of plants and animals. The goals of this project are: 1.) to determine if rock type influences zonation patterns, 2.) to determine if there is a difference in community assemblages relating to different rock types, 3.) to demonstrate the mechanism responsible for these differences, and 4.) attempt to link those patterns to life history characteristics.


Paduan, Jeffrey D., Leslie K. Rosenfeld, and Michael S. Cook

Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

ESTIMATING BAROTROPIC TIDAL CURRENTS USING VERY LONG RECORDS FROM HF RADAR

The intermittency of the internal (i.e., baroclinic) tide signal has been noted on many of the world's continental shelves. It is also commonly found that the internal tide is not phase-locked to the surface (i.e., barotropic) tide. These properties of the internal tide may allow barotropic tidal currents to be estimated from very long records of currents at only one depth, even in areas where internal tides are known to be large. In Monterey Bay for example, previous work has shown the baroclinic tidal currents to be highly variable in both time and space. In that area, it is also observed that the amplitudes of the baroclinic tidal currents exceed those of the barotropic tidal currents as estimated from large-scale tide models. In this study, we estimate barotropic tidal currents around Monterey Bay using harmonic analyses of greater than two-year-long surface current records deriving from HF radar measurements. Results for both semi-diurnal and diurnal frequencies are compared with shorter-length analyses for which internal tides and sea breeze-driven currents, respectively, are known to be dominant.


§Palacios, Sherry. L. and Richard. C. Zimmerman

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

SEAGRASS RESPONSE TO CO2 ENRICHMENT: POSSIBLE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL FOR REMEDIATION OF COASTAL HABITATS

Projected increases in ambient [CO2] from fossil fuel combustion may have significant impacts on CO2-limited organisms, including seagrasses. This study examined long-term impacts of CO2 enrichment on the performance of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) under light-replete and light-limited conditions. Our objectives were to determine if elevated [CO2] permanently enhanced eelgrass productivity and to explore the potential for exploiting industrial flue gas as a source of CO2. Plants were grown at four CO2 concentrations in outdoor flow-through aquaria for one year. Industrial flue gas provided by the Moss Landing Power Plant (Duke Energy Corp.) was used as the CO2 source. Exposure to elevated [CO2] promoted survival, vegetative reproduction and flowering of eelgrass shoots under both light replete and light limited conditions. CO2 enrichment did not alter specific growth rates of individual shoots, but plant size was proportional to both light and [CO2] after one year. The industrial flue gas had no obvious negative impacts on eelgrass performance. CO2 enrichment appears to yield a persistent increase in eelgrass productivity that translates into higher reproductive output and reduced light requirements. The extent to which industrial flue gas can be used to promote seagrass growth in polluted estuaries deserves further consideration.


Payne, Katherine F.

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

COMMUNITY OUTREACH FOR MOSS LANDING DUNES

Many people who live on the Central Coast do not know very much about their environment. Through the Watershed Institute's Return of the Natives project I went out to one area, the Moss Landing Dunes, to research the area and to report what I learned about the area to the community in the form of a website. I researched the endangered animals on the dunes, like the snowy plover, legless lizard, and Smith's blue butterfly, and some invasive plants, like iceplant. I also learned how these plants and animals are connected in their ecosystem. For example, the snowy plover likes to lay its eggs in the sand with a thin layer of sand over them. In addition to the threat from humans and other animals walking over the eggs, the invasive iceplant is taking over the area, leaving little room for the plovers to lay their eggs. I think that if the community knew more about these animals and the problem with invasive plants then it would help in the protection of these animals and eradication of invasive plants. Therefore the website provides a lot of information about our area in one location so that more people will be informed.


Ramp, Steve1 , Jeff Paduan1, Fred Bahr1, Dan Frye2, Peter Koski2, Francisco Chavez3, Jeff Reid4, and Bob Bluth1

1. Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
2. AOPE, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
4. SPAWAR Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, CA

ATMOSPHERIC FORCING AND OCEANIC RESPONSE DURING LATE SUMMER UPWELLING AND RELAXATION EVENTS IN THE MONTEREY BAY

The air-sea interaction over the northwestern portion of the Monterey Bay was studied during August 17-31 2000 using real-time observations from an aircraft, HF radar installations, and moored acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs). Ocean sea surface temperature, vector winds, air temperature, and dew point temperature were observed using a Navajo twin-engine aircraft flying at 400 ft elevation. The plane made 13 flights mostly once per day, but sometimes twice to allow comparison of the early morning and late afternoon sea-breeze conditions. Three moored ADCPs, two surface and one bottom mounted, were also deployed to examine the vertical structure of the observed features. The bottom-mounted instrument returned current profiles in real time via an acoustic/RF link with no cables to land. All the data were processed immediately upon collection and posted on the world wide web. Two upwelling events separated by a wind relaxation event were observed. During the first upwelling event, a cold filament tended south-south east across the mouth of the bay from the upwelling center near Point Ano Nuevo. A warm, dry, atmospheric jet of comparable scale, previously unobserved, was blowing off the Santa Cruz mountains directly above the filament. Such atmospheric features may occur frequently along the California coast but have not been seen due to inadequate observing systems. During the subsequent relaxation, a large warm eddy moved shoreward, raising the sea surface temperature to over 20C at the mouth of the bay.


§Readdie, Mark

Department of Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

VERTICAL SHIFTS IN INTERTIDAL ZONATION

The distributions of many species on rocky shores are limited to distinct zones. A general paradigm in marine ecology is that the upper limits of these zones are set by physical factors and that the lower limits are set by biological factors. This idea suggests that species zonation patterns do not vary much unless the determining factors vary. As physical factors are relatively stable over long time periods, movement of species upper limits are expected to be uncommon. The Minerals Management Service of California has funded a long-term monitoring study in San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties for the past 10 years. At some sites the data reveal a temporal pattern in which the upper limits of two mid-intertidal algal species, Endocladia muricata and Pelvetia compressa, have shifted upwards on the shore in a predictable, successional sequence of events. Barnacles (the highest species) became colonized by Endocladia (the intermediate species) and Endocladia became colonized by Pelvetia (the lowest species). Surprisingly, at two sites Pelvetia has recruited into the plots originally set up in the barnacle zone. These data reveal that species zones, previously thought to be stable over time, can be vertically dynamic. I review various hypotheses to explain the shifts and suggest that disturbance and succession may be a mechanism that can drive long-term vertical changes in intertidal zonation.


Freddy, Shristi and Renee Koppany

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science, Monterey High School, Monterey, CA

THE ROLE OF BACTERIA: IDENTIFICATION OF BACTERIA IN THE ACCESSORY NIDAMENTAL GLAND

The Accessory Nidamental (AN) gland makes a jelly like substance that is sandwiched between the eggs in the egg case found in female squids. Bacterial symbiots colonized in the tubules of the gland of squids may have a purpose yet unknown. The AN gland develops in the female squid after a 100 days. The research is done on four species found in the waters of Monterey Bay: Lolgio oplescens (local squid—LO), Spia (European cuttlefish— SP), Spia ferrionous (Asia cuttlefish—SF), and Euprimna scclepps (a Hawaiian bobtail squid—ES). The eggs layed remain white and unharmed by the ocean water as well as the organisms, which questions how these eggs are protected. Could these bacteria found in the AN gland help produce chemicals that protect the squids' egg case? The information learned about the bacteria can also be used in pharmaceutical research in the future. Although a conclusion has not been reached about the role of these bacteria theories and further research is being done in this project.


§Ritter, Amy

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

RECRUITMENT PATTERNS OF INTERTIDAL FISHES IN RELATION TO CONTRASTING OCEANOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS FOUND WITHIN THE MONTEREY BAY AREA

In this study I examined the recruitment patterns of two intertidal sculpin species, Clinocottus recalvus and Oligocottus snyderi, in the Monterey Bay area. I monitored recruitment of these two species at six different sites located in the northern Monterey Bay and along the coastline north of the Bay, a region spanning contrasting oceanographic conditions. I monitored the recruitment of these two sculpin species twice monthly for six months during their recruitment season, which coincides with spring and summer upwelling conditions. This study enabled me to determine both spatial and temporal patterns of intertidal sculpin recruitment in relation to contrasting oceanographic conditions. Interestingly, the patterns of sculpin recruitment are contrary to predictions based on other recruitment studies of nearshore organisms, which predict that recruitment levels should show a negative relationship with upwelling intensity. In fact, recruitment of intertidal sculpins was highest during the peak of upwelling intensity. In addition, levels of recruitment were lowest at sites inside the northern Monterey Bay, and highest at sites north of the Monterey Bay, despite predominate upwelling conditions. These recruitment patterns seem to relate to the presence of an upwelling front located in the northern Monterey Bay, and also indicate that intertidal sculpins may have unique behaviors that enable the larvae to return to or remain near shore in the presence of upwelling conditions.


Smith, G. Jason

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

METABOLIC SYSTEMS ANALYSIS: ESSENTIAL TOOLS ENHANCING APPLICATION OF GENOMIC TECHNOLOGIES IN THE MARINE SCIENCES

Tremendous advances in biotechnology and bioinformatics have made diverse marine organisms accessible to and important targets for genomic analysis. The next several years will witness an acceleration in the application of whole genome assays towards characterization of the biodiversity in marine communities, description of novel biochemical pathways based on comparative genomics and development of multivariate biomarkers for community and species health using array-based analysis of gene expression patterns. Often overlooked is the complementary approach of metabolite analysis (METABOLOMICS), which provides an integrated snapshot of the effects of the underlying network of gene expression on physiological status. Amino acid metabolism in the harmful algal bloom diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia spp. will be used as a case study to demonstrate the efficacy of metabolomics for addressing problems in marine science. Chemometric analysis is used to characterize the non-protein amino acid, taurine as a biomarker for Pseudo-nitzschia abundance and toxicity in field samples. Biochemical pathway analysis, based on S-systems, will be used to assess the dynamics and critical enzymatic steps of proline metabolism, an amino acid whose catabolism may supply a critical precursor for biosynthesis of domoic acid. The later approach demonstrates the utility of metabolic analysis for independent identification of critical gene products, thereby guiding interpretation of genomic assays.


Storlazzi, Curt D., Margaret M. Dekshenieks, Mark H. Carr, Pete T. Raimondi, and Jared D. Figurski

Institute for Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIATIONS IN THE THERMAL AND CURRENT STRUCTURE ON THE INNER SHELF OF THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Thermistor chains and ADCPs were deployed at the northern and southern ends of Monterey Bay to examine the thermal and hydrodynamic structure of the inner (h~ 20 m) shelf of central California as part of the PISCO Project. These instruments sampled temperature and current velocity at two-minute intervals over a 13-month period (06/2000-07/2001). Time series of these data, in conjunction with AVHRR and CODAR imagery, help to establish the basic hydrography for Monterey Bay. Analysis of time series data revealed that net internal flow at both sites was shore-parallel and to the northwest, roughly opposite of the wind-driven surface flow. The current and temperature records are dominated by semi-diurnal and diurnal tidal signals. The transitions from ebb to flood tide are very rapid and characteristic of tidal bores. During the spring and summer when thermal stratification was high, we observed >2000 high frequency (Tp~4 to 20 min) internal waves in packets of 8-10 following the heads of tidal bores. Previous studies along the west coast of the U.S. have concluded that tidal bores and internal waves play a significant role in the onshore transport of larvae. The implications for larval transport and recruitment in Monterey Bay will be discussed.


§Thayer, Julie A., William J. Sydeman, and Michelle M. Hester

Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Stinson Beach, CA

LONG-TERM SURVIVAL OF RHINOCEROS AUKLETS: COLONY COMPARISONS IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Understanding survival patterns is key to studies of population dynamics. Contrary to trends in most other central California seabird populations, Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) populations seem to have increased, and some data show that Rhinoceros Auklets may not be as severely affected by El Niño events as other seabirds in the California Current. However, California Rhinoceros Auklet populations are still relatively small, and are especially vulnerable to over-exploitation of fisheries, oiling events and other pollution, human disturbance, and climate change resulting in changes to their prey base. Rhinoceros Auklets lay only one egg per year, resulting in slow population growth even under favorable ecological conditions. Survival has been documented in some other long-lived seabird species to differ between populations, sometimes dramatically. Only one short-term estimate of adult survival exists for Rhinoceros Auklets outside the California Current system, and not many survival estimates of California alcid populations are available. We estimated survival of adult Rhinoceros Auklets breeding on two of the three main breeding colonies in California, Año Nuevo Island and Southeast Farallon Island, over the past 9 years and 14 years, respectively, examining influences of colony, year, sex, environmental variables, breeding and resighting probabilities, and reproductive success and experience.


§Vlietstra, Lucy S.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL PREY ABUNDANCE IN DETERMINING THE STRENGTH OF SPATIAL ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN NONBREEDING SEABIRDS AND ACOUSTIC BIOMASS IN NEARSHORE MONTEREY BAY

Food availability is often considered a primary factor shaping the at-sea distribution of marine predators. One approach to understanding the nature of this effect has been to examine spatial relationships between predators and their prey. In this study, I hypothesized that spatial correlations between nonbreeding seabirds and their prey would be stronger than those reported for breeding seabirds. I also expected that their distribution would be more closely linked with acoustic biomass when local prey availability was low. During winters 1998-2000, I measured the abundance and distribution of acoustic biomass and four piscivorous seabirds in nearshore Monterey Bay: Brant's cormorants (Pahlacrocorax penicillat), common murres (Uria aalg), Pacific loons (Gavia pacifica), and rhinoceros auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata). I found that, overall, there was no significant correlation between three seabird species and acoustic biomass. However, on days when acoustic biomass was below the median for the study period, cormorants, murres, and loons were strongly associated with biomass at scales ranging from 0.2 to 13.0 km. Murres and loons were more strongly correlated with acoustic biomass when levels of acoustic biomass were very low. This study suggests that seabirds track prey at smaller spatial scales during the nonbreeding season than during the breeding season, but only when local food supplies are in high demand.


§Weng, Kevin1,2, Charles Farwell1,3, and Barbara Block1,2

1. Tuna Research and Conservation Center, Pacific Grove, CA
2. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA

BIOLOGY AND MIGRATIONS OF THE PACIFIC BLUEFIN TUNA BASED ON CONVENTIONAL AND ELECTRONIC TAGGING

The Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) is a pelagic fish reaching 300 cm and 600 kg in size, and ranging through most of the Pacific. The California-Baja region appears to be an important feeding area. The only know spawning area is in neritic waters between Japan and the Philippines, so fish in the eastern Pacific are presumed to have come from the western Pacific. Fish in the eastern Pacific are typically between two and five years of age, so older fish are presumed to have returned to the west to spawn. This project seeks to elucidate the importance of the eastern phase and the return to the breeding population in the west. The behavior and movements of Pacific bluefin are being studied in Monterey Bay and off Baja using pop-up satellite archival tags. The mixed layer and waters warmer than 17 °C comprise the vertical habitat of the species in the eastern Pacific. In two-month tracks fish have ranged between Monterey and waters offshore of Magdalena Bay, Baja. Predation on Pacific bluefin tuna by a large warm-bodied predator has been observed. Further tagging of Pacific bluefin in the eastern Pacific may record migrations back to the western spawning area.


Wong, Florence L. and Stephen L. Eittreim

United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

CONTINENTAL SHELF GIS FOR THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) was established in 1992 to protect and manage the resources of a 13,760 sq km (5300 sq mi) area off the coast of central California. Seafloor mapping and sampling in the continental shelf areas (about 20% of the sanctuary area) have revealed new details about the geology, morphology, and active geologic and oceanographic processes of this region. Data from sidescan sonar, multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter, physical samples, and instrument moorings are consolidated with new and existing maps in a geographic information system (GIS). The GIS provides researchers and policymakers a view of the relationships among data sets to assist science studies and to help with economic and social policy-making decisions regarding this protected environment. The GIS is now available as a CD-ROM and online at http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of01-179/.


Yoklavich, Mary1, Churchill Grimes1, Waldo Wakefield2, and H. Gary Greene3

1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
2. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Newport, OR
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

USING LASERS TO EXPLORE DEEPWATER HABITATS IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

We conducted a 9-day field test of laser line scan imaging technology (LLS) to characterize and explore benthic habitats in and around the Big Creek Ecological Reserve (BCER) off the central California coast. We are determining the utility of LLS to assess the distribution and abundance of fish, megafaunal invertebrates, and habitats, and comparing LLS images with those acquired from side scan sonar and a remotely operated vehicle. We also are evaluating LLS ability to detect seafloor disturbance caused by fishing trawl gear. We surveyed an area about 2.6 km long and 0.4 km wide inside and directly outside BCER. With the laser we imaged isolated rock outcrops with patches of large Metridium sp. And dense groups of fishes, drift kelp, sea pens, salp chains, and sedentary benthic fishes (possibly California halibut, Pacific electric ray, ratfish, juvenile lingcod, etc.). The LLS system offers the advantage of imaging some of the biogenic components of habitat and describing their spatial relationships with detail that currently is not possible using acoustic techniques such as side scan and multibeam sonar. The LLS system also seemed to do an excellent job at imaging details of the low relief shelf sediments such as sand waves and ripples; evaluating these features in a broader context from a post-processed mosaic of the seafloor could help us understand coastal physical processes that influence dynamic benthic habitats. The development of LLS could improve our understanding deep-water fish habitats.


Young, R. Michael

North Carolina State University

INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEMS IN INFORMAL VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR MARINE SCIENCE LEARNING

3D graphical interfaces to virtual worlds offer marine science educators the potential to create immersive and engaging interactive environments that are accessible to a wide range of learners. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) research have produced intelligent tutoring systems that can dynamically create educational content and structure their interactions with a student in ways that are customized to her individual background. Our work integrates these advances from AI with commercially available 3D environments (e.g., computer games) to build systems that blend aspects of traditional learning environments for marine science with advanced techniques for intelligent pedagogy. We will present a working prototype of Mimesis, a system that lets students visit a 3D aquarium simulation where intelligent systems operate "behind the scenes" to create learning experiences that are more like interactions with physical spaces and human tutors than might otherwise be possible with conventional software. In Mimesis, the content of a user's interaction with the aquarium (i.e., the text of each exhibit label, the information provided by docents) is created at run time, customized to her reading level, her native language, and her familiarity with the concepts related to each habitat's occupants.

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/research/currsymp2002/posters.html    Reviewed: March 04, 2014
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