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Sanctuary Currents 2003
Threatened and Thriving Species: Lessons from the Sea

General Info & Program | Session Abstracts | Ricketts Lecture | MBNMS Awards | Exhibitors
Poster Abstracts & Awards | 2003 Symposium Poster (PDF)

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


2003 Best Overall Poster

Dutton, Peter H.1, Scott R. Benson1, and Scott A. Eckert2

  1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA
  2. Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, San Diego, CA

IDENTIFYING ORIGINS OF LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES FROM PACIFIC FORAGING GROUNDS OFF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, USA


2003 Best Thematic Poster

Hawkes, Jack1 and Debbie Brownstein1, Melissa Miller1, Linda Lowenstine2, Dave Jessup1

  1. Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Cruz, CA
  2. Department. of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis CA

THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: MORTALITY AND THE WILDLIFE PATHOLOGIST


2003 Best Student Poster

Kerr, Lisa A.1, Allen H. Andrews1, Brian R. Frantz2, Kenneth H. Coale1, Thomas A. Brown2, Gregor M. Cailliet1

  1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
  2. Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Livermore, CA

BOMB CARBON IN YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH (SEBASTES RUBERRIMUS) OTOLITHS AS A CHRONOLOGICAL BENCHMARK FOR AGE VALIDATION OF COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT FISHES


2003 Certificates of Appreciation

Callaway, DeVonne

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

OXYGEN CONSUMPTION FOR BLUEFIN TUNA


Bond, Lea and Carynn Milne

San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, Felton, CA

PHYTOPLANKTON MONITORING


Poster Session Abstracts


* Denotes high school student eligible for Best Student Poster Award
§ Denotes graduate student eligible for Best Student Poster Award


Anderson, Tara1, Mary Yoklavich1, Steve Eittreim2

1. NMFS/NOAA Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
2. USGS Coastal and Marine Geology, Menlo Park, CA
3. California Sea Grant Extension Program, Moss Landing, CA

GROUNDFISH-HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY: IS SCALE IMPORTANT?

Many demersal fish species have strong affinities with specific habitat types and can exert considerable choice about their occupancy of habitats at a range of spatial scales. Fine scale habitat structure and patchiness can modify the local distribution of fishes, and hence alter the strength of interactions with each other and their environment. Understanding fish-habitat associations is likely to be a critical step in characterizing essential fish habitat and for area- based management approaches. In this study we evaluated the association of deepsea groundfishes with habitat composition and structure over four spatial scales: large-scale seafloor maps, habitat strata (transect-level), habitat patches within strata, and microhabitat use within patches. We integrated in situ fish counts and habitat measures collected from the Delta submersible during 1994 with multibeam sonar data to explore how fine scale habitat associations can be scaled to the larger landscape. This initial study highlights both the importance of measuring fish-habitat associations at multiple scales and the implications for ‘scaling up' groundfish abundances from fine scale habitats (within-transects) to large-scale seafloor habitat maps.


Andrews, Allen H.1, Erik Cordes1, Melissa M. Mahoney1, Kristen Munk2, Gregor M. Cailliet1, Kenneth H. Coale1, Jonathan Heifetz3, and David Somerton4

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau, AK
3. National Marine Fisheries Service, Auke Bay Laboratories, Juneau, AK,
4. National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA

AGE AND GROWTH AND RADIOMETRIC VALIDATION OF A DEEP-SEA, HABITAT FORMING GORGONIAN (PRIMNOA RESEDAEFORMIS) FROM THE GULF OF ALASKA

Sustainable fisheries require 1) viable stock populations with appropriate harvest limits and 2) appropriate habitat for the fisheries to survive, forage, seek refuge, grow and reproduce. Unlike some deep-water rocky habitats, those formed from deep-water stands of coral may be vulnerable to fishing disturbance and therefore affect on the fishery may be confounded by simultaneous loss of habitat during fishing effort. Thus, the rate at which habitat can be restored is a critical aspect of fishery management. The purpose of this study was to characterize growth rates for a habitat-forming deep-sea coral. Two nearly complete colonies of red tree coral (Primnoa resedaeformis) collected from off southeast Alaska were provided for an analysis of age and growth characteristics. Medical x-ray imaging, CT scan, revealed that colonies consisted of multiple settlement events, where older basal structures provide for settlement of new colonies. The decay of exogenous 210Pb over the length of the colony was used to validate age estimates from growth zone counts. Age estimates were over 100 yr for sections near the heavily calcified base. Based on validated growth zone counts, growth of red tree coral ranged from 1.60 to 2.32 cm per year in height and was approximately 0.36 mm per year in diameter. These growth rates suggest that some fishery habitat is extremely vulnerable to bottom fishing activities regardless of pressure and may take over 100 years to recover.


§Bizzarro, Joe J.1, Jeff M. Field1, H. Gary Greene1, Robert N. Lea2, and Jean deMarignac1

1. Center for Habitat Studies, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. California Department of Fish and Game, Monterey, CA

HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS OF UPPER SLOPE ROCKFISHES (SEBASTES SPP.) AND CO-OCCURRING DEMERSAL FISHES IN ASCENSION CANYON, CALIFORNIA

Due to their life history patterns (slow growth, late age at maturity, and extreme longevity) deep-water rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) are especially susceptible to overfishing, as evidenced by recent declines in most commercially targeted stocks. To establish effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the interaction between fishes and their available habitats must be determined. Our objectives were to describe habitat associations for rockfishes and co-occurring fish species within the headward part of Ascension Canyon at large (1 to 10s of kilometers) and small (10s to 100s of meters) scales. Geologic structure and lithology were investigated using high-resolution multibeam bathymetric and backscatter data. These data were interpreted to produce habitat maps of the study area. Seafloor features and fish assemblages were then surveyed using the Delta submersible along 50-meter depth contours, between 200 and 350 meters. Thirty-two ten minute transects were completed between two distinct large-scale habitat types. At 200 and 250 m, stripetail (Sebastes saxicola) and greenstripe (S. elongatus) rockfishes were the dominant fish species. At 300 and 350 m, splitnose (S. diploproa) and shortspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus) were the most abundant rockfishes. Large and small-scale habitat associations of these and several other commercially important demersal fishes were also determined.


*Bond, Lea and Carynn Milne

San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, Felton, CA

PHYTOPLANKTON MONITORING

The objectives of this project are to understand, observe and log the fluctuation of phytoplankton numbers and examine the relationship of environmental occurrences with the populations of three toxin phytoplankton, Pseudo-nitzschia spp., Alexandrium catenella, and Dinophysis. These toxic species can produce dangerous levels of neurotoxins when in large concentrations (i.e. algae blooms), causing shell fish poisoning and marine life casualties (i.e. sea lions and sea birds). There are many variables that can effect plankton density, such as nitrate and phosphate levels (i.e. non-point pollution), tide, human activity, salinity (i.e. river dilution), current, temperature, turbidity (i.e. dredging, Algae bloom), and time of day. Some we have been able to eliminate, such as consistency of collection, time of collection, and source of collection. Our results currently show this danger has no increased in the Santa Cruz harbor area between September and the present, though there has been higher numbers of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. in some samples. To verify our collection, samples are sent to the California Department of Health Services for their analysis and pictures of our specimens are sent to both UCSC and the health department to verify classification. Data will continue to be collected until the 2002-03 School year has ended.


*Callaway, DeVonne

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

OXYGEN CONSUMPTION FOR BLUEFIN TUNA

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University have joined together to form the Tuna Research and Conservation Center (TRCC). One area of study is the respiratory system of the tuna. The inflow of oxygen into the tank is measured manually by the TRCC staff, while outflow is measured electronically. From electronic data, graphs can be made to ascertain oxygen consumption on days when the tuna are fed and not fed. One concern has been whether the specific diet of the tuna, specifically Bluefin Tuna, affects oxygen consumption. An experiment was conducted with three different diets: sardines, squid, and a combination of sardines and squid (all diets included a gelatin supplement). Then, by using the readings of inflow and outflow, the TRCC was able to conclude that with a diet high in squid the tuna consumed less oxygen. Experimental results demonstrated the correlation between a tuna's diet and oxygen consumption which exemplifies the TRCC's mission is to advance the knowledge and understanding of tunas, through research, education, and conservation. The TRCC is paving the way for "future partnerships between academic researchers and aquaria, zoos, or museum personnel."


Clark, Ross1, Michael Multari2, Bobby Jo Close3, Rebecca Ellin2

1. California Coastal Commission, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Morro Bay National Estuary Program, Morro Bay, CA
3. California Conservation Corps, Morro Bay, CA

THE CENTRAL COAST COMPREHENSIVE WETLANDS GIS DATABASE: A PLANNING TOOL PROMOTING WETLAND CONSERVATION THROUGHOUT THE CENTRAL COAST OF CALIFORNIA

Increased recognition of the intrinsic ecological value of wetlands as well as the aesthetic and economic attributes of these ecosystems has prompted wetland protection throughout California. To evaluate the effectiveness of protection policies and programs, it is necessary to synthesize and assess an array of data types produced by numerous agencies and organizations. The Central Coast Comprehensive Wetlands GIS Database (CCWGIS) is the framework for such a tool and will provide local and state agencies, non-government organizations, and the public descriptive and digital spatial wetland information from a watershed perspective in an on-line, interactive database and geographic information system. The CCWGIS covers the Marin Headlands to Point Conception and will be implemented in two phases. Phase I includes the development of the CCWGIS framework and data development and framework testing for the Morro Bay Watershed Pilot Area. Phase II will incorporate 4 - 5 more central coast watersheds into the CCWGIS framework. Phase II also seeks to integrate the CCWGIS with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network. In addition to providing wetland and watershed information, the CCWGIS will be used for trend analyses, goal achievement assessments, and prioritization of wetlands for conservation projects.


Dawson, Cyndi L, and David A. Osorio

California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region Headquarters, Monterey, CA

SHORT-TERM TRENDS IN ABUNDANCE OF BLUE ROCKFISH YOUNG-OF-THE-YEAR

From October 9 to November 5, 2002, benthic scuba surveys were conducted on a daily basis at Stillwater Cove, Carmel. Divers enumerated all conspicuous fish species along 2m x 2m x 30m stratified random benthic transects (120m3 per transect). Surveys were completed daily unless precluded by ocean conditions, or visibility (<3m). The study's main goal was to test the precision of diver counts over a short period of time. Several factors have shown to affect diver counts of nearshore reef fish: visibility, swell, habitat heterogeneity, and even diver biases can all be significant factors. It is suggested that a major component of natural mortality in blue rockfish occurs during the early benthic juvenile stage. A subset of the data, counts of young-of-the-year (YOY) blue rockfish, were examined for an expected decline in abundance. This analysis will help evaluate whether estimates obtained by diver counts provide insight into trends in abundance or are too easily confounded to be used in long-term trend


DeVogelaere, Andrew1 , Erica Burton1, Randy Kochevar2, Gregor Cailliet3, David Clague4, Mario Tamburri, and William Douros1

1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
4. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
5. Alliance for Coastal Technologies, Solomons, MD

DAVIDSON SEAMOUNT: BIOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION AND PROTECTION

The Davidson Seamount is an impressive geologic feature located 120 km southwest of Monterey, California. This inactive volcano is roughly as tall as the Sierra Mountains (2,300m) and as wide as the Monterey Bay (40 km), yet its summit is far below the ocean surface (1,300m). It is only recently that remotely operated vehicles provide the capability to carefully characterize the organisms living on the seamount. In 2002, we obtained 90 hrs of videotape from all depths of the seamount. The crest of Davidson Seamount had the highest diversity of species, including huge corals and sponges. While detailed analyses are still in progress, it is clear that these assemblages of species are arranged in previously undiscovered large, contiguous patches, and are susceptible to physical disturbance. To conserve this pristine area, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is currently considering inclusion of the Davidson Seamount into its protective boundary.


Dianto, Jennifer

Seafood Watch Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA

DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSUMERS: MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM'S SEAFOOD WATCH PROGRAM

Increased consumer demand for seafood is depleting fish populations around the world and harming the health of the oceans. Today, over 70 percent of fish stocks are fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted. There are growing concerns related to bycatch and habitat damage from fishing gear. And fisheries management has only recently begun to improve the state of many important fish stocks. Aquaculture, a rapidly growing industry, is seeking to alleviate some of these pressures—but is meeting skepticism regarding environmental impacts and a lack of management. In response, a growing movement has emerged to recognize and promote environmentally responsible fishery and aquaculture operations through eco-labeling, directed marketing campaigns, and shifting consumer demand to sustainable products. Seafood Watch creates sustainable seafood recommendations to provide immediate incentives for sustainable fishing and fish farming while relieving the demand for seafood from sources that adversely impact the environment. The program synthesizes the best available scientific information on stock status, bycatch, habitat and ecosystem impacts, and management to generate recommendations for consumers, restaurants, businesses, and others who are willing to use their purchasing power to support sustainable sources of seafood. Our poster will outline the Seafood Watch program goals, our methodology for developing seafood recommendations, our process for distributing information to various audiences, and our role in the larger sustainable seafood movement.


Donohoe, Christopher J. and Peter B. Adams>

NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz Laboratory, Santa Cruz, CA

MICROCHEMICAL ANALYSIS TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN THREATENED AND ENDANGERED RAINBOW TROUT AND STEELHEAD (ONCORHYNCHUS MYKISS)

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exhibit two life history forms: a freshwater resident form and an ocean migrating or anadromous form (steelhead). Steelhead are currently listed as threatened or endangered in most of California under the Endangered Species Act. The contribution of freshwater residents to steelhead populations (and vice versus) has been difficult to study, in part because the two forms cannot be distinguished with certainty during most of their life. One difference among forms is the chemical composition of the otolith (ear stone). We use an electron microprobe beam to scan across the otolith for the elements strontium (Sr) and calcium (Ca). From the Sr/Ca ratio, we can reconstruct the migration history of each fish and determine whether its mother was a steelhead or freshwater resident. This technique allows estimation of exchange rates between forms and provides improved detection of steelhead in small rivers and streams. Our research focuses on validating these methods and testing whether scales or fin rays can be used as non-lethal alternatives to the otolith method. These studies should help us understand the role of the two forms in establishing and maintaining populations of O. mykiss in the variable habitats of southern California.


Drake Patrick

Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

WIND FORCING ON THE MONTEREY BAY AREA INNER SHELF

Long-term temperature, velocity, and wind measurements from the Monterey Bay area inner shelf are presented and analyzed to 1) describe the basic sub-tidal variation and 2) determine how well the dynamics in the region conform to a simple, two-dimensional conceptualization of upwelling. Temperature sensors from five sites covered an alongshore extent of approximately 80 km, from Point Sur to the south to the bay's northern limits. Measurements show that at periods between 10 and 40 days, temperature fluctuations are coherent along-coast, vary in-phase, and are driven by the local wind. Fluctuations are also consistent with basic upwelling theory, with upwelling-favorable (northwesterly) winds resulting in cooler temperatures. Analysis of velocity measurements was restricted to two sites near the bay's northern shore. At periods between 3 and 40 days, cross-shore velocities are coherent with the local wind. As with temperatures, cross-shore velocity fluctuations are consistent with basic two-dimensional upwelling theory, with upwelling-favorable winds resulting in onshore flow near-bottom and offshore flow near-surface. Alongshore velocities exhibited a long-term northward mean inconsistent with two-dimensional upwelling and wind-forcing theory, but consistent with other observations from the central California and Oregon shelf.


Dutton, Peter H.1, Scott R. Benson1, and Scott A. Eckert2

1. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA
2. Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, San Diego, CA

IDENTIFYING ORIGINS OF LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES FROM PACIFIC FORAGING GROUNDS OFF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, USA.

Little is known about migratory behavior or stock origins of leatherback sea turtles on North Pacific foraging grounds, but this information is critical for evaluating impacts of incidental catches throughout the Pacific Ocean. Leatherbacks that commonly forage off central California from July to October have been suspected of belonging to eastern Pacific nesting populations. Past telemetry studies were limited to post-nesting movements of females from beaches in Mexico and Central America, and all migrated southward rather than northward. This study combines genetic analyses with satellite telemetry to test the hypothesis that leatherbacks foraging off California may belong to western Pacific stocks. Further, the study provides a first look at the behavior and migration patterns of foraging adult leatherbacks away from nesting areas. We sampled and attached satellite transmitters to 13 adult leatherbacks captured in Monterey Bay, California during September 2000-2002. Following release, most turtles moved rapidly southwest along similar tracks. Results of genetic analyses indicated that sampled animals were from western Pacific nesting stocks, most likely Papua or the Solomon Islands. The results have implications for conservation of Pacific leatherbacks and demonstrate the utility of combining two techniques to determine population and stock boundaries of highly migratory sea turtle species.


§Engel, Jonna D. and Eileen Petersen

University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF THREE SIZE CLASSES AND A COHORT OF CALIFORNIA SEA MUSSELS (MYTILUS CALIFORNIANUS): A TEST OF HEDGECOCK'S SWEEPSTAKES HYPOTHESIS

Hedgecock's sweepstakes hypothesis predicts that in marine organisms with high fecundity every generation only a fraction of the larval pool successfully recruit due to a sweepstakes (chance) matching of reproductive activity and genetics to oceanographic conditions. A testable outcome from this prediction is that year classes and cohorts should have less genetic diversity than the estimate for the population as a whole. We tested this prediction by comparing the population genetic structure of three size classes and a cohort of the California sea mussel, Mytilus californianus, collected in the low intertidal at Terrace Point, California, to the population genetic structure estimated for random samples from six populations spanning the species range. We found that Fst estimates support Hedgecock's hypothesis with three of six allozyme loci showing more genetic differentiation among the three mussel size classes and cohort than that found among populations across the species range. This study corroborates the need for more work examining larval and recruit population genetic structure in order to better understand biological and physical forces shaping populations on an ecological time frame.


Hawkes, Jack1, Debbie Brownstein1, Melissa Miller1, Linda Lowenstine2, and Dave Jessup1

1. Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Department. of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis CA

THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: MORTALITY AND THE WILDLIFE PATHOLOGIST

We present two cases which suggest that the true cause of mortality in marine mammals is often more complex than superficial gross examination suggests. The first case was an aged adult male sea otter in excellent nutritional state with a crushed skull. Samples taken during necropsy revealed a high urine concentration of domoic acid. Two days later a seizuring sea otter was found at the same site with a similar domoic acid urine concentration, suggesting that the first animal may also have been seizuring. Coccidioides immitis, a pathogen also dangerous to humans, was isolated from cultures of the colon and spleen. Although this pathogen can cause mortality in otters, infection was not yet severe enough to kill this animal. The second case, an immature male sea otter, had severe injuries consistent with boat strike: fractured skull and brain laceration, trauma to the chest and abdomen, and organ damage. Microscopic examination of tissue samples, however, revealed significant inflammation of the meninges and brain. Toxoplasma gondii was identified by immunohistochemistry and isolated from brain tissue in cell culture. Protozoal encephalitis caused by pathogens including T. gondii has been identified as a significant cause of otter mortality, and may predispose animals to shark predation or boat strike.


§Heiman, Kimberly and Fiorenza Micheli

Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA

DISTRIBUTION AND COMMUNITY EFFECTS OF THE INVASIVE REEF-BUILDING TUBE WORM, FICOPOMATUS ENIGMATICUS, IN ELKHORN SLOUGH, CA.

Invasive species represent a great threat to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, especially those that alter ecosystem function, such as predators and habitat modifiers. Ficopomatus enigmaticus, a reef-building polychaete native to Australia, was introduced to the West coast in the 1920s. F. enigmaticus was first detected in Elkhorn Slough a decade ago, offering an excellent opportunity to observe the spread of an early invasion and evaluate its effects on benthic community structure. Currently F. enigmaticus is found in several locations, at one site it occupies nearly 100% of the available hard substrate, possibly displacing other fouling organisms. Preliminary results of recruitment studies indicate that F. enigmaticus is still spreading within Elkhorn Slough. A removal experiment is being conducted to evaluate the effects of reefs on community structure, and investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of reef removal as a management strategy. Initial multivariate and univariate analyses of benthic invertebrate community structure show significant differences between communities within reefs, along their edges and 1-m away from reefs, in surrounding mud flats. Difference in the abundances of several invasive species including Monocorophium insidiosum and Streblospio benedicti drive the observed community differences within and around the reefs.


§Henkel, Laird.A1,2,3, Josh Adams3, Jeff N. Davis1, Bradford Keitt1, and W. Breck Tyler1

1. Institute of Marine Sciences, U.C. Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 96064
2. H.T. Harvey & Associates, 294 Green Valley Rd., Suite 320, Watsonville, CA 95076
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Rd., Moss Landing, CA 95039

FACTORS AFFECTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF OCEAN SUNFISH (MOLA MOLA) IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

We recorded locations of ocean sunfish (Mola mola) basking at the surface during aerial surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. From March to October 2001, we conducted six strip-transect surveys within the sanctuary at an altitude of 60 m between Santa Cruz and Big Sur, up to approximately 30 km offshore. We measured the abundance and distribution of M. mola and determined relationships between distribution and several abiotic factors including water depth, distance to land, sea-surface temperature, and sea-surface temperature gradients. Temperature gradients measured by satellite provided fine scale (1 km) resolution of frontal features. We tested the hypothesis that frontal features are correlated with the distribution of M. mola and likely are important features, potentially concentrating M. mola prey. We present a useful method to define and locate ocean fronts using remote sensing AVHRR data in a GIS, and test the utility of this method as an aid to describing the oceanic habitat for marine predators encountered during ocean surveys. This method may prove useful to other researchers studying the distribution and abundance of marine predators in relation to potentially important oceanographic features.


Karras, Brian R., Alona L. Kvitky, Sean R. Van Sommeran

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF), Santa Cruz, CA.

GENERAL POPULATION AND ABUNDANCES STUDY OF ESTUARINE ELASMOBRANCHES WITHIN THE ELKHORN SLOUGH NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE, (ESNERR).

Since the early 1990s the PSRF has conducted tagging and release studies with in the Elkhorn Slough main channel as well as the estuary's many tidal canals and flats, including what is now the ESNERR. In addition to assisting other elasmobranch related studies, Since 2000 the PSRF has been conducting a rigorous tag and recapture study investigating the affects of tidal velocity and height upon elasmobranch species abundances, assemblage and recurrence within the ESNERR. In addition to animal behavior and abundances the PSRF is mapping out the importance of each sample site within the slough in terms of utilization and function; foraging, mating and nursery areas should to be identified and monitored. The archiving/analysis of blood and tissues of these estuarine sharks and rays are also being gathered for evaluation of extant levels of pollutants like pcb, trace organo-chlorines and other pesticide or industrial/agricultural sourced toxins.


§Kerr, Lisa A.1, Allen H. Andrews1, Brian R. Frantz2, Kenneth H. Coale1, Thomas A. Brown2, Gregor M. Cailliet1

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Livermore, CA

BOMB CARBON IN YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH (SEBASTES RUBERRIMUS) OTOLITHS AS A CHRONOLOGICAL BENCHMARK FOR AGE VALIDATION OF COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT FISHES

Rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) support one of the most economically important fisheries of the Pacific Northwest. Because proper management strategies rely on estimations of growth and longevity, it is essential that age estimation procedures be validated for commercially important rockfishes. Atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices during the 1950s and 1960s created a global radiocarbon (14C) signal in the ocean environment that scientists have identified as a useful tracer and chronological marker in natural systems. The bomb-generated radiocarbon signal retained in fish otoliths can be used as a permanent, time-specific marker of the radiocarbon present in ambient seawater. Therefore, 14C measured in the skeletal structure of a known age marine organism can provide a basis for an independent estimate of age in fishes. The goal of this study was to determine radiocarbon levels in otoliths of the age-validated yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) as a chronological benchmark for the waters of southeast Alaska, and use this benchmark to provide a basis for validating the age and growth of other commercially important rockfishes. Analysis of 14C in yelloweye rockfish otoliths has successfully established a radiocarbon chronology for the waters of southeast Alaska, providing a benchmark for future rockfish age validation studies from this area.


Kim, Stacy L.1, Dan Malone1, John Oliver1, Nick Welschmeyer1, Rikk Kvitek2, Jim Oakden1

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

CHARACTERIZATION OF THE BENTHIC AND PLANKTONIC COMMUNITIES OF ELKHORN SLOUGH AND THE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF THE MOSS LANDING THERMAL DISCHARGE.

The Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) program is designed to integrate historical data from Monterey Bay, with basic surveys, habitat characterizations, and short and long-term research efforts to provide information to resource managers, researchers and the public. As part of the SIMoN mission, sampling of benthic invertebrate, plankton and macrophyte communities are being carried out in Elkhorn Slough over a 5-year period. Historical data concerning the distribution of invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals within the slough are being compiled into a geo-referenced database to be published on the Sanctuary web-site. New biological data will be combined with hydrographic and bathymetric data to provide an understanding of how currents, erosion and biological processes interact, resulting in the rapid and dramatic changes seen in slough habitats in recent years. In a separate SIMoN project we are investigating the effects of the thermal discharge plume from Duke power plant in nearshore benthic habitats from wave-swept subtidal sandflats (<30 m) to the high intertidal wrack zone. Invertebrate macrofauna and plankton samples will be collected from the nearshore region to examine any potential impacts of the thermal discharge, and also the effects of the sediment plume resulting from erosion occurring within and around Elkhorn Slough.


King, Chad1, Rikk Kvitek2, Gary H. Greene3, Nancy Wright4

1. Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Monterey Bay National Mairne Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
2. Seafloor Mapping Lab, Institute for Earth System Science and Policy, California State University, Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
3. Center for Habitat Studies, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
4. California Department of Fish and Game, Monterey, CA

INTEGRATING GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR EFFECTIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

A pilot study to map the distribution of rockfish along the Monterey Formation outcrops off Del Monte Beach in Monterey, California was conducted using SCUBA sampling methods, remote sensing, and GIS technology through a cooperative, multi-agency effort. Reflective sonar (244 kHz) data were collected and processed to generate a shaded relief image, and acoustically different substrata were mosaicked and interpreted for construction of substrate maps. ArcView 3.2 was used to visualize these layers, and to plot a small sample of non-random transects that included SCUBA diver observations. The observations made were of rockfish abundance and estimates of rocky substrate within each 2-meter wide and 10-meter long transect. Two hundred thirty-five (235) fish, belonging to 11 species were counted in 21 transects completed by SCUBA divers in September 2000. Rockfish densities were spatially and qualitatively correlated with percent cover of rock within each transect. The overall density was estimated as 2.88 +/- 0.191 (S.E.) fish per 100 m2 in transects that consisted of primarily rocky substrate. Breaking down the 21 transects into two groups of rock percent cover, 80-90% and less than 80%, yields a density twice as high in the 80-90% group. The area of study is not under any fishing protection and potentially low densities may warrant a management plan to protect the stock that is left in the area. This suite of technology holds the potential to correlate fish assemblages with habitat type, make related predictions, and develop management strategies.


King, Chad, Andrew DeVogelaere, Steve Lonhart, Jean de Marignac

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA

A MAP OF MONITORING SITES IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Long-term ecosystem monitoring is a fundamental element of effective conservation and a requirement of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's management plan. By integrating ongoing efforts at over 30 regional marine research institutions, and filling in critical gaps, the Sanctuary can gain a comprehensive understanding of its resources and processes. The Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) has therefore been designed in partnership with the regional science and management communities to identify and track natural and human induced changes to the Sanctuary (see related poster by Lonhart et al.). This map represents SIMoN's initial effort at compiling historic and current monitoring sites. Associated with these sites are metadata, detailing who, when, where, why and how the data were collected, processed, and analyzed. These site locations represent a wide array of data types, resolution, time duration, age and complexity from varying sources, including state, federal and private organizations. However, some basic patterns are clear. For example, while the Monterey Bay is heavily studied, there are few monitoring data sets off of the Big Sur Coast. This poster presentation is interactive in that we are asking the reader to provide additional locations and contact information on data sets they feel are important. Within the next year, these data will be made available through an interactive mapping site on the World Wide Web.


Lee, Derek E., Julie A. Thayer, and William J. Sydeman

Marine Science Division, PRBO Conservation Science, Stinson Beach, CA

OCEANOGRAPHIC CORRELATES OF SEABIRD SURVIVAL IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM

nvironmental variability has profound influences on marine ecosystems, yet many aspects of marine bird ecology are poorly understood, due to practical difficulties with field research and a dearth of long-term studies. The population dynamics of marine birds can be determined by the interaction of several demographic processes, including adult survival, which is particularly important in long-lived species. Herein, we investigate how long-term adult survival (from yearx to yearx+1) is influenced by basin-scale and local oceanographic conditions. In particular, we relate adult survival of four species of seabird in central California (planktivorous Cassin's Auklet, omnivorous Common Murre, and piscivorous Rhinoceros Auklet and Brandt's Cormorant) to a series of environmental indices (Northern and Southern Oscillation Indices, Multivariate ENSO Index, sea surface temperature, upwelling index). We relate changes in survival-environmental relationships to trophic level and life history strategies.


Lonhart, Steve I., Andrew DeVogelaere, Chad King, and Jean de Marignac

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA

THE SANCTUARY INTEGRATED MONITORING NETWORK (SIMoN): A NEW PROGRAM AT THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Comprehensive, long-term monitoring is a fundamental element of resource management and conservation. The Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) has been designed in partnership with the regional science and management community to identify natural and human induced changes to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). The integration of high quality scientific research and long-term monitoring data sets through this program will furnish the information needed for effective management and provide a greater basic understanding of the Sanctuary, its resources and its processes. The principal goals of SIMoN are to: 1) integrate existing monitoring conducted in the MBNMS; 2) initiate basic surveys or characterizations of all habitats and regions of the MBNMS, and specific, hypothesis-driven monitoring efforts of fixed duration; 3) establish and maintain a series of essential long-term monitoring efforts that will continue into the future; and 4) disseminate timely and pertinent information to resource managers and decision makers, the research community, educators, and the general public.


Lonhart, Steve I.1, Mark Carr2, Michelle Fuller2, Michael Graham3, Scott Pryor4, Craig Syms2, Richard Walsh2, and Kerstin Wasson5

1. Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
2. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
4. City of Monterey Harbor and Marina, Monterey, CA
5. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Watsonville, CA

AN INTEGRATED RESPONSE TO A NEW COASTAL INVASION: MONITORING AND MANAGING UNDARIA PINNATIFIDA IN MONTEREY BAY

The Asian kelp Undaria pinnatifida, recognized as a marine threat because of its record of rapid spread and high abundance in invaded regions elsewhere, was first reported in 2001 from a site in the Monterey Bay region, California. Already widespread in other parts of the world, Undaria has recently appeared in various southern California harbors from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Because of its rapid population growth, high density, canopy-forming growth form and potential availability as a source of food and habitat for invertebrates, Undaria could have profound influences on the structure and function of our highly productive and species-rich coastal reef ecosystems. The population reported from Monterey Harbor is the northern-most known occurrence of the alga along coastal California. Regional agencies and researchers are collaborating to study: 1) the spatial extent of the invasion, 2) habitat associations, 3) seasonal dynamics of growth and reproduction, and 4) the costs/benefits of different potential eradication methods. This effort is also being used to create a regional management structure and decision-making process for rapid response to future coastal invasions.


Lucas, Scott, Callaghan Fritz-Cope, May Ngyuen, Sean R. Van Sommeran

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF), Santa Cruz, CA

GENERAL POPULATION AND ABUNDANCES OF PELAGIC SHARKS WITHIN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Since 1990 the PSRF has conducted tagging and release studies over the waters of the Monterey bay marine canyon and the outer bay. Through this effort some of the longest existing tracks of any marine species have been gathered as well as an interesting assortment of species. A blue shark (P. glauca) tagged in the Monterey Bay by the PSRF during the summer of 2000 was recovered this past August less than 600 miles from the coast of Japan, this record breaking track bolsters the argument that these creatures travel of pan-pacific migratory routes and are thus exposed and vulnerable to heavy fishing pressures thousands of miles away. Such data on movement and range is vital to management and protection efforts. Equally interesting results have been gathered on shortfin mako (I. oxyrinchus), basking sharks (C. maximus) and the typically benthic sevengill shark (N. cepedianus). Data regarding seasonal fluctuation of abundance, assemblage and population dynamics of Monterey bays pelagic sharks are also gathered through this long- term monitoring project. Tissues and blood samples are being archived for comparison with ground species and estuarine species of shark and ray.


Lucas, Scott, Jeff Reinhardt, Callaghan Fritz-Cope, Sean R. Van Sommeran

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF), Santa Cruz, CA.

BEHAVIOR, POPULATION DYNAMICS, MOVEMENT, AND RANGE FOR EASTERN PACIFIC WHITE SHARKS (C. CARCHARIAS) NEAR AÑO NUEVO ISLAND, CALIFORNIA

In 1992 the PSRF initiated a field study of white sharks around Año Nuevo Island (ANI); in 1995 the PSRF began tagging and photo-identifying and tissue sample individual sharks while closely observing their naturally occurring predations or by utilizing surface lures. The purpose of the effort is to identify and count individual sharks, collect data for use in investigating population dynamics and patterns of residency and range. In addition, PSRF researchers are employing acoustic and satellite tracking technology to gather high-resolution short/long term movement and behavior data. Moreover, observed predatory events are plotted on a grid with GPS/GIS systems for overlay with high definition bathymetric charts; areas of high predatory action show patterns revealing to the sharks predatory strategies, behaviors and range of local residency. Presently, over 90 individual white sharks, predominantly adult females; have been documented and or attached with ID tags or transmitters. White shark tagged by the PSRF at ANI have been observed at the Farallones and Guadalupe Islands and tracked with satellites to the deep, open pacific. While protected in California water, the sharks clearly travel out of this relatively safe region. These sharks are clearly an apex species, and worthy of such an effort.


Lyons, Sarah1 and Don Kohrs2

1. National MPA Center, Santa Cruz, CA
2. COMPASS, Monterey, CA

PACIFICMPA.ORG—A PUBLIC CLEARINGHOUSE FOR MPA PLANNING INFORMATION

In response to growing concerns over the health of our oceans, many agencies are currently considering using marine protected areas (MPAs) as a tool to protect the nation's most important marine habitats and resources. New MPAs, or enhancements to the protections provided by existing MPAs, are being evaluated now by at least a dozen federal and state agencies along the Pacific coast from California to Washington. The growing number and increasing complexity of ongoing MPA planning processes on the west coast pose serious challenges to anyone attempting to effectively track and engage in these important resource conservation decisions. Each planning process has its own unique timeline of meetings, review documents and other official events—many of which are crucial to the ultimate decisions made by the managing agencies. In response to requests from a variety of stakeholders for a more transparent way to stay informed, the National Marine Protected Areas Center (NMPAC) and the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) are working together to provide a "one-stop-shopping" website for comprehensive information on all ongoing federal and state MPA planning processes on the west coast.


§Nevins, Hannah and James T. Harvey

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

SEASONAL TRENDS IN DIET OF COMMON MURRE (URIA AALGE) RECOVERED IN GILLNETS IN MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA, 1999-2000

The Common Murre (Uria aalge) is one of the most abundant seabirds in the California pelagic community. We examined stomach contents of Common Murres collected as by-catch in set gill nets fished in coastal waters (30 fathoms) near Monterey Bay, CA. We examined trends in diet composition, comparing summer 1999 (June, July, Aug.), fall 1999 (Sept., Oct., Nov.), winter 1999 (Dec., Jan., Feb.), spring 2000 (Mar., Apr., May), and summer 00 (June, July, Aug.), using percent similarity index (PSI) and percent index of relative importance (% IRI) for each prey category. Summer through winter 1999, diet was relatively similar (PSI = 66 - 70), comprised of market squid, rockfishes, anchovies, and sardines. During spring and summer 2000, the species composition switched to almost entirely market squid (% IRI = 98, 98; PSI = 82); comprising greater than 80 % by mass. The relative importance of prey varied among seasons: anchovies were highest in winter (% IRI = 83); sardines in fall 1999 (% IRI = 20); and juvenile rockfish during summer 1999 (21 % by mass, % IRI = 24). Less important prey were juvenile lingcod, in summer and fall 1999 (% IRI = 1, 0.2); and benthic prey (cusk-eels, midshipmen and polychaetes) in the winter 2000 (% IRI = 1, 0.1, 0.3). Common Murres appear to rely on commercially harvested prey, including sardines which have not been available since the fishery collapse of the 1950's. We suggest that future fishery harvest models take into account the consumption of this abundant marine predator.


Nevins, Hannah1, Newton, Kelly2, Harvey, James T.1, Benson, Scott1, and DeVogelaere, Andrew2

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

BEACH COMBERS: MONITORING CHANGES IN OILING RATES OF BEACHED MARINE BIRDS IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

In 1997, we initiated the Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys (Beach COMBERS) to monitor deposition rates of marine birds within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Chronic oil pollution, originating from leaking shipwrecks, urban runoff, and additional non-point sources, continues to affect seabirds in the MBNMS. The average oiling rate (percent oiled carcasses km-1 month-1) during 1997-2002 (2 %) was less than recorded during 1971—1985 (8 %) by Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory. During 1997-2002, the greatest percentage of oiled birds occurred during November to May (2.2—9.8 %), and the least oiling rate occurred during June to October (0.2—2.1 %). Beach COMBERS recorded the greatest numbers of oiled birds during the 1997-98 Pt. Reyes Tarball Incidents. Species composition of oiled birds was similar among surveys, affecting mainly alcids (17- 20 %), and wintering loons (9 %), and grebes (7 %). Our comparison with past data indicates that oil pollution prevention measures implemented during the past 20 years have likely reduced oiling rates. However, the persistent occurrence of oiling (71 % of surveys have at least 1 oiled bird) indicates that chronic oiling is still a major problem for both resident and migratory seabirds in the MBNMS. Continued efforts to monitor oiling rates and document species-specific deposition patterns will aid sanctuary managers and help to identify those seabirds most vulnerable to oil pollution.


Norton, Elizabeth C.

National Marine Fisheries Service, Santa Cruz Laboratory, Santa Cruz, CA

ONTOGENETIC CHANGES IN THE TAXONOMIC COMPOSITION AND SIZE OF PREY IN JUVENILE CHINOOK SALMON (ONCORHYNCHUS TSHAWYTSCHA) DIET FROM COASTAL WATERS OFF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Populations of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) which migrate through the San Francisco Estuary into the coastal waters of California are in decline. These populations are not only subjected to the impacts of a highly urbanized, industrialized and agricultural freshwater and estuarine system, but may also have decreased survival rates during early marine residence. Juvenile chinook salmon have been shown to grow rapidly, increasing in size and metabolic requirements during their first year in the ocean. Along with this rapid growth, their ability to consume larger prey items increases thus possibly improving energy efficiency. The relationship between prey and predator size has been well documented, but there is no information on feeding habits of juvenile chinook salmon in the coastal waters off central California. Juvenile salmon were collected from May through October 1995-1999 during their first year of residence in the ocean to assess changes in dietary composition and the relationship between prey size and predator length. Analysis of stomach contents revealed a shift in dominant prey items with increasing predator size. In the smaller size classes, there was a greater diversity of prey items where copepods, euphausiids, decapods, and amphipods formed the major portion of their diet. The shift in diet to include more fish, primarily northern anchovy, was evident in larger salmon.


Wasson, Kerstin, Rebecca Goldman, and Susanne Fork

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Watsonville, CA

MONITORING INVERTEBRATES OF ELKHORN SLOUGH

Elkhorn Slough is home to a diverse assemblage of marine invertebrates, with over 550 species from 16 phyla, and supports many vertebrate predators, including shorebirds, water birds, sharks and sea otters as well as harvesting by humans. From a conservation standpoint, Elkhorn Slough is one of only a few remaining extensive wetlands along the Pacific coast and supports large populations of important mudflat species that are nowhere else as abundant (e.g. Fat Innkeeper Worm Urechis caupo). For long-term monitoring, marine invertebrates may be important estuarine indicators as related to their potential sensitivity to power plant entrainment, pollution, biological invasion, harvesting, etc. The goal of our volunteer benthic monitoring program is to track the diversity and abundance of key slough invertebrate taxa over time by collecting rudimentary long-term data from a few sites along the Slough. We are actively monitoring crabs and selected benthic infauna (e.g. gaper clams, fat innkeeper worms, ghost shrimp) at permanent transects located at various sites along the Slough that we census several times a year. Graduate research fellow Kimberly Heiman is also carrying out a pilot study on recruitment of invertebrates to hard substrates. We hope to obtain baseline population information for key Slough invertebrates that could potentially be used in future management-based decisions.


Wahle, Charles, Aaron King, and Sarah Lyons

NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center Science Institute, Santa Cruz, CA

NOAA's MPA CENTER, SCIENCE INSTITUTE

In response to the growing worldwide interest in marine protected areas (MPAs), NOAA established the National MPA Center to provide the information, tools and training needed for the effective design and management of the nation's system of MPAs. The MPA Center is supported by two thematic institutes in the field that focus on distinct aspects of the design and management of MPAs: The MPA Science Institute in the Monterey Bay area, and the MPA Training and Technical Assistance Institute located at NOAA's Coastal Services Center in Charleston, South Carolina. The Science Institute, with offices in Santa Cruz (NMFS Lab) and Monterey (Heritage Harbor), works collaboratively with academia, government agencies, NGOs and interested stakeholders on key scientific, technical and policy assessment needs of MPAs throughout the U.S. and abroad. Current science priorities of the MPA Science Institute include: evaluating and improving effectiveness in existing MPAs, developing research strategies for natural and social science of MPAs, identifying priority areas for future MPAs, and developing internship and postdoctoral fellowship programs for collaborative research on MPA issues.


Wooninck, Lisa1 and Carli Bertrand2

1 NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz Laboratory, Santa Cruz, CA
2. University of Rhode Island

AN ASSESSMENT OF NOAA FISHERIES (NMFS) MARINE MANAGED AREAS

The successful implementation and management of marine managed areas (MMAs) depends on evaluating their effectiveness in achieving the goals associated with their establishment. An evaluation of NMFS MMAs, coupled with adaptive management techniques, will enable NMFS to revise design, monitoring, and management strategies to improve the effectiveness of existing and future MMAs. The assessment covered four broad categories of information: 1) basic attributes: where, who, when, and how of site establishment; 2) level of protection and restrictions; 3) management and support; and 4) goals and monitoring.

For this first-ever assessment of NMFS MMAs, we analyzed only those areas that fit the MMA criteria developed for the national database of marine protected areas (MPA) as per EO 13158 on MPAs (for working definitions of the criteria visit www.mpa.gov). Approximately 65 NMFS sites were identified as MMAs and a subset of these sites (60%) were randomly selected for analysis. The comprehensive review and analysis of the individual NMFS MMAs provide national and regional estimates of, for example, percent area closed to all forms of fishing activity, Magnuson-Stevens versus ESA protections and goals, and monitoring and enforcement practices.


Yuanan, Lawrence and Nick Welschmeyer

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

PHYTOPLANKTON COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN ELKHORN SLOUGH

Weekly samples for phytoplankton pigments were gathered in Elkhorn Slough in support of the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN). Samples were analyzed by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to determine distributions of chemotaxonomic chlorophylls and carotenoids in an effort to define horizontal patterns in phytoplankton taxa. The lower, bay-side endmember of Elkhorn Slough is dominated by diatoms and dinoflagellates similar to the conditions of Monterey Bay proper; the characteristic marker pigments include the carotenoids, fucoxanthin and peridinin, respectively. The upper Slough (generally inland of Parsons Slough) is uniquely tagged by the dominance of the pigment alloxanthin, a carotenoid unique to algal cryptophytes. We estimate that more than half of the algal biomass of the upper Slough is associated with cryptophytes. The interface between the lower diatom/dinoflagellate system and the upper cryptophyte community remained well-resolved over the 4-month period analyzed thus far. The horizontal position of the community interface could be seen to ebb and flood in synch with tidal conditions. The cryptophyte community of Upper Elkhorn Slough persists even though Elkhorn Slough is considered to be a tidally well-mixed system. Mechanisms supporting unique flora of the Upper Slough will be considered.


URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/research/currsymp2003/posters.html    Reviewed: March 04, 2014
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