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.
2007 Best Graduate Student Poster
Szoboszlai, Amber I.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2007 Honorable Mention: Graduate Student Poster
Jorve, Jennifer P.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2007 Best High School Student Poster
Cayeros, Jorge (1,2), and Brianna Guzman (1,2)
1. Pajaro Valley High School, Watsonville, CA
Poster Session Abstracts
Abramson, Rachel L.
San Lorenzo Valley High School, Watershed Academy, Felton CA
Beach Closings, Is It the Kelp?
Every summer at Santa Cruz County beaches, beach-goers are dismayed at the warning signs posted for high fecal coliform levels in the waters. It has always been assumed that these high levels of bacteria have resulted from birds or polluted runoff. My purpose is to test a new theory proposed by Steve Peters, Water Quality Specialist from Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Services in August 2005. His theory was that decaying kelp could be one of the sources of elevated fecal indicator bacteria that has caused Cowell Beach to be posted with swimming advisories. My goal is to determine if decaying seaweeds are indeed the cause of increased coliform levels measured at Cowell Beach and which species of seaweed may be the culprit. I collect samples of seaweed in sterile Whirl-Pac Bags from Cowell beach. Next, I crush the seaweed in the bag, shortly thereafter I add 100ml of sterile water to each bag and incubate my samples at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, I employ the Membrane Filtration Process filtering the samples through a 0.45 micron filter, plating on MFC media and incubating at 44.5 degrees C for 24 hours. After which, I count and record number of fecal coliform colonies per 100ml. Thus far not enough data has been collected to make any definitive conclusions.
Bjorkstedt, Eric P. (1,2), Churchill B. Grimes (1), James H. Howard (2), and L. Scott Quackenbush (2)
1. NOAA/NMFS/SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division
Ocean Observing off Northern California: Achievements and Aspirations of a Partnership between NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and Humboldt State University
As part of the effort to build the Pacific Coast Ocean Observing System (PaCOOS), NOAAís National Marine Fisheries Service and Humboldt State University have engaged in a partnership to develop an ocean observing capability that takes advantage of the Universityís research vessel, the R/V Coral Sea, to conduct oceanographic surveys off northern California. To this end, the Fisheries Ecology Division of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center has stationed a scientist at Humboldt State University to lead the program. Since April 2006, we have conducted five cruises along a cross-shelf transect off Trinidad Head. At each station along the transect, we collect plankton samples with a suite of gears, including nets fished according to CalCOFI protocols, and conduct CTD casts to characterize the physical structure of the coastal ocean. Near surface temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll a fluorescence are collected continuously along the ship track. Preliminary results indicate that this sampling design is capable of resolving important structures and patterns in the coastal ocean, and have begun to return data on the cross-shelf distribution of larval fishes. These early achievements suggest that implementing oceanographic surveys off northern California as part of PaCOOS is feasible, but that the ability to schedule such cruises to take advantage of periods of favorable weather is critical to consistent success. Looking to the future, we expect to extend sampling to transects off Crescent City and False Cape, and to collect a broader array of samples and data to provide a more comprehensive view of the coastal ocean off northern California.
Bond, Morgan, Sean A. Hayes, Ellen Freund, and R. Bruce MacFarlane
Salmon Ecology Team, Fisheries Ecology Division
Central California Steelhead: Estuaries, Hatcheries and Predators
Steelhead populations in coastal central California have been Federally listed as threatened under the endangered species for several years. Unfortunately, little is known about the ecology of many of these populations. Recently we have begun to elucidate factors that contribute to the growth and survival of individuals in these populations. Our research indicates a strong smolt-to-adult survival advantage of estuary-reared steelhead over those with strictly upstream rearing, due to differences in growth and eventual size at ocean entry from each habitat. However, overall smolt-to-adult survival rates of both wild and hatchery-raised fish are generally low (1-3%), and sources of mortality are largely unknown. Recently, 60 passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and two archival temperature loggers were recovered from Año Nuevo island, a major California seabird and marine mammal rookery. PIT tags recoveries were from deployment in Gazos, Waddell, Soquel and Scott Creek juvenile steelhead and coho salmon. The archival temperature loggers, carried by one steelhead and one coho smolt in Scott Creek, indicated predation events occurred in the estuary prior to ocean entry. Preliminary results indicate that Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) may be responsible for significant hatchery and wild fish mortality (0.5-5.1% of total smolt abundance) in several steelhead populations, with tag recoveries varying between deployment years and stream proximity to Año Nuevo Island.
Brookens, Tiffini J. (1), Hannahrose M. Nevins (1), Elizabeth M. Phillips (1), James T. Harvey (1), Andrew DeVogelaere (2), and COMBERS volunteers (3)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
BeachCOMBERS: Using surveys of beachcast marine birds and mammals to determine residence time of carcasses from 2004-2006.
BeachCOMBERS volunteer a day or more each month to conduct a systematic survey of beachcast marine birds and mammals. To determine residence time of carcasses from 2004-2006, trained volunteers conducted standardized monthly and bi-monthly surveys of beachcast birds and mammals in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. There was no difference in proportion of new bird carcasses deposited on the beaches in summer and winter months (<10% of birds significantly differed in time of deposition; ANOVA, p<0.05). Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) carcasses predominately stranded during spring and summer months; whereas, California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) carcasses stranded in summer and fall months, coinciding with their respective pupping seasons. Both marine mammal species were retained on the beach for months following initial deposition. By comparing monthly and bimonthly deposition of resident bird species, including Common Murre (Uria aalge) and Brandtís Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicullatus); and migratory species, including Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) and gulls (Larus spp.), we conclude that peaks in carcass deposition and subsequent retention can be detected in monthly surveys. Although, bimonthly surveys do provide fine-scale detection of events such as storms that remove carcasses from the beaches. Identifying an individualís retention time, however, is extremely difficult because most carcasses can be buried, swept out to sea, and redeposited over a period of many months; therefore, we were unable to compute a true ëresidence timeí for the predominant marine bird and mammal species.
Carrillo, Gina (1,2), Isaac Espinoza (1,2), A. Martinete (1,2), and J. Ortiz (1,2)
1. Pajaro Valley High School, Watsonville, CA
Identifying the Sources of Nutrients Entering the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay, CA
It is a known fact that excess nutrients in an ecosystem contributes to eutrophication, the process where a layer of algae covers the top of the water and blocks the sun from reaching aquatic plants in the water. Since the plants in the water canít get sun, they cannot photosynthesize. Without photosynthesis there is no oxygen in the water therefore no life in the water; a dead zone. This chain reaction is the motivation for this 3-month study to find where the sources of nutrients are coming from in Elkhorn Slough. With our information, we hope to present our findings to interested community members as well as our schools faculty and students so that can make a difference concerning this issue. We feel this is an important issue in our town because is surrounded by some of the remaining 10% of sloughs in California. We believe that if we do our part locally we can have a global effect in the future.
Carroll, Dustin , Erika McPhee-Shaw, and Kenneth Coale
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
CICORE mooring in Stillwater Cove, CA. Presentation of recently collected datasets and a description of future studies.
This project seeks to investigate and characterize the near-shore oceanographic processes and dynamics that contribute to the unique ecosystem and physical environment in Stillwater Cove, California. This project is funded by CICORE (Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research, and Education,) an applied coastal research center distributed throughout California. Recently deployed in-situ instrumentation in Stillwater Cove will allow for the analysis of long term ADCP and thermistor datasets. Future studies may include seasonal nutrient sampling of Stillwater Cove, investigation of internal waves in Carmel Canyon, and the use of Lagrangian drifters to observe surface currents in Carmel Bay.
1. Pajaro Valley High School, Watsonville, CA
Save Our Wetlands! A Project to Teach High School Students Why and How We Should Restore Wetlands.
As part of the Aquariumís WATCH program, we explored the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley this summer and learned that nearly 90 percent of historical wetlands had disappeared in California. In addition, we met people who were restoring the wetlands, returning them back to the way they used to be. We decided to research how restoring wetlands could help people and the environment. We interviewed various experts and learned what a healthy wetlands has which is diverse topography, biodiversity, hydrological diversity and vertical diversity (attracting migrating birds and raptors). We have learned that wetlands are important and want to teach others. We plan on taking high school students on a fieldtrip to teach them the importance of wetlands. We surveyed the students of Pajaro Valley High School to find out what they know and what they want to learn because we plan to take into consideration what the students are interested in. With their input, we will put our field trip together so that we can truly have an impact on their thinking and get a chance to do something good for the wetlands. We chose to work with high school students because they are the next generation who will need to protect our wetlands.
Cazenave, Francois (1), Erika McPhee-Shaw (1), Bill Shaw (2), and Tim Stanton (2)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Sampling Internal waves over the Monterey bay shelf.
As part of the Physical Oceanography class of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, students went out on RV Point Sur on November 17, 2006 and sampled an internal tidal bore as it propagated shoreward over the outer shelf. It traveled at 0.5m/s at a depth of 25m and had an amplitude of approximately 16m. A long time series recorded at the Monterey Inner Shelf Observatory (MISO) by the Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) showed frequent episodes of energetic internal tidal bores at the inner shelf. These internal bores are believed to be generated offshore by the incoming tide interacting with the steep shelf break, and then travel toward the shore. Prior to our cruise, we used this data to predict phase speed and location of wave fronts based on barotropic tide. During our cruise we sampled rapidly using a CTD profiler and detected the incoming internal bore close to where we had predicted it. Later analysis of measurements at MISO showed the arrival of the waves we had measured.
Coletti, Luke J., Steve Fitzwater, and Ken Johnson
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
Wireless Network Allows Monitoring of a Dynamic Coastal Resource
Encompassing nearly 1180 ha (11,798,000 square meters) on the Central California coast the wetlands of Elkhorn Slough are governed by a complex interaction of natural inputs and human activities. Monitoring the response to these inputs requires a diverse suite of in-situ sensors operating at rates that can accurately capture the processes involved. Near realtime telemetry of the sensor data offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into these processes as well as monitoring the health of the instrumentation. The Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO), jointly funded by NSF and MBARI, is a five year project to construct and operate an array of moored instrument platforms for this purpose. Performance of the mooringís telemetry system is shown to include a six month service free deployment period (from a single 30 Ah battery pack) with hourly transmissions of the logged sensor data, which currently includes ISUS nitrate, CTD, fluorometer, Oxygen Optode and an ADCP. The development of the LOBO Acquisition and Telemetry Engine (LATE) and the implementation of a 2.4GHz FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum) wireless network, to distribute connectivity throughout the estuary, are presented.
Collins, Brian D., and Robert Kayen
U.S. Geological Survey, Western Coastal and Marine Geology, Menlo Park, CA
Coastal Bluff Erosion Monitoring in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary using Terrestrial LIDAR
The steep, inaccessible nature of sea-cliffs, along with their tendency to experience dramatic and rapid retreat, make monitoring coastal bluff erosion in these environments an especially challenging task. In response to these challenges, and the need to monitor and predict the effects of severe winter storms on central Californiaís coastal bluffs, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been utilizing ground-based light detection and ranging (terrestrial LIDAR) to document and track rapid topographic changes of the weakly lithified coastal bluffs that make up a significant portion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) coastline. With these datasets, researchers are able to more fully understand the mechanics of beach dynamics and coastal bluff erosion.
The USGS has been monitoring several stretches of the coast within the MBNMS both to document changing bluff conditions and to analyze and predict landslide events. Efficient use of terrestrial lidar surveys allows not only steep coastal-bluff areas, but also subaerial beaches and intertidal rock reefs, to be monitored on a monthly or weekly basis as needed. To date, a baseline dataset of the Pleasure Point area in Santa Cruz has been collected, and ongoing monitoring of several sections of bluff located in the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay adds to the monitoring effort first begun at these locations in 2002. In our poster, details of the USGS terrestrial LIDAR system are outlined, and datasets of several section of the MBNMS coast are presented.
Conley, Gary (1,2), and Sophie De Beukelaer (1)
1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
The Central Coast Water Quality Data Synthesis, Assessment, and Management (SAM) Project
The question of how land-based pollutants are impacting the near-shore and marine habitats has been a focus of recent marine conservation efforts. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its watersheds are at the center of numerous ongoing long term water quality monitoring programs that include physical, chemical, and biological measurements. Monitoring organizations have generated an important data set that has yet to be fully analyzed across programs, parameters, and sites to address the status of water quality conditions in the Sanctuary and its watersheds. There is presently no method to effectively integrate, manage, and utilize the diverse data sets generated by regulatory agencies, academic institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations. The objectives of the SAM project are to 1) assess the ability of existing information to evaluate water quality status, trends, pollution sources, and management practice effectiveness and 2) identify critical information gaps that impede data synthesis and regional scale analysis efforts on the Central Coast. The initial phase of the project involved compiling the relevant data sets and documentation from monitoring organizations into a spatially referenced relational database. Data for 1390 water quality monitoring sites representing twelve monitoring programs on the Central Coast were used to evaluate differences in the spatial/temporal coverage and extent of measurements, measurement types, and data quality. Here, initial results are presented that illustrate the utility of a compiled data set for addressing non-point source pollution questions.
Cruz, Cesar (1,2), Iris Barron-Zamora (1,2), Daisy Fernandez (1,2), and Francisco Lopez (1,2)
Wetlands are Cool; Protect them Fool! A Research Project to Find Ways to Impact Middle School Studentís Attitudes towards the Wetlands of Watsonville.
The City of Watsonville, California is surrounded by freshwater sloughs or wetlands. We are interested in teaching the students from Rolling Hills Middle School (RHMS) in Watsonville the importance of keeping our sloughs clean. We plan on doing this by taking the RHMS 8th graders on a field trip to the slough. Many of these students use the various recreational trails next to our wetlands and we want to show them how to clean them By doing restoration work in our sloughs with the RHMS students, we will be teaching them the impact that we as human have on sloughs, especially the effect of littering.
Dawson, Cyndi L. (1), Ildiko E. Frank (2), and Craig S. Shuman (3)
1. Reef Check California Program, Santa Cruz, CA
Reef Check California: Providing scientifically sound data to support sustainable management
Reef Check is a non-profit organization who has been the world leader in community monitoring of tropical reefs worldwide since 1997. In 2005, Reef Check launched the Reef Check California (RCCA) program. The mission of RCCA is to educate, train, and engage all ocean users in the collection of scientifically sound data describing Californiaís nearshore rocky reefs to help inform management decisions and create an informed constituency supportive of science-based management. One of the main ways RCCA accomplishes this mission is by training experienced scuba divers to use the RCCA survey protocols. The RCCA survey protocols are subtidal scientific sampling techniques that are supported by academic scientists and consistent with Department of Fish and Game established subtidal protocols. RCCA divers are required to successful pass testing standards in the classroom and field before they collect data with RCCA protocols to submit to the database. The RCCA protocol includes surveying for a select group of indicator species of fishes, invertebrates, seaweeds, and characterizing the substrate at a site. Eighteen 30 x 2 m transects (30 x 2 x 2 m for fish transects) are completed at a site, which corresponds to 250 m of linear coastline. During our first full year of operation in 2006, we trained 65 divers and completed 18 sites. During 2006, for all sites combined, surveys recorded 30 species of fishes, 20 species of invertebrates, and 6 species of seaweed on 324 transects. In total, 5671 fishes and 8549 invertebrates were counted on survey transects.
San Lorenzo Valley Watershed Academy
Optimum temperature for salmonid growth in the San Lorenzo River
In this on going project, I am looking for the optimum temperature for salmonid growth in the San Lorenzo River. Data from 2005 showed a positive correlation between salmonids median size and the water temperature of the river. I hypothesize that there will again be a positive correlation between salmonid growth patterns and water temperature. Don Alley, a fisheries biologist, and myself deployed HOBOs at seven locations along the main stem of the San Lorenzo River and Zayante Creek in mid-August 2006. HOBO temperature probes were programmed (set to collect data every thirty minutes), secured and submerged underwater at each site. They were retrieved in early October 2006, and their data was transferred to a computer using BoxCar Pro 4.3. The median temperatures at each location will be compared to the median salmonid size as provided by Don Alley. This project is incomplete, thus it would be difficult to summarize the results at this time.
San Carlos School, Monterey
Keeping Sand off of Roads: Which structures are Best at Stabilizing Dune Sand?
Dunes are an important habitat for many organisms and dunes can also protect human property from storms at sea. However, dunes can be easily damaged like the ones in Sand City that can be seen from Highway One. All throughout the year, wind blows sand from these dunes onto bike trails and roads. Putting up fence structures on dunes can prevent this from happening. With my project, I determined which fence structures were best for stopping sand from shifting in the wind. To do this, I blew sand with a leaf-blower into different fence structures, and measured how much sand was stopped and how much blew away. In the end, the two most effective fence structures were the sea rocket dune plants and the straw, while the two least effective were the chicken wire and my control (no fence). To save road maintenance costs, I would recommend that the Sand City dunes have tall rows of straw placed on them with sand dune plants planted in between them.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
AWQA: Meeting the Needs of Agriculture to Protect Coastal Water Quality
The Agriculture Water Quality Alliance (AWQA, pronounced ìaquaî) is a unique partnership on the Central Coast of California that provides the agricultural community with the science, technology, education and technical assistance they need to protect water quality flowing to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). AWQA was established in 1999 with the completion of MBNMSís Agriculture and Rural Lands Plan. AWQA assists with five strategies to mitigate the effects on water quality from agricultural runoff. 1) Increased understanding of water quality issues. 2) Development of cost effective conservation practices with known water quality benefits. 3) Farm management education to incorporate conservation practices. 4) Technical assistance for implementation of conservation practices. 5) Monitoring of water quality for long and short-term trends and practice effectiveness. Through effective partnerships and with feedback from the agricultural community and researchers, AWQA will continue to provide the tools necessary for water quality protection in an agricultural environment. Collaboration is key to economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture in the future and the protection of our oceans.
AWQA partners include central coast farmers and ranchers, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), the Central Coast Agriculture Water Quality Coalition (Coalition), the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), non-governmental organizations and university researchers.
Eigner, Lisa (1), Nathan M. Jones (1), Deasy N. Lontoh (1), Gerard J. McChesney (2), Richard T. Golightly (1), Michael W. Parker (2,3), and Danielle Le Fer (2)
1. Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University
Time Budgets of Chick-rearing Common Murres (Uria aalge) at Devil's Slide Rock, CA, 1999-2006
From 1999-2006, we calculated time-budgets for Common Murres (Uria aalge), including co-attendance of pairs and chick-provisioning rates, at Devil's Slide Rock, California. Each year, 12 to 15 chick-rearing pairs of murres were monitored all day on three days temporally separated across the nestling period. We recorded adult arrivals, departures, and prey deliveries to nestlings. We measured time spent by adults in co-attendance and chick-provisioning in relation to breeding productivity, breeding phenology, and ocean conditions. Average time in co-attendance was less than 10% in three of the eight years (2003, 2005, and 2006) and was associated with lower breeding success, reduced upwelling and elevated sea surface temperatures. From 1999-2002 and in 2004 average time in co-attendance ranged from 17 to 23% and was associated with higher breeding success. Adults provisioned their chicks less frequently in years with the lowest breeding productivity (2005 and 2006: 0.3 chicks per pair). These data suggest that murres breeding at Devilís Slide Rock spent more time foraging in years with poor ocean conditions or years with low prey availability. This study demonstrates the value of monitoring co-attendance rates to detect changes in the marine environment on an inter-annual basis.
Fedak, Adam, and Caitlyn Christensen
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, Felton, CA
A Study of the Water Quality of Boulder Creek
In this project my partner and I are monitoring Boulder Creek, a tributary of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz Mountains, in order to determine water quality and trends. We are testing the abiotic conditions of the creek to see if it is healthy over time. We hypothesized that the creek is healthy, but water quality may be impacted due human development along the creek. To better understand the creekís health, we are testing nitrate, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and conductivity. To do this, we are using a Vernier LabPro with appropriate sensors. Our results are inconclusive thus far since our experiment is still under way. We can say however, that nitrate is present in levels that can affect the environment, but it is nowhere near minimum standards set by EPA. Dissolved oxygen has also been present in healthy amounts. This experiment is important because we can evaluate how people in the San Lorenzo Valley are impacting the streams, creeks, and rivers of their community.
Ferreyra, Matthew (1,2), and Gregoria Batenga (1,2)
The Behavioral Effects of California Sea Otters in the Elkhorn Slough and How It Is Affected by Diseases and Parasites
We have been conducting research to see if certain California sea otters food choices make them more vulnerable to acquiring Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat feces. We found that a parasite in cat feces is showing up in sand crabs, which is a source of food for the sea otter. We are conducting this research by observing sea otters at different locations in the Monterey Bay. We will then be comparing the different food intake of different sea otters and hypothesizing whether one may be more vulnerable to contract a disease than another. We are also recording differences in the sea otters, such as their sex, whether they have a pup, their current activity, whether theyíre in a group or alone, etc. We are able to conduct this research with the help from the Monterey Bay Aquariumís program SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation). In the future we plan to inform people and make them aware of the different parasites and diseases affecting sea otters and how they can help.
Foley, Melissa M.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz.
Investigating The Link Between Terrestrial And Marine Systems In Big Sur, California.
Rivers are important sources of dissolved and particulate fluxes to the worldís oceans and directly influence regional processes including habitat functioning, carbon export, and nutrient export. The effects of these allochthonous inputs on community composition and functioning and the conditions in which they are important are not well understood. Big Sur is an isolated coastal region that is characterized by a steep landscape and numerous streams that drain nearly pristine catchments. These streams are highly ephemeral and deliver large pulses of nutrients and particulates during rain events throughout the winter and spring seasons. Supplemental nutrients are supplied during spring and early summer via wind-induced upwelling that brings nutrient-rich oceanic waters to the surface.
The resulting highly productive and diverse nearshore kelp forests are an ideal system for examining the extent of the connections between terrestrial and marine systems. Macrocystis pyrifera, the largest kelp, is a foundation species for nearshore ecosystems providing a three-dimensional structure utilized for habitat and protection by a diverse group of species. Moreover, the life history of Macrocystis may be affected by variation in nutrients, trace elements, and sediment, which come from terrestrial and/or marine sources and may impact the health and longevity of these kelp forests. Along the Big Sur coast, I am using a combination of techniques to investigate the amounts and composition of nutrients, particulate organic matter, and trace elements delivered to the nearshore system from river inputs. This information is important to understanding how habitats are connected and the degree to which biological processes are affected by allochthonous inputs.
Forney, K. A. (1), C. E. Bowlby (2), J. Roletto (3), L.T. Balance (4), J.V. Redfern (4), P. C. Fiedler (4), J. de Marignac (5), A. DeVogelaere (5), and D. Howard (6)
1. NOAA, NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Preliminary Results of Cetacean and Ecosystem Surveys Along the U.S. West Coast and Within Four National Marine Sanctuaries during 2005.
The abundance of cetaceans along the U.S. west coast was estimated from a shipboard line-transect survey conducted during 2005. Ecosystem data collected concurrently with cetacean data provided indicators of variation in physical habitat, mid-trophics, and seabirds. The surveys were designed to uniformly cover waters off California, Oregon and Washington from the coast to 300 nmi offshore, and to provide fine-scale coverage within four of the five West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS). Preliminary abundance estimates for 19 cetacean species were calculated using a geographically stratified, multiple-covariate line-transect analysis. As in past years, the most abundant species coastwide was the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), and the most abundant whale was the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Off Oregon and Washington, Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) was the most abundant species. Within the NMS, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were the most common whale species and Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) were the most common delphinid. Abundance estimates for most species during 2005 were comparable to estimates from a similar coast-wide survey in 2001. Blue whales have been less abundant along the U.S. West Coast since 2001 than during the 1990s, whereas estimated humpback whale abundance is greater than during all previous assessments through 2002. The ecosystem data provide a ecological context for the 2005 observations relative to past coast-wide surveys during 1991-2001. The additional fine-scale survey coverage within the NMS allowed an evaluation of the significance of these regions to cetaceans and seabirds, and NMS waters clearly represent important habitat for many species.
Godin, Michael A., and James G. Bellingham
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
Interactive Observatory Management
A collection of tools for collaboratively managing a coastal ocean observatory have been developed and used in a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary field experiment. The Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network program created these tools to support the Adaptive Sampling and Prediction (ASAP) field experiment that occurred in Monterey Bay in the summer of 2006. ASAP involved the day-to-day participation of a large group of researchers located across North America. The goal of these investigators was to adapt an array of observational assets to optimize data collection and analysis. Achieving the goal required continual interaction, but the long duration of the observatory made sustained co-location of researchers difficult. The ASAP team needed a remote collaboration tool, the capability to add non-standard, interdisciplinary data sets to the overall data collection, and the ability to retrieve standardized data sets from the collection. Over the course of several months and "virtual experiments," the Ocean Observatory Portal (COOP) collaboration tool was created, along with tools for centralizing, cataloging, and converting data sets into common formats, and tools for generating automated plots of the common format data. Accumulating the data in a central location and converting the data to common formats allowed any team member to manipulate any data set quickly, without having to rely heavily on the expertise of data generators to read the data. The common data collection allowed for the development of a wide range of comparison plots and allowed team members to assimilate new data sources into derived outputs such as ocean models quickly. In addition to the standardized outputs, team members were able to produce their own specialized products and link to these through the collaborative portal, which made the experimental process more interdisciplinary and interactive.
COOP was used to manage the ASAP vehicle program from its start in July 2006. New summaries were posted to the COOP tool on a daily basis, and updated with announcements on schedule, system status, voting results from previous day, ocean, atmosphere, hardware, adaptive sampling and coordinated control and forecast. The collection of standardized data files was used to generate daily plots of observed and predicted currents, temperature, and salinity. Team members were able to participate from any internet-accessible location using common Internet browsers, and any team member could add to the dayís summary, point out trends and discuss observations, and make an adaptation proposal. If a team member submitted a proposal, team-wide discussion and voting followed. All interactions were archived and left publicly accessible so that future experiments could be made more systematic with increased automation.
The need for collaboration and data handling tools is important for future ocean observatories, which will require 24-hour per day, 7-day a week interactions over many years. As demonstrated in the ASAP experiment, the COOP tool and associated data handling tools allowed scientists to coherently and collaboratively manage an ocean observatory, without being co-located at the observatory. Lessons learned from operating these collaborative tools during the ASAP experiment provide an important foundation for creating even more capable portals.
Grant, Nora, and Lara Ferry-Graham
Moss Landing Marine Labs
Flume Tests Of Flow In Zostera Marina (Eelgrass): Hydrodynamics And Implication For Habitat Use Canopies
Seagrass beds are known to alter hydrodynamics of the water column. Flow can be altered by dampening flow within the bed, increasing current velocity over the bed, and increasing turbulence within the bed. A salt-water flume was used to test flow conditions in Zostera marina (Linneaus) canopies at three densities and four flow velocities. Flourescein dye was introduced in front of the canopy and tracked over time using video analysis. Velocity of dye was calculated from the change in X,Y coordinates over time, diffusivity within the bed was measured by change in area of the dye plume, and bending of the canopy was measured at the front of the canopy to estimate deflection of flow. We predicted that flow dampening inside the canopy would be greatest, and dye would be diffused most, at the highest shoot density. We found that velocity was dampened at low and medium densities instead of high densities. Diffusivity was greatest in the high-density bed but only at slow flow speeds. As predicted, canopy angle was most extreme at high flow velocity for all densities tested. Average density of several fish and invertebrate species in a Zostera bed was determined using a 1-m3 throw trap in Elkhorn Slough, CA. Organisms present in Zostera were clinging invertebrates and relatively inefficient swimming fishes. We speculate that these organisms are using the Zostera habitat differentially as refuge, and that patterns of distribution and abundance of Zostera inhabitants will change with tidal flow regime.
Greenley, Ashley P. (1), and Richard M. Starr (1,2)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Acoustic tracking of Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) in Carmel Bay, CA
Remote acoustic tracking stations are valuable for determining movement patterns of fishes with sonic tags. In Fall 2005, we deployed an array of 30 Vemco VR2 acoustic receivers in Carmel Bay to monitor the movements of several species of nearshore fishes, including lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus). The array extends along 6 km of coastline, in depths ranging from 6 to 40 m.
Currently 30 lingcod have been surgically implanted with individually coded acoustic transmitters and released within the array. Both reproductively mature and immature male and female lingcod were tagged. Since the first lingcod was tagged in August, 2005, 113041 tag detections have been recorded in the array. Fifty percent of the tagged fish have demonstrated residential behavior, as defined by their presence over 90% of the days of the study. Preliminary analyses have shown there is no significant difference in the number of days spent in the array among size classes or between sexes.
Ongoing range testing is being conducted throughout the array to determine the distance for which receivers can detect 69 kHz acoustic tag transmissions. Initial analyses have indicated that most receivers placed in kelp beds have a detection radius of 150 m, whereas receivers in relatively deeper waters (30 m), outside of kelp forests, have recorded signal transmissions as far as 550 meters. Range testing will continue throughout 2007 to further investigate how kelp, water temperature, and tide impact detection capabilities.
Helix, Mary Elaine (1), R. Ambrose (2), J. Engle (3), S. Murray (4), and P. Raimondi (5)
1. U.S. Minerals Management Service, Camarillo, CA
MARINe: Examining the health of rocky shores along the Pacific Coast
Scientists from 40 agencies, academic institutions and private organizations coordinated through MARINe, the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, have been monitoring rocky shorelines along the Pacific coast for years, and in some cases, decades. Findings from this extensive and unique long term monitoring program indicate that many rocky shores along the coast, particularly those near urban centers, are under stress with some intertidal populations changing significantly over the past several decades. Factors correlated with these changes include: increases in public use of the shoreline, increased fishing pressure, poaching, and pollution. Management solutions need to be informed by scientific data and include close partnership with local agencies, enforcement groups, citizen watch groups, and volunteers. Key results and case studies from this program along the Central Coast will be highlighted.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, CA.
Physical Consequences Of Morphological Variability In A Habitat-Forming Intertidal Alga
Physical stress and response help dictate structure in the rocky intertidal. Habitat-forming species can ameliorate such stress, but the effects of morphological variability in habitat-forming species on environmental conditions have not been explored. This study addressed the effect of Mastocarpus papillatus on sub-canopy temperature, irradiance, and humidity, and the extent to which any effects occurred both within and among sites (from local to latitudinal variability). Replicate 10 cm diameter Polyvinylchloride (PVC) cores of 100% cover of M. papillatus were sampled at Pigeon Point and Soberanes Point, CA for frond density, length, and surface area, and data were analyzed using an Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) for differences in morphological characteristics and microclimate conditions within and between sites. These M. papillatus canopies caused a mean decrease in irradiance (92%, p<0.001) and temperature (6%, p<0.002). Humidity changed underneath the canopy relative to ambient conditions; humidity was greater beneath the canopy if ambient humidity was low, however as humidity reached 100%, sub-canopy measurements were less than ambient measurements. Results indicate that the intertidal, habitat-forming species M. papillatus significantly reduces abiotic environmental stressors such as temperature, irradiance, and humidity. Data are currently being analyzed to determine the effects of frond morphological variability on environmental conditions.
Kamer, Krista (1), W. Paul Bissett (2), Richard C. Zimmerman (3), and G. Jason Smith (1)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
Hyperspectral Imaging of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by CICORE, 2002-2006
The California State University Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education (CICORE) has been monitoring conditions in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary since 2002. The program collects high temporal frequency in situ water quality and meteorological data, maps the seafloor, and uses airborne hyperspectral imaging (HSI) to provide data on valuable marine habitats and resources. Over the last five years, Monterey Bay and surrounding areas, including Big Sur, have been surveyed five times with HSI, resolution of which ranges from 1-3m. Products include quantitative estimates of kelp forest distribution and abundance along the rugged and largely inaccessible Big Sur coast and abundance and distribution of red tides in northern Monterey Bay. The increased bandwidth of HSI has allowed discrimination between emergent kelp canopies and dense algal blooms, which cannot always be achieved with other remote sensing techniques; this has lead to extremely accurate inventories of kelp for harvesting purposes. The different age classes of kelp can also be differentiated and algorithms are being developed to predict kelp biomass and productivity. The increased bandwidth also allows discrimination between algal species, some of which are harmful. Repeated HSI surveys of Monterey Bay have established a library of images that can be used to estimate long-term changes. Additionally, images from the missions can be used with synoptic physical data such as that collected by in situ water quality and meteorological sensors (operated by CICORE, MBARI, CIMT, PISCO, etc.) to interpret oceanographic phenomena.
Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System
Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System
Guided by ocean data providers and users throughout California and the nation, the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS), works to reveal the oceanís patterns and characteristics for improved understanding, decision-making, and management of our most value resource. From the California/Oregon border south to Pt. Conception, CeNCOOS encourages collaboration between marine government, private, academic, and non-profit institutions while improving data management and communication through the integration of various datasets from many of our 60+ partners. In the past year, CeNCOOS has expanded our regional metadata inventory for ocean observing, oceanObs, and developed a Live Access Server and Demonstration Project, allowing access to historical and real-time data and models through a web-based, user-friendly interface. CeNCOOS represents approximately 2/3 of California at the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) level and works collaboratively with existing regional partners and the 10 other Regional Associations to develop ocean observing systems in accordance with the seven societal goals established by IOOS. Partnerships and products demonstrated here serve to benefit ocean users from local to global scales.
Kersten, Justin, and Alex Van Wandelen
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed academy
Monitoring Sand Crabs
The purpose of this study is to collect reliable data on the distribution of the Pacific Mole Crab (Emeritia analoga) at Seabright State Beach in Santa Cruz County and to look at whether the seasons will affect their size, gender or distribution. We predict that there will be fewer females in the winter and overall larger crabs in the summer and spring. To begin collecting our data we arrive at the designated location (Seabright State Beach) on a bimonthly basis and measure wind speed and air temperature, note cloud cover (%), and approximate tidal height. We find our data site using GPS, mark out fifty meters with a measuring tape and gather random numbers to layout 10 flag markers every meter from a water depth of one quarter of a meter deep back towards our tape. Using a marked stovepipe, we collect a sand sample and filter the sand with double sieve. If sand crabs are present, we record gender, size, transect, sample site and randomly select several sand crabs to freeze for parasite study. We continue data collections for the remaining transect. Then back at the lab using a computer we transfer data to MBNMS website. So far, we have collected data but not sufficient enough to draw any conclusions
Laidig, Thomas E., Diana L. Watters, and Mary M. Yoklavich
National Marine Fisheries Service
Demersal habitats and deep-water fishes on the continental shelf off Davenport, CA
Demersal fishes and seafloor habitats were surveyed in 2004 using the research submersible Delta on the continental shelf offshore from Davenport, CA in water depths between 60 and 100 m. A total of 112 quantitative transects were conducted over a distance of 32 km. The most common species among the 12,352 fishes observed were pygmy, rosy, greenspotted, yellowtail, and greenstriped rockfishes and black-eyed gobies. The four dominant habitat types were boulder, cobble, mud, and brachiopod beds; mud accounted for greater than 60% of these habitats. Associations among seafloor habitats and demersal fishes will be reported. This work furthers our understanding of demersal communities in deep water off California, enhancing efforts to manage fisheries, identify habitats, and designate areas for protection.
Lundsten, Lonny (1,3), Andrew P. DeVogelaere (2), James P. Barry (1), David A. Clague (1)
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
A characterization of the megafauna on Davidson Seamount
Seamounts offer hard substrate, complex habitat, elevated current velocities, and other features that allow for the existence of unique assemblages of organisms, often dominated by long-lived and fragile corals and sponges. Seamount faunas have high rates of endemism with biogeographic patterns analogous to land-based island faunas. Seamount organisms, particularly long-lived deep-sea corals, are particularly vulnerable to bottom trawling and other resource extraction techniques. Davidson Seamount, located 120 km southwest of Monterey, CA, USA, is an example of a relatively undisturbed and pristine seamount habitat. Volcanic in origin, Davidson Seamount was formed 12-16 million years ago atop a fossil spreading center, which produced a unique pattern of northeast trending ridges on the seamount. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives at Davidson Seamount were conducted in 2000 and 2006 by a collaboration of scientists, resource managers and educators. Sixteen dives were annotated in detail using MBARIís Video Annotation Reference System (VARS), yielding more than 60,000 biological observations. Over 170 organisms were identified to the lowest possible taxon. The distribution of organisms in relation to the bathymetric complexity of the seamount were analyzed using ArcGIS 9.1 and NOAA's Benthic Terrain Modeler (BTM) to relate faunal distributions to slope, aspect, and bathymetric position. Video transects completed in 2006 were analyzed to quantify species density and richness. Several new species were observed and collected, and are currently being described by taxonomists. Results of this study indicate that corals and sponges may have species-specific depth distributions with little overlap of large habitat forming phyla. Moreover, substratum type, slope, and aspect are important in determining the distribution of some coral species. This baseline survey is valuable in describing the fauna of Davidson Seamount, has been used in developing essential fish habitat zones where trawling is regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service, and will be critical in the final determination for the potential inclusion of the seamount as part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Mackie, J.A., D.B. Gerhinger, G. Schroeder, and J.B. Geller
Moss Landing Marine Labs, Moss Landing, California
Deepening Understanding of Marine Introductions: Resolving the Invasive Species Pool and Patterns of Coastal Invasion in the Bryozoan Genus Watersipora.
The bryozoan genus Watersipora contains multiple species that have invaded temperate coastlines globally. These species have non-feeding larvae with limited capacity for planktonic dispersal. Primary introductions probably involve movements of colonies on ship hulls and in ballast tanks, followed by larval release in ports. Two species, Watersipora arcuata (native to the Eastern Pacific), and W. subtorquata (which is thought to be native to Caribbean-Atlantic) are relatively well recognized invasive taxa. Bryozoans, however, are subject to the general problem of identifying morphologically ëcrypticí variations or taxonomically unrecognized species. Examining mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellite loci, we are analyzing genetic divergence to: 1) Resolve the number of potentially recognizable phylogenetic species of Watersipora within zones of introduction; and 2) To illustrate the dispersion patterns of introduced genotypes, providing a better understanding of intra-coastal movements.
In this poster, we describe mitochondrial sequence variation at the COI locus based on sampling of ports in California. The data indicate the presence of haplotypes that are globally widespread, plus the occurrence of one unrecognized species at sites throughout Californian coastline. Other data, including the occurrence of elevated antifouling paint tolerance in one species, support the need to provide a more completely sampled inter and intra-specific phylogeny of Watersipora. This would enable us to determine the number of species that have been dispersed by introduction vectors, to pinpoint source localities, and to phylogenetically map ecological tolerances and potential selective shifts, providing a deeper insight into the factors that allow certain populations to spread widely.
Mackie, J.A., H.A. Hayford, J. Witkowski, and J.B. Geller
Moss Landing Marine Labs, Moss Landing California
Towards a Molecular Inventory of the Plankton of Elkhorn Slough
The documentation of species diversity has embarked on a great leap forward since the advent of nucleotide sequencing via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Using sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI), we are examining the diversity of macroplankton in Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing. This tidal river represents one of the best studied Pacific estuarine systems. Our long-term goal is to approach an exhaustive genetic inventory of the larvae of meroplankton, especially Mollusca, Annelida, and branchyuran crabs. These organisms have conspicuous adult phases but require extensive taxonomic expertise to identify in the larval phase.
We are developing a workflow and local database for accumulating DNA sequences and photos of plankters, and are empirically addressing practical sampling issues for surveying species diversity via homologous gene sequence variation ("DNA Barcoding"). There are still few well-studied data sets that evaluate barcoding performance. Sampling issues include: the ability to reliably generate sequences spanning the full sample of organisms, and the phylogenetic utility of these sequences - defined as the ability to accurately indicate the evolutionary grouping of a taxon based on database searching. In this poster, we describe our initial DNA barcoding results, quantifying the PCR success rate using 'universal' primers across different phyla as a means of evaluating the potential for bias in reaction success. For a population of sequences from multiple phyla, we conducted similarity ("BLAST") searches against the global GenBank database to determine the current accuracy of the survey method.
McChesney, Gerard J. (1), Travis B. Poitras (2), Deasy N. Lontoh (2), Nathan M. Jones (2), Lisa E. Eigner (2), Richard T. Golightly (2), and Danielle Le Fer (2)
1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay NWRC, Newark, CA
Aircraft And Boat Disturbance To Common Murre Colonies In Central California
Aircraft and boat disturbance to Common Murres (Uria aalge) was monitored at three nearshore colonies in central California, 1997-2006: Point Reyes, Devilís Slide Rock, and Castle-Hurricane Rocks. Aircraft were subdivided by helicopters and fixed-wing (planes). To compare levels of disturbance to frequency of traffic in the area, all boats approaching within 1,500 feet (460 m) and aircraft overflights < 1,000 feet (305 m) of a murre colony were recorded. Prior to 2001, only numbers of events were recorded. From 2001-2006, numbers of events per hour also were determined for better comparability between colonies and years. Overall, planes were the most frequently recorded traffic but this varied between colonies. Helicopters caused the most frequent disturbances and impacted the greatest numbers of birds. Levels of disturbance varied considerably among years and colonies. Following high levels early in the study period, disturbance (particularly helicopters) declined over time at Castle-Hurricane following outreach efforts. However, the increase in disturbance by both boats and aircraft in recent years at Devilís Slide is cause for concern for this recently restored colony. Aircraft and boat occurrence is infrequent at the relatively remote Point Reyes colony.
McCown, Haley, Zoe Wambaugh, and Rodger Storment
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, CA
A Study Of The Abundance Of Different Mollusk Species At Davenport Landing
We are monitoring an intertidal transect at Davenport Landing that was established by Dr. John Pearse some years ago. We believe that there will be an increase in the diversity of species of mollusks because our site is protected as a marine sanctuary. Our goal for our site is to note any changes in the mollusk (for instance: chiton, whelk, turban snail and mussel) populations that could indicate environmental change (such as climate change or human disturbance). For this investigation we use: a 50-meter measuring tape, two 1/4 m2 quadrats, knee pads, and data sheets to evaluate the tide pools. At Davenport Landing, we monitor the vertical transect at least twice a month during low tides. Along the twenty-one meter transect we collect data every three meters, noting the abundance and species of mollusks in our quadrat. We have found that there is a wide diversity of mollusk species in the tide pools at Davenport Landing. The abundance and diversity of species varies at different locations along the transect. Currently we have not collected enough data to establish any definitive patterns.
Moore, Emma (1), Shannon Lyday (2), Jan Roletto (3), Kate Litle (4), Julia K.Parrish (4), Hannah Nevins (5), Jim Harvey (5), and Jean de Marignac (5,6)
1. MSc Student of Distance Learning Program, Center for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, UK
Bird Entanglements Observed During Beach Monitoring Surveys
Three different groups along the West Coast of the United States conduct monthly beached bird surveys. COASST surveys along the coast of Washington from Whatcom County, Washington to Coos County, Oregon; Beach Watch surveys beaches from Sonoma County through San Mateo County, California; and Beach COMBERS surveys beaches from Santa Cruz through San Luis Obispo Counties, California. Each of these citizen-scientist monitoring programs provides long-term baseline data on seabird mortality. This study investigates entanglement among bird carcasses from data collected by all three groups between 2001-2005. Land-based observations can provide an indication of entanglement occurrences at sea. We examined the species encountered as entangled, the rates of entangled carcasses encountered and the materials involved in the entanglements. The data were investigated for each program and compared between programs. The percentage of bird carcasses documented as entangled for each program was approximately 0.5% - 1.0% annually. A wide range of bird species were documented entangled in marine debris in the study area. The species observed entangled most frequently were Common Murre (Uria aalge) and Western Gull (Larus occidentalus). The entanglement materials were primarily fishing related (shore-based fishing); further research is required to determine the sources of the materials. It is recommended that the different beached bird monitoring programs adopt the same material categories for entanglement documentation in future surveys. The entanglements observed in carcasses during beached bird monitoring surveys are a conservative view of the actual entanglement rate that is occurring at sea.
Moore, Steven W.
California State University, Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
Web-Controlled ROV Allows "Virtual Visits" to Explore and Study Real Ocean Habitats.
ROVing Otter is an underwater remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) that can be piloted via a web-browser from anywhere in the world where broadband Internet access is available. It was designed to allow elementary and middle school children - including those who live very far from the ocean -- to actively explore real undersea habitats in real time. By piloting ROVing Otter from their classrooms, children can make virtual visits to kelp forests, coral reefs, or other habitats, as if they were SCUBA diving in person. This successful prototype operates in the kelp forests of Point Lobos State Reserve, near Carmel California. It is a collaborative project between California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Californiaís State Park System. The ROV carries a color web camera, which provides streaming video to the student pilot. It also includes an on-board web server that sends a Flash-based control panel to the userís browser, so she can pilot the ROV using keyboard and mouse commands. The ROV is tethered to a kayak, which relays images and commands to/from an Internet access point on shore via an 802.11g (Wi-Fi) link, and the ROV is free to move among different dive sites within a roughly 1 km range of the access point. CSUMB students are developing a ROVing Otter curriculum aligned with state standards, as well as a video-game-like ìflight simulatorî to train teachers and students how to control the ROV before a real dive.
Newton, Kelly M. (1), Hannah M. Nevins (2), Scott R. Benson (3), James T. Harvey (2), and Donald A. Croll (1)
1. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
At-sea mortality patterns of Monterey Bay seabirds
Our understanding of seabird population dynamics and mortality is primarily derived from colony-based studies of fecundity and survival. Little is known about factors that regulate mortality at-sea during the non-breeding season. This is problematic because the effective evaluation of human impacts on seabirds requires a full understanding of fecundity and mortality during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. We examined seabird mortality at sea by combining two large, nine-year data sets from Monterey Bay, California: the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary BeachCOMBERS beachcast animal surveys and the Center for Integrated Marine Technologies seabird survey program. We examined the relationship between physical and biological oceanography, seabird abundance at-sea and seabird mortality patterns. Seven species of seabirds were examined, including year-round residents and seasonal migrants. Generally, birds found dead on the beach tracks at-sea abundance in the summer months, but seabird mortality is higher than expected during the winter.
Pearse, Devon, Lisa Wooninck, Cheryl A. Dean, and John Carlos Garza
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Identification of Northeastern Pacific Rockfish (Sebastes spp.) using Multilocus Nuclear DNA Genotypes
Molecular genetic analysis has a long history of use in the identification of species or populations that may be difficult to distinguish otherwise. The genus Sebastes, commonly known as rockfishes, has over 100 species worldwide, and is represented by over 50 species in relatively small regions such as Monterey Bay or the California Channel Islands. Many species are morphologically similar, particularly during early larval stages, and identification to species level is time consuming and problematic for some groups. Here we describe a simple genetic method for rapid identification of rockfish species using multilocus nuclear genotypes from a panel of six microsatellite loci. Application to a set of known rockfish tissue samples, including fish collected in different parts of their geographic ranges as well as species not represented in the reference data set, resulted in high assignment accuracy for represented species and exclusion of non-represented species. Members of the subgenus Pteropodus, for which assignment is difficult with the standard 6-locus panel, are accurately identified to species with an additional five loci selected for that purpose. Together, these panels correctly assigned 96.8% of the tested individuals from a group of more than 30 species commonly found in central California.
Pederson, Josh (1,2), and Andrew DeVogelaere (1,2)
1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)
IOOS Observation Registry: mapping real-time sensor locations in the coastal United States
The IOOS Observation Registry system, developed by the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) in partnership with NOAA's Coasta Services Center (CSC), is a web-based metadata harvest system that maps the location of real-time (<24-hr reporting) sensor platforms (http://oceanobs.org/wc/map). The map also provides information about each sensor such as location of data source, operating status, and core variables collected.
Data network nodes within each regional association (RA) of the IOOS make GML metadata available on a public server for the Registry to 'harvest'. This GML metadata, harvested daily, refreshes the map to produce the most up-to-date visualization of sensor locations in the nation. CSC is actively assisting RAs with the establishment of their data network nodes in order to ëplug-iní all federal and non-federal real-time observations in the U.S. The Registry has been endorsed by RA data managers across the United States and is actively hosting metadata from SEACOOS, COMPS, GOMOOS, and GCOOS.
Pederson, Josh (1,2), Andrew DeVogelaere (1,2), Heather Kerkering (3), and Tom Wadsworth (3)
1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)
OceanObs: the online database of CeNCOOS regional ocean observing activities
OceanObs was created in May 2005 through a coordinated effort by the Central and Northern Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMON). It serves as a searchable directory for the activities of over 40 organizations studying or working around the ocean between Point Conception and Californiaís border with Oregon. The information is available in an online format (http://oceanobs.org) and is linked to from the CeNCOOS homepage. It is utilized by user groups including regional coordinators of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), data managers (partner organizations) and data seekers (industry, researchers, educators, fishers, boaters and participants in other ocean activities). The OceanObs website contains metadata on CeNCOOS partner program descriptions and goals, investigators, research devices, data types, sensor locations and funding sources. This information is used to create an interactive map showing partner activities in the region. The site also directs users to links for partner websites and where to find available data. OceanObs allows metadata to be entered and updated at any time by CeNCOOS personnel and partner organization data managers. This product helps inform and improve coordination among regional organizations and will initiate the integration of coastal observing systems efforts along Californiaís coast.
Robison, Rondi J.(1), Laura Beach (1), Raphael Kudela (2), Mary Silver (2), Katie Roberts (2), Dan Costa (3,5), Mike Weise (3,5), Chris Edwards (2), Mark Carr (3,4), Dan Hoover (4), Leslie Rosenfeld (6), Yi Chao (7), and Gary Griggs (1)
1. Institute of Marine Science, University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, CA
The Center for Integrated Marine Technologies Observing Ocean Health in Monterey Bay
The Center for Integrated Marine Technologies' (CIMT) has been monitoring the indicators of ocean health through their ocean observing system in Monterey Bay. CIMTís mission is to create a coastal ocean observing and forecasting system that provides a scientific basis for the management and conservation of the Monterey Bay, and serves as a model for all of California\'s coastal marine resources. This research unit of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) has been simultaneously collecting data via moorings, shipboard surveys, apex predator tagging and tracking, and satellite, aircraft, and land-based remote sensing since 2002 and is build on a foundation of data from the Wind to Whales effort since 1997. Within CeNCOOS CIMT addresses ecosystem indicators with strengths in marine populations and water quality. CIMT efforts have led to community outreach activities in many areas of ocean health including informing management decisions, providing education, informing recreational activities and developing regional coordination concerning harmful algae blooms (HABs), ocean conditions, fisheries and water quality.
Robinson, Jeff (1), and Thomas Gast (2)
1. Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, Eureka, California
Using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to Measure Water Column Velocities within Eelgrass Meadows in Humboldt Bay, California
Approximately 45% of Californiaís critical eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat occurs in Humboldt Bay, California. Baseline information was sought in evaluating estuarine ecology utilizing acoustic Doppler technology to economically measure water column velocities within and over eelgrass meadows, measure the height of the canopy, and bottom depth. A Teledyne RD Instrument (TRDI) 1200 kHz Rio Grande Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) was used in conjunction with an Airmar 235kHz, 6 degrees digital depth sounder and global positioning system (GPS) signals. This poster describes the methods used and displays preliminary water column velocity results. Humboldt Bay has an area of 64.2 km2 mean high water and 28.0 km2 at mean lower low water with two primary eelgrass habitat basins, North Bay and South Bay. Eelgrass habitat may be influenced by a myriad of variables such as water column depth and velocity as well as substrate, nutrient availability, and light penetration. Eelgrass shoot densities in North Bay are significantly less than in South Bay. Preliminary ADCP measurements were conducted in both basins to assess whether differences in water column velocities could be detected and related to different shoot densities at the different sites. This method clearly demonstrated the viability of utilizing the ADCP for current measurements within the eelgrass canopy.
Rosenberger, Kurt, Jingping Xu, and Marlene Noble
U.S. Geological Survey, Santa Cruz, CA
Measuring currents and suspended material in Monterey submarine canyon
Measuring currents in-situ in active submarine canyons has proven to be a significant challenge. The primary impediment to making extended timeseries measurements in an active canyon are the violent turbidity currents that occur on irregular intervals and move large volumes of material downcanyon along the canyon axis. The USGS has successfully deployed taut-wire moorings for three one-year intervals in different portions of the Monterey Submarine Canyon (MSC). In 1994, a turbid event (presumed to be a turbidity current) was observed by transmissometer 100m above the bed in 1450m water depth. In-situ profile measurements of turbidity currents were made using downward-facing acoustic Doppler current profilers in the lower 70m of the water column at three sites in 2002-2003. Measurements of very strong near-bed flow presumed to be the result of strong internal tides were made near the head of MSC in 250m water depth in 2005-2006. Although the taut-wire mooring has proven to be a successful platform for measurements in the canyon, it is not without drawbacks. An overview of the measurements made to date by USGS as well as the considerations in mooring design is provided.
Ryan, John (1), Andrew Fischer (1), Paul Bissett (2), James Gower (3), Raphael Kudela (4), Christopher Scholin (1), Mary Silver (4), and Francisco Chavez (1)
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
A red tide incubator in the upwelling shadow of Monterey Bay, California
Remote sensing and in situ observations support the existence of a red tide incubator in the upwelling shadow of Monterey Bay, California. Dense surface aggregations of dinoflagellates are observed in the northeastern bay, primarily during the oceanic period (August-October), most frequently in shallow, inner shelf waters that have not been monitored by regional programs. Larger-scale red tide blooms result when populations from the inner shelf incubator are spread by advection. Here we present evidence for the existence of a red tide incubator and consider natural and anthropogenic influences on the development of red tides in Monterey Bay.
Sassoubre, Lauren (1), John Ryan (2), Erika McPhee-Shaw (1), Ivano Aiello (1), and Dustin Carroll (1)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
The Occurrence and Context of Intermediate Nepheloid Layers in the Monterey Bay
Intermediate nepheloid layers (INLs) are potentially important mechanisms by which sediment, and other important near-margin constituents such as iron and carbon, can be laterally transported off the continental shelf, across continental shelves and submarine canyons, and possibly vertically mixed into the surface mixed layer (McPhee-Shaw et al, 2004; Ryan et al., 2005). This lateral transport and potential vertical transport or mixing can have important implications for the resuspension and transport of sediments and nutrients off of the sea floor and into the water column where they can impact geochemical cycling and biological activity. Intermediate nepheloid layers between 60 -120m depth have been observed in Monterey Bay submarine canyon through backscatter measurements from MBARIís autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and through CTD transmission measurements from two recent MLML student cruises aboard the R/V Pt Sur. In this poster, we will investigate descriptive characteristics of intermediate nepheloid layers and physical processes influencing intermediate nepheloid layers in Monterey Bay.
Skeel, Lily (1,2), Adriana Bravo (1,2), and Christian Mendoza (1,2)
Teens Fighting Against Pollution: Teaching Sixth Grade MERITO students about the Pajaro River Watershed
A residents of Watsonville, California cannot see the ocean every day, but we are connected directly through the Pajaro River and its watershed. What we do in this watershed eventually flows into the ocean and we want to teach this to other students. We began by researching the three main areas of the Pajaro River Watershed: the riparian, the wetlands and the dunes. We are creating a model of the Pajaro River Watershed out of Paper Mache to show the students how water drains to the main channel in a watershed and to show what effect pollution has on a watershed. Our audience is 5th and 6th graders from Freedom School in Watsonville participating in the Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) program. We plan on taking them on a series of fieldtrips to the riparian, wetland and dune areas of the watershed to teach them firsthand how pollution affects the watershed, their lives and what they can do to prevent it. Before we take them on these fieldtrips, we will have the students take a survey so that we can know how much they know before the trips and what they would like to learn. We will be receiving help and guidance from Tami Stolzenthaler and Michelle Templeton of the City of Watsonvilleís Environmental Education programs, as well as guidance from Stewart Jenkins of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Smith, G. Jason, Kendra Hayashi, Traci Conlin, and Kenneth Coale
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA 95039
The ACT program seeks to develop and maintain partnerships between research institutions, state and regional resource managers, and private sector companies to disseminate information on, as well as foster development of innovative sensor and sensor platform technologies for the monitoring and surveillance of coastal environments. ACT was developed in 2001 with encouragement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the technological requirements of state, national and international efforts on integrated and sustained ocean and coastal observations for managing marine and coastal resources, mitigating natural hazards, safeguarding public health and safety and ensuring safe and efficient maritime transportation and commerce. ACT Pacific Coast is headquartered at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and serves as one of seven partner institutes nationwide. The partner institutes work together to foster regional involvement and meet ACTís broad programmatic goals of providing: (1) an unbiased, third-party testbed for evaluating new and developing in situ sensor and sensor platform technologies for environmental monitoring, (2) a comprehensive data and information clearinghouse on coastal observing technologies and (3) a forum for capacity building through annual workshop series, seminars and newsletters on specific technology topics. This talk will highlight ACT-Pacific Coast achievements in each of these activity areas We will emphasize how knowledge learned through our water quality sensor performance verification activities is being leverage to develop best practice training resources for regional coastal monitoring activities. We encourage everyone to support their regional Ocean Observing System (OOS) activities and make use of the ACT program to foster information exchange on monitoring technologies and needs.
Smith, Sarah, Chris Scianni, and Nick Welschmeyer
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Flow Cytometric Analysis Of Bacteria And Phytoplankton In Elkhorn Slough
The primary goal of this investigation is to characterize the planktonic microbial community of Elkhorn Slough using flow cytometry. Phytoplankton pigment analyses of seawater from a series of ten stations from the mouth of the slough to just past Kirby Park indicate that that along this gradient there is a predictable and dramatic shift in the major constituents of the phytoplankton community; cryptophytes dominate the upper reaches of the slough. Data from flow cytometric analyses (Becton Dickson, FACSort) support these findings, as there is a shift in both cell counts and particle fluorescence characteristics from the mouth of the slough to Kirby Park. Cryptophyte algal constituents were easily separated cytometrically on the basis of their unique fluorescent pigment composition which includes phycobilins. The bacterial community was assessed with the use of the fluorescent nucleic acid stain, Syto-13 (Invitrogen), in conjunction with flow cytometry. Vital stains, SYTOX and CTC, were also used to determine the fraction of both bacteria and phytoplankton cells that were alive and therefore potentially active in the system. Preliminary results suggest that up to 98% of total bacterial cells may be dead. While many of these objectives may also be achieved with traditional microscopic analyses, the microscopic approach is laborious and subject to user investigator bias. The advantages of flow cytometry include rapid and accurate quantification of different populations of cells in a seawater sample. Flow cytometric analysis of viability conditions in bacteria and phytoplankton may provide explanations for the apparent development of distinct plankton species assemblages within Elkhorn Slough.
Starr, Dr. Richard (1,2), Dr. Mark Carr (3), Ashley Greenley (1), Dan Malone (3), Dave Osorio (4), Giovanni Nevoloso (5), Sal Pitruzzello (6), and Kristen Green (1)
1. Moss Landing Marine Labs
Comparisons of Sampling Methods for Surveying Nearshore Fishes: Collaboration between Fishermen, CDFG, and University Scientists
In California, there has been a recent increase in interest to gather data appropriate for fine-scaled fishery management plans. Currently, however, little information exists with which to manage fisheries in relatively small areas. One way to gather data for fine-scale management is to use a variety of sampling methods. However, it is important to understand how the different sampling methods relate to one another. We have been working with fishermen, and university and agency scientists in Carmel Bay, to compare various surface fishing and SCUBA sampling methods, and to learn more about populations of nearshore fishes.
With the help of two local commercial fishermen, we tagged and released approximately 1700 fish at two sites in Carmel Bay in 2005. Estimates of fish abundance from Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) and tag-recapture methodologies were compared among three types of surface fishing gear (traps, sticks, and handline) and SCUBA surveys. No significant correlations were found among CPUEs of the different sampling methods, suggesting that relative abundance estimates of individual species will have to be generated independently for the sampling methods.
CPUE estimates generated by the different sampling methods were significantly influenced by habitat and depth. For most species, population estimates based on expansions of diver densities were smaller than tag-recapture estimates of abundance. For bottom dwelling species, the highest estimates of abundance were obtained from fishing gear. For semi-pelagic species, combined estimates of fishing and diver surveys generated the highest tag-recapture estimates of population abundance.
Stierhoff, Kevin L., and Susan M. Sogard
NOAA Fisheries SWFSC-Early Life History Team
Spatial Patterns of Habitat Utilization by Juvenile Rockfishes in Monterey Bay
Little is currently known about the habitat requirements for juvenile rockfishes (YOY and year-1+), particularly those that reside in deeper habitats as adults. We used several sampling techniques to assess the distribution and abundance of post-settlement juvenile rockfishes in Monterey Bay, in attempts to better understand and describe essential fish habitat for these fishes. In 2004-2006, trap sampling was conducted from May to November in a variety of substrate types (ranging from low-relief mud and sand to high-relief, rocky habitats) and depths (15-100 m). In 2005 and 2006, standardized benthic trawls were conducted from June to October in shallow (20-60 m) and deep (60-100 m) soft-bottom habitats. Striking differences were observed in species composition between years, in large-scale spatial distribution (north vs. south Monterey Bay), and by depth zone in both trap and trawl samples. Large areas of Monterey Bay that are not heavily utilized by adult rockfishes appear to be important as nursery areas for juvenile stages. Potential factors underlying the observed patterns of habitat utilization (e.g. recruit supply, substrate characteristics, transport mechanisms) will be discussed.
Moss Landing Marine Labs Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, SIMoN
Intertidal algal canopies modify Pelvetiopsis recruitment
One of the most conspicuous aspects of intertidal habitats along the coast of western North America is the distinct zonation pattern of biological organisms relative to tidal height. Ecologists initially attributed this pattern to biological interactions such as competition, however, more recently stress has emerged as an important factor in determining where different species live. In the high intertidal along the central California coast and on the rocky shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, common stressors include high temperature during daytime low tides, high desiccation, and large waves on exposed coastlines during the winter storm swell season. This study addresses how intertidal algal canopies modify the survival of juvenile stages of the ubiquitous fucoid alga Pelvetiopsis limitata. Initial observations of Pelvetiopsis juveniles growing within the turf-like thallus of Endocladia muricata suggested a facilitative relationship between algal cover and algal recruitment. Permanent plots were established and algal cover was manipulated to include Endocladia only, Pelvetiopsis only, or complete removal of algal cover for one year. Pelvetiopsis recruits <1cm high in the different treatments were counted monthly. Results indicated that Pelvetiopsis recruitment was enhanced at intermediate levels of algal cover, and reduced at very low and high levels of cover. Furthermore, algal canopy species composition had little effect on Pelvetiopsis recruitment; this observation was further supported by the springtime appearance of Porphyra sp. in the plots and subsequent high numbers of Pelvetiopsis recruits. This relationship suggests that the potential for algal canopy cover to impact juvenile algal survival has more to do with the natural history of the canopy species (i.e. the timing of Porphyra recruitment) than with the composition of the canopy species (i.e. the structure of the Endocladia canopy vs. the Pelvetiopsis canopy). The relationship between algal canopy cover and recruitment success of intertidal organisms has important implications for modeling the population dynamics of dominant intertidal algae, and understanding patterns of species distribution and diversity.
VenTresca, D., P. Serpa, and A. Elston
California Department of Fish and Game
Fishery-independent Hook-and-line Fishing Surveys Conducted Along the Central California Coast, 1978-1998.
The California Department of Fish and Gameís Central California Marine Sport Fish Survey conducted fishery-independent hook-and-line fishing surveys along the central California coast in nearshore waters, adjacent to kelp beds and over rocky reefs, from 1978 to 1998. The goals of these surveys were to: 1. Tag and release sport fish species for studies on residentiality and growth; 2. Recapture fishes tagged on previous cruises; 3. Translocate fishes to neighboring reef systems to determine homing behavior; 4. Sample nearshore reef systems for sport fish species on which fishing pressure is light or non-existent; 5. Determine species and size composition and gather information on length, weight, age, and reproductive state of the various sport fish species collected within the study area.
Findings of this study are summarized in Fish Bulletin 177, Biological aspects of nearshore rockfishes of the genus Sebastes with notes on ecologically related species (Lea et al. 1999). This project makes these data available to the scientific community and fisheries managers. These data may be used to evaluate future trends in central California coastal fisheries and to serve as a baseline in assessing the potential for effectiveness of marine protected areas. Data have been entered into a Microsoft Access database which is available for download on the internet at the Department's website as well as the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) web site.
Weise, Michael J.
University of California Santa Cruz
Here we evaluate the use of satellite-linked electronic tags on California sea lions for the collection of physical oceanographic data in coastal upwelling centers. This animal collected oceanographic data complements more traditional methods for assimilation into ocean observation systems and models. Sea lions provide a level of temporal and spatial coverage in three dimensions that is impossible to replicate using standard sampling methods. Thus tag-bearing animals can be used as autonomous ocean profilers to obtain oceanographic data for regions and during times where traditional observations are sparse. Environmental data can be merged with behavioral information collected with the electronic tags and provide us with an understanding of the location and dynamics of apex predator foraging habitat. Sea Mammal Research Unit satellite relay data loggers (SRDL) were used to track the movement and diving behavior of male sea lions during 2003 through 2005. Temperature only tags (2003) and newly designed SRDL-CTD tags (2004) with ARGOS quality locations were used to identify and describe sea lion foraging and oceanographic habitat based on the temperature and salinity profiles of the 3D water column. One of the challenges in defining oceanographic habitat usage is to do so at a scale that is biologically relevant to the animals, both temporally and spatially. To compare how sampling resolution may impact how oceanographic habitat is defined we are using prototype temperature only SMRU-GPS tags (2005) that simultaneously log ARGOS locations and GPS locations. Weíll discuss the different tag technologies used in relation to defining sea lion foraging habitat and the potential for providing real-time data for operational oceanography.
Wooninck, Lisa, Steve Lindley, and Churchill Grimes
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology Division
Acoustic Tagging and Integrated Ocean Observing Systems
Uniquely-coded ultrasonic tags and arrays of automated data-recording hydrophones are increasingly used to reveal important new information on migratory patterns and survival rates of coastal fishes and marine mammals. Much more could be learned about marine species movement patterns with well-designed, multi-species tagging studies, if hydrophone deployments were at a broader scale. Including this technology in emerging integrated ocean observing systems (IOOS) would supply much-needed biological observations that cannot be obtained with current capabilities. In November 2006, we convened a workshop with three goals: 1) identify the benefits of large-scale, coordinated ultrasonic tagging and tracking projects for IOOS (e.g., what kinds of questions could be answered, for which species?); 2) make preliminary recommendations on the design and configurations of an acoustic receiver array that is part of IOOS; 3) evaluate suitable analytical methods to address research questions; and 4) make recommendations on how such a program could best be managed so that it meets the needs of all participants, including academic, government and NGO scientists and institutions. The workshop consisted of invited presentations and a series of discussions. Here, we report on the findings of the workshop.
York, Keri (1), Lisa M. Krigsman (2), Rikki Grober-Dunsmore (2), Chris Caldow (1), Bill Douros(3), Sarah Fischer (1), Dave Lott (3), Mark E. Monaco (1), Robert Pavia (3), Charles Wahle (2)
1. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, Biogeography Program
An ecological characterization of the U.S. west coast to facilitate place-based management
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) and the National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center have launched a partnership, as part of the West Coast Pilot, to develop biogeographic assessment products to support place-based and ecosystem-based management of marine managed areas (MMAs) on the U.S. West Coast. This ecological characterization is designed to inventory, synthesize, and characterize existing and relevant biological, physical, and oceanographic information on the marine environments off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. The study region extends from coastal estuaries out through the Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles). Using data gathered from various ocean observing systems, such as biological surveys and remote sensing data, we will address questions such as: 1) Where are biodiversity hotspots for marine and estuarine fishes, deep-sea corals, marine mammals, and seabirds? 2) Can oceanographic events and features be used to identify biologically productive areas? 3) Are these areas currently within existing protected areas? By answering these questions we will facilitate the improvement of place-based management by working with scientists, resource mangers and other stakeholders. Additionally, this project will have applications for a variety of users ranging from coastal zone managers to ocean industries. The collection of this information will require the active participation and contribution of many partnerships including federal, state, tribal governments and non-governmental organizations.