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Sanctuary Currents 2008
Oceans of Change: Our Climate, Our Sanctuary, Our Future

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

Poster Session: Abstracts & Awards

 

Poster Awards

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

Past Research Poster Award Winners


2008 Best Graduate Student Posters

Kahn, A.S. (1), K.L. Smith, Jr. (2), and H.A. Ruhl (2)

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

EFFECT OF CLIMATE AND FOOD SUPPLY ON ABUNDANCE AND SIZE OF TWO BENTHIC SPONGES IN THE ABYSSAL NORTHEAST PACIFIC


Adams*, E., C. Alger, K. Glitz*, K. Gomez, J. Hinkle*, D. Kline*, O. Mise, C. Romena, B. Spear, and A. Zelensky* (Asterisk indicates primary authors for Part 1 of the poster)

California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

GEOMORPHIC CHANGE DETECTION IN THE MONTEREY SUBMARINE CANYON, MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA


Osiadacz, Maria H. (1), Arlene Guest (2), and Sophie DeBeukelaer (3)

1. Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA
2. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
3. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA

ANALYZING KELP FLUCTUATIONS IN MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY


2008 Best High School Student Posters

Lopez, Cristal, Omar Martinez, Alexis Zarate, Heber Martinez

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats)

FROM WATSONVILLE TO HAWAII: YOUR CONNECTION TO MARINE DEBRIS


Dirck, Emilie, and Hannah Peabody

Watershed Academy, San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

ARE WETLANDS THE NEW LEACH FIELD?


Townsend, Chad

San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

IRON IN THE WATER SUPPLY: IS ONE FILTER SUFFICIENT?


Poster Session Abstracts


(*): Denotes the presenting author
(G): Denotes student eligible for Best Graduate Student Poster Award
(HS): Denotes student eligible for Best High School Student Poster Award


(G) Adams*, E., C. Alger, K. Glitz*, K. Gomez, J. Hinkle*, D. Kline*, O. Mise, C. Romena, B. Spear, and A. Zelensky* (Asterisk indicates primary authors for Part 1 of the poster)

California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

GEOMORPHIC CHANGE DETECTION IN THE MONTEREY SUBMARINE CANYON, MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA

Part 1: Monterey Canyon Axis, Canyon Head, and Ancient Salinas River Mouth Bathymetric time series coupled with other marine sedimentological studies conducted inshore of the 200 m isobath in the Monterey Submarine Canyon give insight into the dynamic nature of these distinctive California coastal features. This two-year study focuses on three areas of the submarine canyon (the head, the axis, and the relic ancient Salinas River mouth). The purpose of the study was to quantify geomorphic change in the canyon, and test the general hypothesis that near shore regions of the canyon that intersect the longshore sediment transport zone are more dynamic than canyon areas of similar depth and geomorphology lying further offshore and beyond the influence of the sediment transport zone. Multibeam bathymetry data collected using a Reson 8101 revealed significant change within the headward portion of the canyon and the canyon axis, while the relic Salinas River mouth remained dormant over the same period. These results support the hypothesis that of the numerous submarine canyons intersecting California's continental shelf, those that extend into the surf zone will be the most geomorphically active.


(HS) Ames, Jillian, Lauren Friend, and Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat

San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

IS IT HEALTHY? MONITORING WATER QUALITY ON THE SAN LORENZO RIVER

Our objective is to monitor the water quality of the San Lorenzo River in Felton specifically levels of nitrate, turbidity and dissolved oxygen in addition to water velocity and temperature. Our hypothesis is that the river will maintain acceptable levels of these factors, but naturally fluctuate due to rainfall and human impacts. In the field, we use a Vernier Lab Pro, graphing calculator and assorted probes to measure our parameters. We are comparing two sites along the river, Henry Cowell State Park entrance and the Felton Covered Bridge. At our two sites (every Sunday at 8 AM from Nov 07 to Feb 08), we collected our water sample, made observations, calibrated our equipment and performed water testing procedures. To date, we have found that all our tests are within acceptable limits. We are currently analyzing our results to correlate rainfall data and the interaction of each factor.

We wish to acknowledge our mentor, Chris Berry (Santa Cruz City Water Department.)


Baltz, Ken A. (1), John C. Field (1), Joshua D. Bauman (1), Louis D. Zeidberg (2), William F. Gilly (2), Julia S. Stewart (2), J. Ashley T. Booth (2), Danielle J. Staaf (2), and Christine Huffard (3)

1. NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

ECOLOGY OF THE JUMBO SQUID (DOSIDICUS GIGAS) IN THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT ECOSYSTEM

Although jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) have been quasi-regular visitors in the waters of the California Current over the last century, unusually large numbers of these squid have been reported in recent years off northern and central California. Their persistent presence has raised concern by fishermen and marine resource managers, as there is some evidence that these animals play a major role in structuring the pelagic ecosystem throughout its range. We have recently initiated a comprehensive study of jumbo squid life history, demographics, movement patterns and potential ecosystem impacts within the California Current ecosystem. Here we present preliminary data pertinent to the reproductive status of D. gigas collected throughout the California Current in recent years and review the evidence for spawning in California waters. Results of the overall research program will help explain why jumbo squid invade and (sometimes) subsequently inhabit California waters and will reveal their impact on fisheries and other elements of the ecosystem. It will also provide the groundwork needed to assess and model the jumbo squid population, an important management consideration to commercial and recreational squid fisheries as well as to marine protected areas that may be impacted by this predator.


(G) Brantner, Jeremiah E., and James Lindholm

Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

HABITAT-MEDIATED RECEPTION BY FIXED ACOUSTIC RECEIVER ARRAYS AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR QUANTIFYING FISH SITE FIDELITY

Marine reserve efficacy depends on size, shape, location, and behavior of various fish species being targeted for protection. Currently, automated acoustic telemetry is widely used to address questions about the movement of aquatic organisms in relation to MPA boundaries. While this technology allows researchers a previously unavailable view of fish behavior, it is not without limitations. Environmental factors, such as changes in temperature and salinity, affect the ability to detect fish movement. It is also suspected that seafloor complexity plays a role in limiting the operating range of acoustic tracking devices. The purpose of this project is to quantify the affects of seafloor topography on the ability of acoustic telemetry to measure site fidelity and movement of aquatic species. By conducting geo-positioned transects from VR2 receivers (Vemco Ltd.) across various terrains, and comparing results with high resolution bathymetric data, we will examine how topographic features influence operating range. This information will enable researchers to better interpret automated acoustic tracking data, and provide a better understanding of fish behavior and thus requirements for effective MPAs.


(G) Carmichael, Shana (1), Andrew DeVogelaere (2), Kenneth Coale (3), Erika McPhee-Shaw (3) and Marc Los Huertos (1)

1. Earth Systems Science and Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
2. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
3. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

A COMPARISON OF NUTRIENT CONCENTRATION, ENTERIC BACTERIA, AND PHYTOPLANKTON BIODIVERSITY BETWEEN CARMEL BAY AND MONTEREY BAY

Enteric Bacteria, and Phytoplankton Biodiversity between Carmel Bay and Monterey Bay Coastal waters near developed areas are often plagued with two common pollutants, elevated nutrients and harmful pathogens (Brown 2001). Monterey and Carmel bays are located in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and experience similar impacts from anthropogenic input and terrestrial sources. The deep canyons bring nitrogen rich water to both bays during times of upwelling. At a steady state concentrations of phosphorous (P) and nitrogen (N) approximate the Redfield ratio of 1:16 in marine ecosystems (Libes 1992; Jackson 1977). Excess nutrients in the coastal marine environment can cause high-density phytoplankton growth (Liu W et al 2007). A hypoxic area can follow large blooms from decomposition (Chang et al 2002, Turner and Rabalais 2003). Enteric bacteria live in the intestines of mammals and enter the marine ecosystem through farm and urban run off. Fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria are used as indicators of harmful pathogens in water. Surface samples were collected at both locations. Bacteria assays were done using EPA method 1604 for detecting E. coli and total coliform. Phytoplankton groups in each sample were identified and enumerated. In order to compare the biodiversity between both sites the Shannon-Weiner Index was used. Nutrient analysis methods were automated using a Lachat Instruments QuikChem 8500 Series flow injection analyzer (FIA). The biodiversity index tended to be lower at the Carmel Bay site. Total coliform and E. coli averages were higher at the Carmel Bay site. The phosphate nitrate ratio did not tend to follow the Redfield ratio of 1 P: 16 N. The nutrient ratio indicates nitrate depletion and the possibility of a terrestrial phosphate source.


(HS) Chau, Alison, Cynthia Lacasandile, Sandra Lobato, and Fatima Segura

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

THE HUMAN CONNECTION BETWEEN AMPHIBIAN CHYTRID AND CALIFORNIA RED-LEGGED FROGS

Program Amphibians are important to our ecosystem because they are indicators of environmental issues. However, they are facing problems such as loss of habitat, competition with invasive species and transmittable diseases. One disease that is affecting amphibians is the water-born infectious disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, commonly known as amphibian Chytrid or Bd. Chytrid damages the keratin layer of an amphibian's skin by causing it to thicken. This is a problem because amphibians rely on their skin for respiration, which is critical to their survival. One local amphibian that is affected by Chytrid is the California red-legged frog. California red-legged frogs play an important role as an indicator species in California wetlands and due to their threatened status under the Endangered Species Act of 1996, our project hopes to teach others about Chytrid and California red-legged frog conservation. By working with scientists from the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the University of California, Santa Cruz we have learned that Chytrid is affecting California red-legged frogs through human impact. Humans spread Chytrid through freshwater systems, mainly ponds. We plan to raise awareness in the fishermen community on how to prevent the spread of Chytrid by creating brochures and placing them in bait shops and fishing gear stores. We also plan on using this information to help the Monterey Bay Aquarium design a California red-legged frog exhibit focusing on Chytrid in order to reach a broader audience as well.


(G) Clark, Cara (1), and Adam Wiskind (2)

1. Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy Program, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
2. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

CRAM DOWN THE RIVER: VALIDATION OF THE CALIFORNIA RAPID ASSESSMENT METHOD (CRAM)

Central Coast Wetlands Working Group California policy aims to achieve a long-term net gain in the quantity and quality of wetlands; however there is no commonly accepted method to measure wetland condition in the State. The California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) was developed as a tool to rapidly and inexpensively assess the habitat condition of California wetlands. In the summer of 2005 the method was ground truthed by comparing CRAM results from 54 riverine sites to a more intensive and quantitative Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) of benthic macro-invertebrates. These randomly chosen sites were assessed by the California Department of Fish and Game using IBI in 2003. Results revealed a significant correlation (r = 0.623, P < 0.001) between overall CRAM results and IBI scores. Individual CRAM attributes were also significantly correlated with IBI scores. The close association between CRAM results and the more in-depth assessment suggests that CRAM is a viable tool for assessing ecological integrity, despite the rapid and somewhat qualitative nature of the method. Future work will involve an ambient CRAM assessment of California rivers sampled in parallel with ongoing IBI monitoring.


(G) Collins, Alison L. (1), and Morgan Bond (2)

1. Undergraduate, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
2. NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

TRACKING THE SOURCE OF BENEFICIAL STEELHEAD GROWTH IN COASTAL LAGOONS

The Scott Creek estuary, central California, has shown to be a critical habitat for the juvenile life stage of steelhead. The typical estuarine environment on Scott Creek is interrupted by the formation of a sand bar across its mouth during low flow creating a freshwater seasonal lagoon in the estuary. These sand bar built lagoons are often viewed as destructive to the fish by blocking their passage to the ocean. Recent studies have shown that fish rearing in the lagoon obtain larger size at ocean entry, which directly correlates to a higher marine survival. Enhanced growth in the lagoon appears to result from a suite of invertebrate prey (e.g., gammaridae, mysidae) not present in the upper watershed. The lagoon habitat is primarily freshwater, obtaining occasional input of saltwater and marine detritus during large ocean swell events. Although saline water appears to be quickly flushed from the system, large amounts of marine algae remain in the lagoon to contribute nutrients to a relatively oligotrophic system. We have examined the isotopic signature of marine derived nutrients found in juvenile steelhead tissues rearing in the lagoon in comparison to those rearing in the upper watershed, above and below anadromy barriers. Preliminary data show that that greater than 45% of nutrients found in the muscle of juvenile steelhead, rearing in the lagoon, are derived from marine nutrients. These data evaluate the importance of marine derived nutrients to steelhead growth in the dynamic estuary/lagoon habitat common in central California steelhead streams.


(HS) Dirck, Emilie, and Hannah Peabody

Watershed Academy, San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

ARE WETLANDS THE NEW LEACH FIELD?

The goal of our project is to monitor the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels in the San Lorenzo Valley High School wetland ponds. The high school was cited by the state in 2001 for excessive nitrate and ammonia levels from a faulty septic system, which was contaminating the nearby San Lorenzo River. To rectify the problem, the school constructed an innovative wetland-pond system to absorb excess nitrogen compounds. We believe the wetland ponds are working properly by reducing the amount of nitrates being released into the San Lorenzo River. For our testing, we use the La Motte fresh water testing kit, the Lab Pro nitrate probe, and the Easy Data program. Once a week, we visit the wetland ponds at San Lorenzo Valley High School, collect some samples, and test the water using the La Motte testing kit and nitrate probe. So far, we have seen fairly steady levels of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite since September 2007; however, we get higher levels after heavy rainfall events. So far, our results are supporting our hypothesis, with the exception of our results we collect after rainfall.

We extend a special thank you to our mentor, Mr. Terry Umstead.


(HS) Dolson, Emily L., and Sanaya R. Forbes

San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

ANTHROPOGENIC INFLUENCES ON THE POPULATION OF THE CALIFORNIA SEA OTTER (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS) IN MOSS LANDING HARBOR

The California sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) has been highly endangered since being nearly hunted to extinction one hundred years ago by fur traders. The population is taking far longer to recover than predicted. As the sea otter is a keystone species in the kelp forest ecosystem, it is crucial to understand what factors are inhibiting its growth. Human impacts, though widely suspected, have not been closely examined. The purpose of conducting this project was to determine what effects, if any, humans have on sea otter wellbeing. What behavioral changes occur in sea otters when humans approach them? The hypothesis was that, if approached, sea otters would dive and swim away, thus inhibiting the thermo-regulative abilities that are essential for survival. An important corollary hypothesis was that humans would approach sea otters, even though it is illegal. A raft of sea otters floating in Moss Landing Harbor was observed over four months, using a time-budget methodology to insure that results were statistically comparable. Every ten minutes, the location and activity levels of all otters were recorded, along with a variety of other factors that could affect sea otter behavior. Human interactions were noted as new entries, allowing comparison of alterations in, group dynamics. Although data collection is ongoing and no final conclusions can yet be drawn, it is clear that humans, when they approach sea otters, alter their natural behavior, often causing diving, thus, the current law and its enforcement are insufficient to protect this vital animal.


(HS) Eggleston, Courtney E., Biena K. Graff, and Daniela E. McIntire

San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

THE ANEMONE PLOT: HAS TIME MADE A DIFFERENCE

The goal of our project is to monitor intertidal organisms at Davenport Landing State Beach; our objective is to investigate whether populations have changed over time. We hypothesize that since the last survey the diversity of species will have changed. Our materials are two quadrants, two tape measures, random number sheets, organism identification sheet, a bucket, three kneeling pads, a clipboard, organism data sheets, a lab book, and three pairs of waders. We walk down to the tide pools, find the correct location at the anemone plot and using our random number table select about 4 locations to survey. We place our quadrant accordingly and note numbers of specific organisms in the quadrant. We repeat this procedure six times, enter data on data sheets and record abiotic conditions. We will be analyzing our graphed data and comparing it to data collected in the past.

We wish to acknowledge the support of our mentors Lisa Emanuelson, from the Sanctuary and John Pearse, from UCSC.


Eigner, Lisa E., Gerard J. McChesney, and Richard T. Golightly

Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay NWRC, Newark, CA

PREY USE OF COMMON MURRES (URIA AALGE) AT TWO COLONIES IN CALIFORNIA

To test the hypothesis that Common Murres (Uria aalge) specialize on particular species and sizes of prey, we examined murre prey deliveries at two inaccessible colonies in California that are 490 km apart: Devil's Slide Rock and Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge. Prey items were identified by extracting still images of prey deliveries from digitally recorded high resolution video. Prey characteristics including fin placement and distance between fins were measured to enable prey identifications. Total length of prey was approximated in relation to adult bill length. If Common Murres were using specific species or sizes of prey we would expect similarities in species or size across spatial and temporal scales. Further, we expected that prey items brought to the colony by birds with chicks would be similar to prey items brought in by birds not rearing chicks (e.g., non-breeders and failed breeders). Data from 2006 and 2007 at Devil's Slide Rock are being compared to 2007 data from Castle Rock. In 2006 at Devil's Slide Rock, the majority of prey items consisted of northern anchovy with smaller numbers of salmonids, smelt species, Pacific sandlance and clupeids (Pacific sardine / herring). Preliminary analyses suggest that there was no difference in size of prey brought in by birds without chicks compared to prey carried by chick-rearing murres. Variance in prey species and size was greater for murres without chicks than for chick-rearing murres. Results will be compared between years and colonies to further investigate whether murres are specializing on particular species and sizes of prey.


(HS) Eun Kim, Chi, Michael Cardenas, and Ricardo Martinez

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS ON CREATING CHANGE IN CONSERVATION BEHAVIORS

The environment is affected by the actions we take and our actions are influenced by the many outside forces we encounter. What these "outside forces" may consist of can range from your mother to the media, both of which affect us deeply (perhaps more so than we are comfortable with). A particular influence we focused on for our project was Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in the form of advertisement-like posters. But instead of selling a product with our PSAs, our intent is to sell the habit of recycling. These PSAs will be directed toward a select group of Pajaro Valley High School students whose recycling habits will be evaluated before, after, and throughout the execution of our PSAs. If we find that our PSAs played part in improving those students' recycling habits, we hope to expand our recycling campaign throughout our entire school and increase the habit of recycling campus-wide. We could also extend the influence of our PSAs into our community to improve recycling habits on a larger scale. Further, we could use the influence of PSAs to aid other issues such as water conservation, human trafficking, pollution and et cetera.


Field, John

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

THE APPLICATION OF MOLECULAR METHODS FOR IMPROVING THE TAXONOMIC RESOLUTION OF JUMBO SQUID PREDATION (DOSIDICUS GIGAS) ON ROCKFISH OFF OF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

In the California Current, jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) have been shown to feed on juvenile and adult groundfish, including rockfish (Sebastes spp.), Pacific hake, and small flatfish. However, many of the rockfish prey items cannot be identified to the species level, as squid often do not consume the heads, and consequently the otoliths, of larger prey. As the continued presence of squid has the potential to effect substantial change on Central California food webs, identification of those species most vulnerable to predation will improve the estimation of the impacts of this predator on the ecosystem. We report the results of an initial attempt to develop prey identification to the species level for prey remains collected from jumbo squid off of Central California, most within the waters of the three Central California National Marine Sanctuaries. The approach compares the genotype of an unknown individual at six nuclear microsatellite loci to a reference data set of genotypes from 33 Sebastes species commonly found off of Central California. Although degradation prevented identification of all samples, this approach can aid in the identification of prey to the species level when morphological approaches are not possible.


(HS) Franck, David, William Lawton, and Nick Kallioinen

Watershed Academy, San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

ARE RIPARIAN BIRD POPULATIONS DECLINING?

We have been monitoring riparian bird populations at the Covered Bridge Park in Felton since the end of September 2007. We are documenting the native bird populations to determine if they are remaining stable. We believe that the native riparian bird populations are declining. Almost every Sunday, we meet at the park early in the morning and walk a predetermined loop for 20 minutes, observing and noting bird sightings and calls. We use binoculars to observe birds and behavior and an anemometer/temperature gauge to record abiotic conditions. We have noted exotic species of birds at our site, the European starlings and large raven populations which based on anecdotal evidence have been increasing. Ravens are noted nest robbers. We also noted the decrease in Bushtit populations concurrent with brush clearing and habitat disruption at our site. We will compare our data from this year to previous year's data to determine stability of riparian bird populations. In California, riparian bird populations have been decreasing. We wish to acknowledge the help of our mentor, James Von Hendy in this study.


Garcia-Reyes, M., and J. Largier

Bodega Marine Lab, UC Davis

COASTAL UPWELLING AND CLIMATE CHANGE USING 25 YEARS OF DATA FROM CENTRAL CALIFORNIA NDBC BUOYS (POINT REYES TO SAN FRANCISCO)

Patterns of change in the coastal upwelling events are investigated in order to detect any climate change signal. The region, however, is greatly influenced by two sources of climate variability: El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The influence of these natural climate cycles is so big that the small long-term climate change signal is difficult to assess. In this work, we estimate the influence of each climate cycle and compare it with the apparent climate change influence. Overall, during these 25 years an increase in the wind stress along the coast can be seen off Bodega Bay and San Francisco, but a decrease off Point Reyes. However, the sea surface temperature has decreased at all these sites. These results must be interpreted with caution as a shift in the North Pacific regime and the strong El Niño in '97-'98 may bias the calculation of these trends.


(G) Gibble, Corinne M., Hannah Nevins, and Elizabeth Phillips

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
California Department of Fish and Game Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, Santa Cruz, CA

CALIFORNIA CENTRAL COAST MARINE BIRD HEALTH STUDY

The Central Coast Marine Bird Heath Study (CCMBHS) is based out of California Department of Fish and Game Marine Wildlife and Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz, CA. This study collaborates with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and aims to supply a quantitative demographic assessment of disease and other mortality factors affecting seabird populations in California. CCMBHS supplements existing beach survey programs, cultivates collaboration among scientists and rehabilitation centers, and provides a regional information center for federal state and local resource managers. Seabirds are important indicators for environmental change and marine ecosystem healthy. CCMBHS focuses on identifying and quantifying mortality events, species- specific disease factors, body condition and histology by conducting necropsies on specimens collected from beach survey programs, rehabilitation centers and state and federal resource agencies. Field investigation to measure baseline health, entanglement of wild seabirds and chronic oiling are also conducted. In 2007 alone, there were two unusual investigated seabird mortality events: The Common Murre (Uria aalge) wreck of March 2007, and the Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) mortality event of July 2007.


Gomez K.

California State University Monterey Bay

GEOMORPHIC CHANGE DETECTION IN THE MONTEREY SUBMARINE CANYON PART II: INVESTIGATION OF BATHYMETRIC ANOMALY ON THE NORTH RIM

Previous work within the Monterey Canyon has revealed that there is active sediment erosion and deposition causing geomorphic changes within the canyon. However, little is known about a funnel shaped bathymetric anomaly on the shelf near the canyon head along the north rim . This narrow end of this anomaly appears to be directly connected to the canyon. The purpose of this study was to determine if the anomaly is as dynamic as the canyon itself and if it is changing on the same time scale as the rest of the canyon head. To evaluate the dynamics of the anomaly, the Seafloor Mapping Class at California State University, Monterey Bay conducted a hydrographic survey of the area. Using multibeam bathymetry, sub-bottom profiling, sidescan sonar and ground truthing the students were able to characterize the physical nature of the anomaly in contrast to the surrounding seafloor, and determine that is has not changed significantly over the past decade.


(HS) Gonzalez-Rocha, Liliana, Yvonne Victoria Guzman, and Julie Diaz

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

OUR EFFECT ON THE WATERSHED: A STUDY OF NUTRIENTS IN THE TEMBLADERO SLOUGH

What's the connection between the watershed and your grades? Not caring about the watershed is like not caring about your grades; it eventually catches up to you. Our concern is for people to understand how important the watershed really is. Our question is, "How do we affect a watershed?". To answer our question, we are working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) staff to test water in the Tembladero Slough. We will answer our question by testing water and analyzing the data. These results will be presented by a website containing a brief background history of the sites visited, data collected and analyzed, pictures, maps, graphs, and a short documentary explaining the process. We are hoping that by providing this information, people will have a better understanding about how important the watershed is to every day life.


(G) Grant, Nora

Moss Landing Marine Labs, Moss Landing, CA

FLOW THROUGH ZOSTERA MARINA (EELGRASS) CANOPIES, THE SPECIES ASSEMBLAGE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR HABITAT USE IN ELKHORN SLOUGH, CA.

Seagrass beds are known to alter hydrodynamics of the water column by dampening flow within the bed, increasing current velocity over the bed, and increasing turbulence within the bed. These processes can have both positive and negative effects on the plants and animals of the seagrass assemblage. The goal of this study was to determine the role of Zostera marina in habitat provisioning in Elkhorn Slough, CA through laboratory and field investigations. A salt-water flume was used to measure flow within Zostera beds at three densities and four flow velocities. Velocity inside the bed, diffusivity of particles through the bed, and blade angle were quantified using video analysis. In the field, the average density of fish and invertebrate species was measured using a 1-m3 throw trap. Three habitats were sampled with the throw trap; Zostera marina, algae (predominantly Ulva sp.) and bare substrate. Flume experiments revealed that velocity was dampened at low and medium densities, diffusivity was greatest at slow flow and in the high-density bed, and blade angle was most extreme at high flow velocity for all densities tested. To date, fishes caught in Zostera are mostly juveniles, and the invertebrates found in Zostera are potential food items for those fishes based upon published diet data. Combined results suggest Zostera has the potential to serve multiple habitat functions in Elkhorn Slough such as; refuge from flow, nursery habitat or trophic subsidy to those species using the habitat.


(G) Green, Kristen (1) and Rick Starr (1,2)

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. University of California Sea Grant

MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF BLACK ROCKFISH (SEBASTES MELANOPS) FROM AN ACOUSTIC MONITORING STUDY IN CARMEL BAY, CALIFORNIA

The black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) is an important component of the nearshore recreational fishery on the central coast of California. We designed a study to determine the home range, site fidelity, and daily and seasonal movement patterns of black rockfish. In Carmel Bay from August - October 2006, we surgically implanted sonic transmitters in 13 female black rockfish, ranging in size from 29 to 42 cm (TL), and 7 male black rockfish ranging in size from 29 to 35 cm (TL). Tagged fish were released in a 3 km by 5 km area in Carmel Bay that contains an array of 30 moored acoustic receivers. The sonic transmitters emit sound pulses containing information about each tagged fish, including date, time of day, and depth, which are recorded by the acoustic receivers in the study area. Acoustic receivers are retrieved and downloaded every six months by a team of SCUBA divers. Preliminary data analyses indicate that black rockfish tagged in the study exhibited strong site fidelity within the study array. Fifteen of the twenty tagged fish were detected almost continuously in the array. Four fish were detected in the array only in the first four to eight months of the study. One fish was detected for just one month. Data collected in this study will be useful for developing management strategies for fishes such as the black rockfish, especially with respect to the design and monitoring of MPAs.


(HS) Hernandez-Lopez, Andrea

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

POLLUTANTS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON SEA OTTERS

Program Behavior indicates many things. It indicates emotion, and sometimes it can point out problems. How can we use behavior as an indicator to find solutions? The question I have prepared is, "How can sea otter behavior point out problems in the environment?" By finding out this information, we can find out how this can tie in with pollution, such as oil, as well as cat feces that causes Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite which leads to Toxoplasmosis, a disease that can kill sea otters. I'll be observing the captive sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and documenting their behavior. The main audiences for this question are the cat owners and car owners of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. I intend to inform the citizens in our communities about these local problems. I will be making a Fotonovela, a graphic novel, which will include a story of photos that will show how Toxoplasmosis affects sea otters. I will also create a brochure that will teach car owners that improper disposal of oil affects sea otters.


Jahncke, Jaime (1), M. Elliott (1), B.L. Saenz (2), M.D. Galbraith (3) and W.J. Sydeman (1)

1. PRBO Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA
2. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
3. Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C., Canada

CANADA CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND ZOOPLANKTON IN THE GULF OF THE FARALLONES-CORDELL BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES, CALIFORNIA

The purpose of this study is to determine how zooplankton, particularly euphausiids (krill), varies in relation to ocean climate variability. We test the hypothesis that upwelling provides conditions conducive for E. pacifica (the more oceanic species) to move onto to the continental shelf where they become abundant and available to predators. To test this hypothesis we conducted research cruises in the Gulf of the Farallones since 2004. We characterized the physical oceanography using CTDs, and determined zooplankton abundance and species composition using hydroacoustics and nets, respectively. We found differences in community composition of zooplankton captured in the upper water column between 2004 and 2005-2006 using hoop nets (Primer 5, ANOSIM, p<0.001). About 60% of the differences in community composition among years were explained by decreased abundances of Copepods, Chaetognaths and Hydrozoans. We found an apparent decrease in density of krill aggregations, and an increase in overall zooplankton backscatter between 2005 and 2006. We believe the 2006 backscatter increase is due to the replacement of krill by less energy-dense (and more acoustically reflective) salps and other gelatinous zooplankton. Age class composition of krill collected from 2004 to 2006 using Tucker trawls changed among years. Euphausia pacifica samples suggest a decrease in abundance of adults and increase in juveniles in spring 2005. Both species showed declines in adults and increase in immatures in 2006. This study illustrates the dynamic nature of the zooplankton community that can change drastically in response to climate, resulting in negative effects on higher trophic levels.


Jessop, Mark, Kerrie Pipal, and Peter Adams

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

A DECISION SUPPORT TOOL FOR ASSESSING DUAL FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION SONAR (DIDSON) STEELHEAD (ONCORHYNCHUS MYKISS) ESCAPEMENT DATA

Dual frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) has been used to estimate chinook and sockeye salmon escapements in Alaska with great success. DIDSON is a multi-beam sonar that produces near video quality images in turbid water or low light conditions, allowing the user to determine fish passage, size, and direction of travel. The previous studies in Alaska involved estimating escapement for relatively large populations (n>5000), where a certain amount of error was acceptable. However, when applying this technology to small populations (n<100) of ESA-listed steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in coastal streams of California, it is extremely important to have precise escapement estimates. Differentiating between juvenile and adult fish and between fish that are migrating versus those which are simply milling is critical when estimating overall escapement. We have developed a decision support tool to help standardize the process of assigning status to the size of fish and their movement upstream or downstream. Utilizing fish size, elapsed time, and distinctive behavioral characteristics, the tool allows the user to compare upstream and downstream migrants and assign migratory status to individual fish. The support tool was applied to eight days of DIDSON data collected in 2006 from the San Lorenzo River near Santa Cruz, California. The DIDSON data were then compared to counts from a fish trap located 180m upstream. The decision support tool yielded 46 upstream migrating steelhead compared to 46 caught in the trap. Key words: DIDSON, steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss, escapement, sonar


Jones, Andrew W. (1), Sean A. Hayes (1) Alison L. Collins (1,2) and Morgan H. Bond (1)

1. NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA
2. University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

SPAWNING GROUND SURVEYS AS A TOOL FOR MONITORING CENTRAL COAST SALMONID ESCAPEMENT

Knowledge of annual adult escapement is a key for monitoring the status of central California's imperiled salmonid evolutionarily significant units. However cost often prohibits generating a precise estimate. Spawning ground surveys have emerged as an economical method for estimating adult salmonid escapement. To test if methods developed in coastal northern California could be transferred in central California we compared a redd area based estimate to a traditional weir based mark-recapture method. Differences in escapement estimates for steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in 2007 were statistically insignificant. Additionally, a comparison of redd microhabitat characteristics of central coast steelhead to those from other parts of the state show little variation in key statistics such as redd size and run timing. These similarity indicate that the stratified index redd area method developed for discriminating redd species and estimating escapement in northern California should also work in our local streams. In summary, redd surveys may be a viable option to monitor adult salmonid populations in several watersheds simultaneously, where the time and expense of running a full trapping stations are prohibitive.


(G) Kahn, A.S. (1), K.L. Smith, Jr. (2), and H.A. Ruhl (2)

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

EFFECT OF CLIMATE AND FOOD SUPPLY ON ABUNDANCE AND SIZE OF TWO BENTHIC SPONGES IN THE ABYSSAL NORTHEAST PACIFIC

Two deep-sea hexactinellid sponges, Bathydorus sp. and an undescribed sponge of subfamily Euplectellinae, have densities of tens to hundreds per hectare and provide areas of dense spicule habitat for other fauna. Sponge abundance and average size were analyzed at Station M (4,100 m depth) over a seventeen-year time-series using camera sled transects. The two sponge taxa had similar variations in abundance and average body size over time, suggesting that the same factors may control the demographics of both species. Peaks in significant cross correlations between increases in particulate organic carbon flux and corresponding increases in sponge abundance occurred with a time lag of 13 months. Also, a correlation between sponge abundance and the Northern Oscillation Index occurred with a time lag of 19 months. Higher sponge abundance was positively correlated with smaller sponge size, suggesting new recruitment or regeneration of persistent sponge cells. The results also support previous suggestions that increased POC flux may induce recruitment or regeneration in deep-sea sponges. It is unknown whether the appearance of young individuals results from recruitment, regeneration, or both; ongoing research will use genetic markers to test these alternatives.


(G) Kline, Donna (1), James Lindholm (1), Ashley Knight (1), Michael Domeier (2)

1. Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, California State University Monterey
Bay, Seaside, CA
2. Marine Conservation Science Institute, Fallbrook, CA

MONITORING KELP BASS (PARALABRAX CLATHRATUS) MOVEMENT AT THE ANACAPA ISLAND STATE MARINE RESERVE AND CONSERVATION AREA USING PASSIVE ACOUSTIC TRACKING: ASSESSING EFFICACY FOR POPULATION PROTECTION AND POTENTIAL FOR FISHERY SPILLOVER

Understanding fish movement behavior, at multiple time and spatial scales, is key when designing reserves for both protection and fishery enhancement. We used acoustic telemetry to study kelp bass (Paralabrax clathratus Serranidae) movement in and around a designated marine protected area in the northern Channel Islands, California. A fixed array of acoustic receivers deployed in two concentric circles surrounding Anacapa Island adjacent to the shoreline recorded the presence of forty-five kelp bass surgically tagged with coded acoustic transmitters between June 2004 and September 2006. Site fidelity patterns and movement behavior were highly variable. At the scale of days, three kelp bass (7% of those detected) exhibited very high site fidelity to the island (recorded in >80% of 1-hour time bins), while 34 fish (76%) were detected in less than 20% of 1-hour time bins. A total of 29 fish departed permanently from the array due to death, capture, or actual departure. Thirteen of the remaining 16 fish were detected sporadically, and 3 almost continuously throughout the 18-month battery life of their tags. Fish were detected most consistently from late spring through early fall (April through October). Twenty-four fish tagged in June or July departed either permanently, or for extended periods, at the end of the spawning season in late fall of each year. These results suggest that the kelp bass population in the northern Channel Islands may have both resident and transient components with potential for both protection and fishery enhancement under the current MPA network design.


(G) Knight, A. (1), J. Lindholm (1), J. de Marignac (2), J. Hinkle (1), A.J. Cecchettini (1), and A. DeVogelaere (2)

1. Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
2. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network, Monterey, CA

USE OF A TOWED VIDEO CAMERA SLED TO ASSES SCALES OF HABITAT AND ORGANISM ASSEMBLAGES IN MPAS: IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING

In September 2007, a network of twenty-nine state-designated marine protected areas (MPAs) was implemented along California's central coast, twenty-three of which fall within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Critical to the success of these state and federal managed areas is the understanding and evaluation of the ecosystem properties within their boundaries. Little is known about the spatial and temporal distributions of habitat, fish, and invertebrate assemblages present in these new protected areas and in the Sanctuary as a whole. Additionally, technologies to sample marine ecosystems must be matched to the questions that are asked. To address this need for information within the MPAs and the Sanctuary, a towed camera sled system was used to record video transects inside and adjacent to four of the new MPAs. Video data will be used to 1) quantify the distribution and abundance of fish and invertebrate assemblages relative to the distribution of seafloor habitats; and 2) investigate the ability of the camera sled to conduct transects over varying habitats and rugosity. These data will support the site-characterization effort in MBNMS and provide baseline data collection for long-term monitoring in the MPAs. Additionally, the data collection and analysis protocols developed in this study can be used to inform future sampling efforts in MPAs, MBNMS, and for the Sanctuary Program in general.


Krigsman, Lisa and Susan Sogard

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

GROWTH RATES OF JUVENILE ROCKFISH WITHIN MONTEREY BAY

Little is currently known about the habitat requirements for juvenile rockfish (YOY and year-1+), particularly those that reside in deeper habitats than their adult counterparts. From 2004-2006 two different techniques were used to assess the distribution and abundance of post-settlement juvenile rockfish within the Monterey Bay. Traps were set in different substrate types and trawls were conducted in shallow (20-60 m) and deep (60-100 m) soft bottom habitats. Differences were seen 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. The two most abundant species from these sampling years were stripetail (Sebastes saxicola) and halfbanded (S. semicinctus) rockfish. To better understand and describe essential fish habitat for these fish, we analyzed incremental growth on otoliths from YOY and age 1+ fish collected at different locations within the Monterey Bay. We compared spatial patterns in recent growth with patterns in fish abundance and microhabitats.


Kvitek*, Rikk G. (1), Guy R. Cochrane (2), Edward J. Saade (3), and H. Gary Greene (4)

1. Seafloor Mapping Lab, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
2. U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Science, Santa Cruz, CA
3. Fugro Pelagos Inc., San Diego, CA
4. Center for Habitat Studies, Moss Landing Marine Labs, Moss Landing, CA

CALIFORNIA STATE WATERS SEAFLOOR MAPPING PROGRAM: SUCCESS OF A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH

In 2006, the state of California initiated the first phase of a comprehensive seafloor mapping program designed to ultimately cover the remaining 9000 km2 of unmapped state waters (3 nm - shore). The purpose of the mapping campaign is to create a high-resolution base map of all seafloor habitats and geological features within the California's 3 nautical mile state waters boundary. Although the impetus for this mapping campaign has been driven largely by the need to support the state's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPA): aiding in the selection and design of Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) along the Central California Coast, the state-wide base map being created will enable unprecedented seafloor change detection studies required to address a variety of coastal ocean management issues including: Coastal Erosion, Ecosystem Based Management, Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards, Seafloor Debris and Derelict Fishing Gear, and Submerged Archaeological Sites. This collaborative partnership involving industry (Fugro Pelagos Incorporated), university (California State University, Monterey Bay and Moss Landing Marine Labs) and resource agency (U. S. Geological Survey and California Geological Survey) participation has been supported by the California Ocean Protection Council, the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Geological Survey, and the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. Here we present the approaches taken and some of the results for the now completed Phase I and II coverage from Ano Nuevo to Point Arena.


Laidig, Tom

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

WHO'S THEIR DADDY?

Many species go through changes in their lives. This poster depicts the changes in coloration of juvenile and adult rockfishes occurring in the Monterey Bay.

Match the juvenile of each species with the corresponding adult species.


Lindholm, James (1), Ashley Knight (1), Donna Kline (1), and Michael Domeier (2)

1. Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, Division of Science and Environmental Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
2. Marine Conservation Science Institute, Fallbrook, CA

RESERVE-SPECIFIC MOVEMENTS OF EXPLOITED FISHES IN CALIFORNIA'S CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Understanding how coastal fishes move among California's Channel Islands and across the boundaries of marine reserves is critical for understanding how well the new State Marine Reserves are achieving their conservation and management goals. Beginning in 2000, we surgically tagged 224 fish with coded acoustic transmitters and subsequently monitored the movements of those fish with 98 acoustic receivers deployed on the seafloor around five of the Islands and along the mainland. We tagged California sheephead and kelp bass to investigate their movements relative to the boundaries of the Anacapa State Marine Reserve (SMR). We tagged giant sea bass prior to the designation of the reserves to investigate inter-island movement and movement between the islands and the mainland. Ninety-three percent of sheephead tagged within the reserve never left, while 7% crossed the eastern boundary of the reserve into areas open to fishing - forays that lasted less than 24 hours. Fifty-four percent of kelp bass were recorded primarily within the reserve. However, 8 fish made permanent departures from the reserve, and 27 fish were recorded only briefly at the Island before departing for the duration of the study. Giant sea bass tagged at Anacapa Island were regularly recorded from Santa Rosa Island in the north to Catalina Island in the south, as well as Point Dume on the mainland. Despite this large recorded range, 25% of giant sea bass detections were recorded within the reserves in the northern Channel Islands, indicating that the reserves protect areas frequented by giant sea bass.


Lindholm, James, Matthew Subia, Katie Glitz, Kirstie Goodman-Rendall, and Ashley Knight

Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, Division of Science and Environmental Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

EFFICACY OF A NO-TAKE MARINE RESERVE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY AS DETERMINED BY ACOUSTIC TELEMETRY

The largely sedentary behavior of many fishes on coral reefs is well established. However, information on the movement behavior of individual fish continues to be limited. Until recently, the difficulties in following individual fish for extended periods of time made precise quantification of fish movement rates one of the most difficult demographic parameters to assess. Thus with respect to many species, even those for which a great deal of biological data are available, fundamental questions remain as to the movement patterns of individuals at all size classes. However, it is precisely this information that will be vital for the conservation and management of coral reef fishes, particularly where spatial management measures (such as marine reserves) are under consideration. In November 2005, we surgically-tagged thirty-six coral reef fish with coded acoustic transmitters and monitored their movements with a fixed receiver array for more than 1.5 years. Black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) blue parrotfish (Scarus coeruleus), and hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus).were captured and released at Conch Reef in the northern Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during a saturation mission to the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory. Daily movements were plotted for each individual fish relative to the boundaries of the Conch Reef Sanctuary Preservation Area and Research Only Area and a vulnerability ratio was calculated for individuals and species. Results suggest that the reserve encompasses a significant portion of the ambits of each fish, though regular movements across the boundaries occurred for both black grouper and blue parrotfish.


(HS) Lopez, Cristal, Omar Martinez, Alexis Zarate, Heber Martinez

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

FROM WATSONVILLE TO HAWAII: YOUR CONNECTION TO MARINE DEBRIS

The oceans provide us food and water; we need these resources to survive. That is why we need to take care of our oceans. With our project we want to educate our audience about the process of marine debris getting into the oceans through the watershed. Our audiences are the advisory classes from Pajaro Valley High School. We'd like to change some of their impact on how much trash is in the school as well as how much of that trash goes into the ocean. As part of our projects, we are dissecting albatross boluses and sampling local beaches. We will show the classes what we have done with the boluses and show them all the plastic that has been inside the albatross. We will also show them pictures and videos of the field research we did at Sunset, Palm and Zmudowski State Beaches and of us working with the boluses. Our mentor Hannah Nevins, a scientist from Moss Landing Marine Labs, will guide us through with information since she is an expert with marine birds and how they are affected by marine debris. As another component of our project we will compose a Fotonovela, to show advisory classes what our results were in our project. The question can change people's impact in a positive way to let them know how they're affecting the environment and how it can relate to them, as well as helping the oceans.


McGann, Mary (1), Robert C. Vrijenhoek (2), and Shannon Johnson (2)

1. U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA

THE EFFECT OF TWO RECENT WHALE FALLS ON FORAMINIFERAL ASSEMBLAGES IN MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA

The remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) Ventana of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) visited a whale carcass known as "Puppy" on February 12, 2007, about one week after it was sunk in 381 m of water in Monterey Bay, California (36°47'24.38"N, 121°53'13.83"W). Video observation of the whale fall showed it was in the first stage of decomposition (i.e., the mobile-scavenger stage), with abundant amphipods and hagfish surrounding the carcass. A 21-cm push core (Dive V2969, PC11) was taken at the whale fall to analyze the response of foraminifers to this transient food source. Surface sediments from this core contained a foraminiferal assemblage overwhelmingly dominated by Epistominella pacifica (88%, 91% of which were alive) in contrast to downcore and nearby "background" samples with only 15-35% E. pacifica, with one-quarter to one-third alive. On April 11, 2007, another whale ("Pebbles") was sunk to a depth of 632 m in Monterey Bay (36°48'8.20"N, 121°59'38.97"W) and visited by MBARI's ROV Tiburon on December 18, 2007. A push core obtained under this carcass (Dive T1160, PC45) was also analyzed for foraminifers. Again, the core-top assemblage was dominated by E. pacifica (71%), compared to a species abundance of only 11% at 12-15 cm downcore. No endemic species were found at either of these sites. These whale falls show a dramatic increase in abundance of E. pacifica in the core-top sediments. This suggests that E. pacifica is an opportunistic species which is able to reproduce quickly in the presence of a short-term food source.


(G) McKay, Mark C.

Delta VISTA Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education
Mississippi State University Geoscience Department

TEACHING CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) USING THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY AS A MODEL.

This poster session will discuss researched performed on the usefulness of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) in teaching Climate change and Conservation Biology. The poster session will focus on two major components. The first component deals with the effectiveness of teaching and using GIS in High School Marine and Environmental Science programs. Delta VISTA Academy, a part of the larger Venture Academy Charter school requires one year of training in GIS for all of its graduates. This eventually will be leading to a GIS certification program. This poster will report on how effective the GIS training has been on students attending the academy. The second component will deal with research students and faculty of the academy has performed in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary concerning climate change using GIS and satellite models. Students, using skills derived from their GIS and GPS training and Marine and Environmental Science classes have been able to correlate the effects f climate change on habitats in the sanctuary. The use of GIS has allowed for a powerful display of what is happening in the sanctuary area. Faculty and Student data will be presented with the poster.


Nevins*, Hannah (1), Jim Harvey (1), Jean de Marignac (2), Elizabeth Phillips (1), Corinne Gibble (1), Dave Jessup (3), and Jack Ames (3)

1. Beach COMBERS, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
3. Department of Fish and Game, Marine Wildlife Veterinarian Care and Research Center, Santa Cruz, CA

CHANGES IN MARINE BIRD DEPOSITION IN THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, 1997 - 2007.

Natural or human-caused changes in the global marine environment may result in fluctuations in local marine productivity and impact the distribution and mortality of top predators such as seabirds and marine mammals. Since 1997, we have conducted Coastal Ocean Marine Bird and Mammal Education and Research Surveys (BeachCOMBERS) to monitor monthly changes in beached birds and mammals in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Using standardized survey methods, we have obtained baseline rates of deposition (birds km-1mo.-1) of beached birds and identified unusual mortality events. We maintain a network of scientists, researchers and resource managers to enable early detection and investigation of mortality events. Mortality events have been related to human activities (e.g. fishery bycatch, oil spills) and natural phenomena (e.g. starvation, Domoic acid events). During recent years (2005 to present), the frequency and severity of mortality events has increased. We documented changes in trends in deposition of resident species, including Common Murre (Uria aalge) and Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicullatus); and migratory species, including Sooty Shearwaters (Puffinus griseus), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), loons (Gavia spp.), grebes (Aechmophorus spp.), and gulls (Larus spp.).


(G) Osiadacz, Maria H. (1), Arlene Guest (2), and Sophie DeBeukelaer (3)

1) Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA
2) Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
3) Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA

ANALYZING KELP FLUCTUATIONS IN MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Using GIS The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), one of the world's most productive marine ecosystems, supports extensive kelp forests. Kelp surface canopies are present along almost the entire sanctuary, but the size and diversity of these resources vary from year to year due to a variety of complex environmental influences. To reduce negative impacts and help manage kelp ecosystems, it is necessary to accurately assess canopy coverage in large areas over long periods of time. ArcGIS is an effective tool that provides a method to objectively determine kelp coverage using aerial imagery of coastal kelp resources within the sanctuary. Infrared images of the kelp canopy from 1999 and 2000 were geo-referenced using ArcGIS 9.2. Then the signature of the kelp was extracted as a feature, and the canopy surface area, spatial extent, and relative density index determined. The data derived from these layers may be integrated with GIS layers developed by the California Department of Fish and Game from surveys conducted in 1989, 1999, and 2002-2005, and used to update the persistence and total extent kelp layers. The new spatial datasets can be integrated with other GIS layers to explore biological, chemical and physical factors that impact kelp resource fluctuations. In addition, this analysis can provide a historical perspective that will help examine the effects of human induced climate change on kelp forests and provide a baseline for research in the newly adopted Marine Protected Areas.


(G) Perlman, Benjamin M.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

PREDICTING HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS FROM THE PECTORAL AND CAUDAL FIN ASPECT RATIOS OF SURF PERCHES (EMBIOTOCIDAE)

The dynamics of different swimming modes of fishes may constrain their ecology. Two labriform modes used by embiotocids are flapping and rowing. Flapping has a dorso-ventral thrust generation as rowing is in the antero-posterior direction. Extrapolating from the literature, I expect that flappers have a high fin aspect ratio whereas rowers have low aspect ratios. This study was conducted to determine if morphological aspects of the pectoral and caudal fins of embiotocids were correlated with habitat associations. I used 19 species of embiotocids with three replicates per species and placed them into 7 different habitat types, ranging from calm to high wave-swept areas, chosen based upon literature describing where the 19 species are primarily found. Angle of the fin base with the long axis of the body was measured to infer flapping versus rowing. The aspect ratios were calculated by measuring the length and surface area of the fins (L2/SA) using the Image J program. Only flat fins on the left side of the body of preserved specimens were used. Pectoral fin aspect ratio was not correlated with the fin base angle. The pectoral fin aspect ratio was positively correlated with habitat when ordered from calmer to more wave-swept areas, as expected. Caudal fin aspect ratio was much more variable, along with no trends in fin aspect ratio versus phylogeny. Species can change how they use their fins, making morphology alone a poor predictor of function.


Phillips*, Elizabeth M., and Hannahrose M. Nevins

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA

MODELING OILING MORTALITY IMPACTS ON COMMON MURRE (URIA AALGE) IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

A combination of mortality factors including chronic oiling, gill netting, and oceanographic variability are thought to be preventing population recovery of Common Murre (Uria aalge), which is 10% of historic estimates. We modeled the effects of oil spill-related mortality on the central California murre population growth rate using a stage-based, deterministic population matrix. We obtained parameters from published reports to obtain data including annual population size estimates, survivorship among age classes, number of chicks fledged, estimates of low levels of chronic oiling mortality, and mortality associated with large scale oil spills. We used this model to analyze population trajectories and predict impacts of low-level chronic oiling (1 to 15% per annum) and catastrophic oil spill mortality (>20% per annum, once every 20 years) on population growth rates. Results indicated that population growth is expected to be approximately 4 % annually. The model predicted that chronic oiling rates greater than approximately 2.5% per annum have the potential to be detrimental to population growth. Additionally, the model indicates that periodic catastrophic oil spills, even in the absence of chronic oiling, will slow population growth rates to those similar to currently observed trends in central California. This preliminary project provides researchers with a framework to develop more comprehensive predictive models to understand the complexities of population recovery and how future oil spill mortality will impact the recovering Common Murre population in Central California.


(G) Rivera, Samuel A., and Michael H. Graham

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

UPPER LIMIT OF NITRATE UPTAKE RATES IN PORPHYRA PERFORATA (RHODOPHYTA)

The use of aquacultured seaweeds as a biofilter to remediate nutrient rich agricultural run-off is important to the ecological sustainability of the world's ocean. Choice of appropriate seaweed species to use as biofilters should be based on nutrient uptake rates, biomass production and potential additional uses of the spent biofilter. This study tested the usefulness of the red alga Porphyra as a biofilter by estimating the maximum nitrate uptake rate and biomass production. Porphyra perforata was subjected to ten different nitrate concentrations ranging from low nitrate (23 µM) to highly eutrophied (1809 µM) for twenty-four hours. Nitrate uptake kinetics was estimated using the Michaelis-Menten function, and biomass production and carbon-nitrogen ratios were determined for whole tissues sampled at the end of the experiment. The results indicated that as the concentration of nitrate increased the nitrate uptake rates also increased to a saturation point of 673 µMg-1h-1 and then rapidly decreased to -6.82 µMg-1h-1 at the highest nitrate concentrations. Biomass production was highest at low nitrate concentrations whereas C:N was highest at intermediate nitrate concentrations, indicating different uses of N as a function of nitrate concentration. This experiment illustrates the potential remediatory properties of Porphyra and its use as a biofilter in aquaculture and eutrophic coastal waters.


(HS) Roma, Julia

Pajaro Valley High School
Monterey Bay Aquarium, WATCH (Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats) Program

THE WATCH PROGRAM AND YOU: USING MEDIA TO DOCUMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THE COMMUNITY

One of the reasons why people ignore environmental issues is because they don't know much about them. The question I propose is, How can PVHS students become aware of environmental issues in their community through student projects led by the WATCH program? This question led me to create a documentary to show PVHS students some of the environmental issues in the community. My documentary will show each individual project done by the WATCH students and the process they went through to get their question answered. It will also show how much fun they had and serve as an advertisement of some sorts that could potentially get other students to want to join the program. Even if students don't join, I at least hope to spark some interest and maybe help inspire others to do something positive for the environment.


Rundio, Dave, Tommy Williams, Steve Lindley, Kerrie Pipal, Mark Jessop, and Heidi Fish

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND ECOLOGY OF ONCORHYNCHUS MYKISS IN COASTAL BASINS IN BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA

This poster provides an overview of a series of studies we have been conducting on the population dynamics and ecology of threatened steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in basins along the Big Sur coast. The core project is a multi-year population study started in 2005 in the Big Creek basin where we have been using biannual mark-recapture electro-fishing surveys, PIT tagging, and stream-width and backpack PIT tag antennas to track the fates of individual fish throughout 2.7 km of stream habitat and passage to and from the marine environment. We are applying multi-strata robust design models to these data to estimate abundance, survival, recruitment, and transition rates among various strata (age or size classes and geographic locations) comprising the population. These estimates will be the basis for parameters in a stage-structured population model that will allow us to evaluate population dynamics, identify environmental factors driving them, and assess the importance of resident and anadromous life-history strategies to overall population viability. In related studies from 2004-2006, we have investigated the food web ecology of O. mykiss in Big Creek and other streams in Big Sur. These studies have revealed seasonal fluctuations in abundances of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate prey; variation in abundance and structure of stream invertebrate communities across Big Sur streams related to habitat conditions, including seasonal travertine crusts that form in some streams; that terrestrial invertebrates provide about half of the energy consumed by trout during the year; and that non-native terrestrial isopods are a dominant prey item in O. mykiss diets.


Siegler, K., B.S. Anderson, S.L. Clark, J.W. Hunt, B.M. Phillips, R.S. Tjeerdema, J.P. Voorhees, and R.W. Holmes

University of California Davis, Monterey, CA
Central Valley Regional Water Board, Rancho Cordova, CA

PYRETHROID PESTICIDES IN CALIFORNIA'S URBAN WATERWAYS: TOXICITY AFFECTED BY FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH CLIMATE CHANGE

The use of pyrethroid pesticides is increasing in both agricultural and urban areas of California. In 2004, over 280,000 pounds of pyrethroids were applied in orchards and row crops, and approximately 665,000 pounds were used for urban landscaping and control of termites and ants (CA DPR 2004). These synthetic organic contaminants associate with sediments, enter waterways as runoff, and can impact benthic communities and the wildlife they support. In order to assess the occurrence and biological significance of pyrethroids in urban creeks, laboratory toxicity tests were conducted using sediments from 30 sites receiving storm water runoff with previous indications of toxicity. Toxicity was assessed using the representative amphipod Hyalella azteca, and experiments were conducted at two temperatures (15°C and 23°C). Significant mortality was observed in most samples, and the magnitude of toxicity was greater at the cooler temperature of 15°C, a result consistent with toxicity due to pyrethroids. Chemical analysis showed that concentrations of pyrethroids in the sediments were high enough to have caused the observed toxicity. However, to determine the specific cause of sediment toxicity, toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) were conducted on four of the samples. TIEs are a series of sample manipulations that characterize and identify causes of toxicity when there may be more than one toxic compound present. The TIEs provided multiple lines of evidence that pyrethroids contributed significantly to the observed sediment toxicity. Climate change forecasts include increased insect activity and pesticide use, increased soil erosion and sediment transport, and region-specific increases or decreases in stream temperatures. The impacts of synthetic pyrethroids in the environment are subject to change with the climate based on increasing use, transport with suspended sediments, and toxicity affected by temperature.


Smith, Douglas

Science & Environmental Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

STORM-DRIVEN NATURAL BEACH REPLENISHMENT PROCESSES NEAR FORT ORD DUNES STATE PARK, CA

On January 5, 2008, a winter storm brought 6.5 cm of rain, 80 km/h winds, and 10 m swells to Fort Ord Dunes State Park in southern Monterey Bay. Early morning high tide (1.5 m) brought the pounding surf to the toe of the tall sea cliff initiating a two-hour long episode of spectacular sea-cliff retreat and attendant beach replenishment. Both still photos and movies captured slope failure at all scales that added an enormous volume of sand to the littoral zone. Before-after photo monitoring of the sea cliff face indicated that slope failure was wide spread. Before the storm the sea cliff had developed a 1 to 3 m deep "regolith" of loose sand that draped the slightly more resistant sandstone substrate. This apron of sand was at the angle of repose, poised for large-scale failure when high surf undermined the toe of the cliff. After the storm, the sandy regolith had failed in broad shallow sand slips and minor slumps, bringing new sand to the beach environment. The beach had steepened, and the intersection of the cliff face and active swash zone had risen several meters. Clumps of ice-plant and geomorphically similar points are used to match photo pairs. Previous studies have shown that the sea cliff along this stretch of coast retreats on average 2 m/yr (Smith et al., 2005), but does so during episodic high-magnitude oceanographic conditions (Thornton et al., 2006). Paradoxically, sea-cliff retreat is required for broad beaches in southern Monterey Bay.


(G) Spear B., D. Kline, R. Kvitek, and P. Iampietro

Seafloor Mapping Lab, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

TIME SERIES ANALYSIS OF TIDAL SCOUR IN ELKHORN SLOUGH: A POTENTIAL FOR DEPTH EQUILIBRIUM?

Over the past 100 years coastal marshes of California have diminished by 90%. Marsh loss along the main channel of Elkhorn Slough can be attributed to tidal scour resulting from introduction of the tidal prism following construction of Moss Landing Harbor in 1947. A series of bathymetric studies conducted between 1988 and 2001 documented Elkhorn Slough's loss of sediment and deepening thalweg resulting from increased tidal influence. Between 2001 and 2005, bi-annual multibeam sonar surveys were used to record and assess the changing nature of the Slough channel and evaluate its approach to a new equilibrium state. Throughout these time series analyses, an overall erosional state with deepening of the central channel along the thalweg has been noted. This study was conducted to extend the time series analysis and assess changes in erosion and deposition patterns along the Elkhorn Slough thalweg. Multibeam sonar data and ArcGIS analyses were used to examine distribution of bathymetric changes relative to previous surveys within six divisions of the Slough. We found that overall spatial patterns of erosion and deposition among Slough divisions were unchanged from previous surveys. The three divisions west of Parson's Slough mouth and Parson's Slough itself were erosional, while mid-slough divisions were dominated by deposition. However, spatial patterns of erosion along the thalweg west of Parsons' Slough mouth indicate that it is no longer deepening but may be widening or shifting. Continued net sediment loss implies that an equilibrium state at the current tidal exchange regime has not yet been achieved.


Starr, Rick (1), Dean Wendt (2), Noëlle Yochum* (1), Kristen Green (1), Leslie Longabach (2), Erin Nakada (2), Cathryn Lucas (1), Kristin Hunter-Thomson (1), Ashley Greenley (1), Michele Leary (3), David Lemon (4), Tom Mattusch (5), Sal Rocha (6), and Dustin Selck (7)

1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, University of California Sea Grant, Moss Landing, CA
2. San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA
3. Captain of the F/V Fiesta, Virg's Landing, Morro Bay, CA
4. Captain of the F/V Caroline, Chris' Fishing, Monterey, CA
5. Captain of the F/V Huli Cat, Huli Cat Sport Fishing & Charter Boat, Half Moon Bay, CA
6. Captain of the F/V Patriot, Patriot Sportfishing, Avila Beach, CA
7. Captain of the F/V Pacific Horizon, Patriot Sportfishing, Avila Beach, CA

COLLABORATIVE FISHING SURVEYS OF NEARSHORE FISHES IN AND NEAR CENTRAL CALIFORNIA MARINE PROTECTED AREAS

In September 2007, 29 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were established along the central California coast. We worked with the recreational fishing communities of Port San Luis, Morro Bay, Monterey and Half Moon Bay, California to develop monitoring protocols and collect baseline information for the newly established MPAs. In collaboration with charter boat skippers and volunteer anglers, we completed a total of 34 fishing trips in August, September and October 2007. Our objectives were to catch, tag, and release neashore fishes inside the Año Nuevo, Point Buchon and Point Lobos State Marine Reserves, and in corresponding reference sites. At each location sampled, experienced volunteer anglers fished with standardized gear for a specified amount of time. All caught fishes were subsequently measured, tagged with external T-bar anchor tags, and released at location of capture. We used a stratified random sampling design to determine sampling locations within the


Storlazzi, Curt D., Nadine E.Golden, and David P. Finlayson

U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA

VIEWS OF THE SEAFLOOR IN NORTHERN MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA

A hydrographic survey that produced unprecedented high-resolution images of the seafloor of northern Monterey Bay was conducted in 2005 and 2006. The survey, performed over fourteen days by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology Team, consisted of 172 tracklines and over 300 million soundings and covered an area of 12.2 square kilometers (4.7 square miles). The goals of this survey were to collect high-resolution bathymetry and acoustic backscatter of the inner shelf to provide a baseline for future change analyses, geologic mapping, sediment and contaminant transport studies, benthic habitat delineation, and numerical modeling efforts. The survey showed that the inner shelf in this area along this emergent, high-energy rocky coastline is extremely varied in nature, being characterized by a mosaic of flat sandy areas, boulder fields and complex bedrock ridges that support rich marine ecosystems. We interpret the distribution of littoral sediment and bedrock ridges along this coastline to be primarily controlled by the northwest-trending geologic and tectonic structure of the region. Furthermore, many of these complex bedrock ridges form the "reefs" that result in a number of California's classic surf breaks.


(HS) Townsend, Chad

San Lorenzo Valley High School, Felton, CA

IRON IN THE WATER SUPPLY: IS ONE FILTER SUFFICIENT?

I am monitoring a well that supplies drinking water to my community in Felton at Granite Construction's quarry. Iron levels have been an ongoing problem with the well. My objective is to ascertain if the levels of iron change and how well the iron is removed by the filtration system. I hypothesize that the water quality before and after filtration will change little and that the well's iron level will range from 3 to 6 ppm and the filter's effluent will range between .3 and 0 ppm. I am using a colorimeter once a week to measure iron content of well water before and after filtration. So far, the results have been within the predicted norms of my hypothesis with several exceptions. The results support my hypothesis and show that the filter is working well by consistently staying within the government dictated range (EPA standards of .01-.3 PPM).

I received help from Jane Orbuch, John Ekizian, Cary Townsend, Hugh Dalton, Howard Meyers, and San Lorenzo Valley High school.


(G) Watson, Jessica

Watershed Institute, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

THE LIFE HISTORY DYNAMICS OF COROPHIUM SPINICORNE IN THE CARMEL RIVER LAGOON

Corophium spinicorne is the primary food source for resident threatened steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Carmel Lagoon (Fields, 1984). This being the case, there is still little known about their life history dynamics. The life history dynamics of the amphipod C. spinicorne were analyzed from fifteen samples collected from the Odello arm of the Carmel lagoon on a weekly basis from June - September 2007. Approximately 2,000 individual C. spinicorne were measured and separated into three sector cohorts; juveniles, males, and females. C.spinicorne portrayed no change in length or population abundance over the course of the study among the entire population or within sectors. Fecundity correlated with the lunar cycle, suggesting that there may be a lunar influence. A post hoc exploratory analysis showed that there was a positive association between abundance of C. spinicorne and sandy bottom dominated habitats. A secondary water quality analysis found water quality to be independent of species abundance. Overall results suggest that C. spinicorne have a synchronous reproduction with a period much shorter than the longevity and strong habitat associations. These results relate to previous results by Larson et al. (2004-6) and Perry et al. (2007) that had extreme variations in abundances throughout their studies which motivated this study. The current study suggests that these variations might in fact be subtle habitat variations and consequently may be more important than short-term life-cycle dynamics.


Watters, Diana (1), Mary Yoklavich (1) and Milton Love (2)

1. NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA
2. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

MARINE DEBRIS IN DEEPWATER BENTHIC HABITATS OFF CALIFORNIA: IS THERE A PROBLEM?

Little is known about the extent of marine debris and its potential impacts to seafloor habitats in deep water (>30 m) despite the varied sources of debris that occur there (e.g. fishing and shipping). Over the last 15 years, we have surveyed groundfish assemblages and associated habitats in deep water (20-365 m) off California, using quantitative transects and direct observation methodologies from the Delta submersible and associated video footage. In addition to information on fishes, invertebrates, and seafloor habitats, we have noted the types and locations of derelict fishing gear and other marine debris found during these surveys. We compared the distribution, abundance, type, and potential impacts of marine debris found at offshore banks within the Cowcod Conservation Areas in southern California, and canyons and shelves in central California. Fishing was the primary source of debris at all three sites. At southern California banks, commercial fishing items (primarily longline) were most abundant, while recreational monofilament dominated the debris found at shelf and canyon sites off central California. Very few items were found to be actively fishing. Southern California debris primarily was composed of plastic, metal, and glass, while plastic was the dominant material in central California. The density of debris was much lower in southern California (0-3 items/100 m) than central California (0-11 items/100 m). Use of debris as habitat by fishes and invertebrates was very low at all three sites.


(G) Young, Mary A., Pat J. Iampietro, Rikk G. Kvitek

Seafloor Mapping Lab, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA

MULTIVARIATE LANDSCAPE PREDICTION MODELS OF ROCKFISH ABUNDANCE AND DISTRIBUTION IN CORDELL BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, CALIFORNIA, USA

The purpose of this study is to determine how accurately the distribution of three species of rockfish Sebastes flavidus (yellowtail), S. rosaceus (rosy), and S. elongatus (greenstriped)) can be modeled based on seafloor habitat parameters algorithmically derived from high-resolution acoustic remote sensing data. The general hypothesis is that because rockfish are not randomly distributed across habitats, it should be possible to model and predict their distribution from appropriately classified habitat maps. Autoclassification of multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data was used along with submersible video data of the seafloor and biology at Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. These results were compared to those relying on video observation alone. General Linear Models (GLMs) were created using habitat classification analyses of bathymetric digital elevation models and supervised texture classification from the backscatter mosaic along with the presence/absence points for the three species of rockfish. These GLMs proved efficient at predicting the distribution of S. rosaceus, S. flavidus, and S. elongatus with average accuracies of 81%(±10.5%), 76%(±17.8%), and 62%(±23.3%) respectively. When compared to the video results, GLMs were better at predicting the abundance of S. flavidus and S. rosaceus with percent errors of 16% and 13% respectively, compared to percent errors of 68% and 44% from the video analysis. Both methods yielded equivalent results for S. elongatus. These results indicate that the use of algorithmic habitat classification applied to high-resolution acoustic remote sensing data combined with in situ video observation of species habitat relationships can produce significantly more accurate models of species distributions and stock size than video observations alone.

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/research/currsymp2008/posters.html    Reviewed: March 04, 2014
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