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Fishes of the San Francisco Estuary: A Seascape Perspective

Seascape ecology is an emerging field that applies principles of landscape ecology to marine environments. For my dissertation research, I used long-term data on a fish assemblage in the Suisun Marsh, San Francisco Estuary, California, to answer the following questions:
(1) Do species exhibit ontogenetic or seasonal shifts in distribution?
(2) What are the relative effects of stationary habitat features, freshwater flows, and water-qualityconditions on fish abundance?

I found that ontogenetic habitat use related to spatially and temporally variable hydrologic conditions and stationary habitat features, particularly the interaction among them. Juvenile fish hotspots ranged from open water-dominated sloughs to shallow, sinuous channel networks connected to tidal marshes, managed tidal ponds, and/or uplands. This study provides empirical evidence in support of the “seascape nursery” hypothesis from Nagelkerken et al. (2015), whereby process-based nursery function appeared to result from multiple complex and interacting habitat patches and corridors along the estuarine-terrestrial gradient.

Speaker: Dr. Denise Colombano, University of California Davis

Wednesday, 05/01/19


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Estuary & Ocean Science Center

3152 Paradise Drive
Bay Conference Center, South Bay Room
Tiburon, CA 94920

Phone: 415-33803700
Website: Click to Visit