Abstract Title

Session S-03A: Changes in Salish Sea Water Quality

Keywords

Marine Water Quality

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Puget Sound benthic infaunal invertebrate assemblages (benthos) have been sampled and characterized for eight regions and six urban bays as part of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) since 1997. A suite of structural abundance and diversity indices, and an overarching Benthic Index, have been applied to the benthos data to illustrate and interpret community condition both spatially and temporally throughout the Sound. In general, community composition varies between locations, and significant declines in condition have been observed for most of the resampled study areas. Relational analyses conducted on baseline data collected from 1997-1999 showed correspondence between community structure, station depth, and the related variables of sediment particle size and percent total organic carbon; however, no clear relationship was seen between community structure and levels of toxic contaminants in the sediments. To better understand the mechanisms driving community composition and its changes over time, feeding guild and functional role classifications have been assigned to 1,589 benthic taxa and applied to all benthos data. All benthos data collected from 1997-2012 have been reexamined to recharacterize the regional and urban bay benthic assemblages on a functional, rather than structural level. Relationships are examined between these functional measures of benthic assemblages and their associated suite of physical and chemical sediment measurements. Results will be discussed, along with a discussion of other environmental measures which may affect benthos community composition, including water column parameters, phytoplankton shifts, nutrient conditions, and chemicals of concern not currently measured by the PSEMP.

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Apr 30th, 3:30 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Characterizing changes in Puget Sound benthic infaunal invertebrate assemblages: A functional approach

Room 615-616-617

Puget Sound benthic infaunal invertebrate assemblages (benthos) have been sampled and characterized for eight regions and six urban bays as part of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) since 1997. A suite of structural abundance and diversity indices, and an overarching Benthic Index, have been applied to the benthos data to illustrate and interpret community condition both spatially and temporally throughout the Sound. In general, community composition varies between locations, and significant declines in condition have been observed for most of the resampled study areas. Relational analyses conducted on baseline data collected from 1997-1999 showed correspondence between community structure, station depth, and the related variables of sediment particle size and percent total organic carbon; however, no clear relationship was seen between community structure and levels of toxic contaminants in the sediments. To better understand the mechanisms driving community composition and its changes over time, feeding guild and functional role classifications have been assigned to 1,589 benthic taxa and applied to all benthos data. All benthos data collected from 1997-2012 have been reexamined to recharacterize the regional and urban bay benthic assemblages on a functional, rather than structural level. Relationships are examined between these functional measures of benthic assemblages and their associated suite of physical and chemical sediment measurements. Results will be discussed, along with a discussion of other environmental measures which may affect benthos community composition, including water column parameters, phytoplankton shifts, nutrient conditions, and chemicals of concern not currently measured by the PSEMP.