Proposed Abstract Title

Distribution of larval fishes throughout Puget Sound

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

General species and food webs

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Most marine fishes spend a period of their early life history as pelagic larvae, during which they are considered members of the zooplankton community. Pelagic larval fishes in coastal regions are known to form assemblages associated with environmental parameters such as wind, salinity, and temperature. In Puget Sound, a uniquely deep estuary, information about spatial and temporal distribution, abundance, and water conditions associated with fish larvae is almost completely unavailable. Larval fishes were sorted from plankton samples collected in April and May 2011 from 61 sites across Puget Sound. These samples were collected as part of a collaborative effort between the National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington Tribes, and several researchers at the University of Washington who aimed to describe the structure of the food web throughout Puget Sound’s nearshore habitat. Larvae were identified and rare taxa were excluded from analysis. Thirty taxonomic groups were identified in at least five percent of samples, including 20 at the species level, two at the generic level, and eight at the family level. Relative abundance was calculated for all taxa and no taxon was represented in more than 50 percent of samples. To better understand the temporal and spatial distribution of larval fishes throughout the sound, the following question was posed: Does month or basin explain the presence of a particular larval fish species. Generalized linear models (GLM’s) were built to predict the presence of three taxa (Clupea pallasii, Ammodytes personatus, and Platichthys stellatus) based on month and basin. Results suggest that May explained the absence of Clupea pallasii and Ammodytes personatus relative to April. Additionally, Rosario Basin explained the presence of Platichthys stellatus and South Basin explained the absence of Ammodytes personatus relative to the other basins. Future work will include multivariate analysis to incorporate environmental data.

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Distribution of larval fishes throughout Puget Sound

2016SSEC

Most marine fishes spend a period of their early life history as pelagic larvae, during which they are considered members of the zooplankton community. Pelagic larval fishes in coastal regions are known to form assemblages associated with environmental parameters such as wind, salinity, and temperature. In Puget Sound, a uniquely deep estuary, information about spatial and temporal distribution, abundance, and water conditions associated with fish larvae is almost completely unavailable. Larval fishes were sorted from plankton samples collected in April and May 2011 from 61 sites across Puget Sound. These samples were collected as part of a collaborative effort between the National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington Tribes, and several researchers at the University of Washington who aimed to describe the structure of the food web throughout Puget Sound’s nearshore habitat. Larvae were identified and rare taxa were excluded from analysis. Thirty taxonomic groups were identified in at least five percent of samples, including 20 at the species level, two at the generic level, and eight at the family level. Relative abundance was calculated for all taxa and no taxon was represented in more than 50 percent of samples. To better understand the temporal and spatial distribution of larval fishes throughout the sound, the following question was posed: Does month or basin explain the presence of a particular larval fish species. Generalized linear models (GLM’s) were built to predict the presence of three taxa (Clupea pallasii, Ammodytes personatus, and Platichthys stellatus) based on month and basin. Results suggest that May explained the absence of Clupea pallasii and Ammodytes personatus relative to April. Additionally, Rosario Basin explained the presence of Platichthys stellatus and South Basin explained the absence of Ammodytes personatus relative to the other basins. Future work will include multivariate analysis to incorporate environmental data.