Presentation Title

Landscape and Seasonal Composition of Fish and Jellyfish Assemblages in Puget Sound Surface Waters, and Relationships to Lower Trophic Levels and Abiotic Attributes

Session Title

Session S-01D: Pelagic Ecology in the Salish Sea I

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Start Date

30-4-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2014 12:00 PM

Abstract

In Puget Sound, an oceanographically diverse and urbanized fjord estuary, understanding of pelagic ecology is poor, and systematic monitoring and assessment of living systems has long been neglected. As part of a project exploring assemblage composition of lower to middle trophic levels (microbes, phytoplankton, zooplankton, small pelagic fishes, and jellyfish) in surface waters across five oceanographic sub-basins of greater Puget Sound, we looked at biomass composition of fish and jellyfish assemblages, and related that structure to other trophic levels. In data from monthly sampling of 79 sites from April to October, 2011, biological composition differed geographically and seasonally but geographic differences were more distinct, and assemblage structure from each trophic level correlated with the other trophic levels and a suite of abiotic attributes. With respect to middle trophic levels, fish dominated in the two northern basins, whereas jellyfish dominated in the three southern basins. The strong biotic and abiotic spatial structure observed in our results indicates that different pelagic food webs exist across the Puget Sound ecosystem. Consequently, target conditions, current health status, or both, cannot be uniform across greater Puget Sound. These are critical considerations for management of the Puget Sound ecosystem, and we expect that further analysis of our results in the context of other studies will improve our understanding of the underlying causes of the patterns we observed across Puget Sound.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Apr 30th, 10:30 AM Apr 30th, 12:00 PM

Landscape and Seasonal Composition of Fish and Jellyfish Assemblages in Puget Sound Surface Waters, and Relationships to Lower Trophic Levels and Abiotic Attributes

Room 611-612

In Puget Sound, an oceanographically diverse and urbanized fjord estuary, understanding of pelagic ecology is poor, and systematic monitoring and assessment of living systems has long been neglected. As part of a project exploring assemblage composition of lower to middle trophic levels (microbes, phytoplankton, zooplankton, small pelagic fishes, and jellyfish) in surface waters across five oceanographic sub-basins of greater Puget Sound, we looked at biomass composition of fish and jellyfish assemblages, and related that structure to other trophic levels. In data from monthly sampling of 79 sites from April to October, 2011, biological composition differed geographically and seasonally but geographic differences were more distinct, and assemblage structure from each trophic level correlated with the other trophic levels and a suite of abiotic attributes. With respect to middle trophic levels, fish dominated in the two northern basins, whereas jellyfish dominated in the three southern basins. The strong biotic and abiotic spatial structure observed in our results indicates that different pelagic food webs exist across the Puget Sound ecosystem. Consequently, target conditions, current health status, or both, cannot be uniform across greater Puget Sound. These are critical considerations for management of the Puget Sound ecosystem, and we expect that further analysis of our results in the context of other studies will improve our understanding of the underlying causes of the patterns we observed across Puget Sound.