Presentation Abstract

Zooplankton are critical components of the pelagic food web. This presentation will discuss zooplankton ecology in the Fraser River Estuary, drawing on the preliminary results of a monitoring study, which ran from August 2013 to May 2016, as well as specific investigations into the life history and behaviour of one of the dominant species, the copepod Eurytemora affinis. Data analysis is ongoing, but, for most of the year, estuarine zooplankton appear limited by the estuary’s short residence time. Due to the advective nature of their environment, estuarine zooplankton have evolved mechanisms to retain populations within the estuary. Our results suggest that E. affinis employs tidal vertical migration and the production of benthic resting eggs, but that these mechanisms may be insufficient to maintain populations in the fast-flowing channel areas of the estuary. The predicted changes to the Fraser’s annual hydrograph will further reduce the estuary’s residence time during the spring but will increase it in the summer. Paired with higher temperature, this may open a novel niche in the estuary with could be exploited by non-indigenous species. One such species, considered invasive in the U.S., has been found to date. The results of this study can help inform policy, management, and restoration efforts by lending insight into the ecology of this estuary and how its zooplankton community will respond to changes in climate.

Session Title

Posters: Species & Food Webs

Keywords

Zooplankton, Fraser River Estuary, Climate change, Resting eggs, Vertical migrations, Channelization

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-107

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Zooplankton ecology of the Fraser River estuary

Zooplankton are critical components of the pelagic food web. This presentation will discuss zooplankton ecology in the Fraser River Estuary, drawing on the preliminary results of a monitoring study, which ran from August 2013 to May 2016, as well as specific investigations into the life history and behaviour of one of the dominant species, the copepod Eurytemora affinis. Data analysis is ongoing, but, for most of the year, estuarine zooplankton appear limited by the estuary’s short residence time. Due to the advective nature of their environment, estuarine zooplankton have evolved mechanisms to retain populations within the estuary. Our results suggest that E. affinis employs tidal vertical migration and the production of benthic resting eggs, but that these mechanisms may be insufficient to maintain populations in the fast-flowing channel areas of the estuary. The predicted changes to the Fraser’s annual hydrograph will further reduce the estuary’s residence time during the spring but will increase it in the summer. Paired with higher temperature, this may open a novel niche in the estuary with could be exploited by non-indigenous species. One such species, considered invasive in the U.S., has been found to date. The results of this study can help inform policy, management, and restoration efforts by lending insight into the ecology of this estuary and how its zooplankton community will respond to changes in climate.