Presentation Abstract

Plankton dynamics in the Salish Sea may directly impact resident and migratory fish populations that are of major economic importance in the region. The Malaspina Strait in the northern Salish Sea is of particular interest as it is an important migration route for juvenile salmon. Here, we present data collected at three stations in the Malaspina Strait as part of the Citizen Science initiative of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. Sampling was conducted at bi-monthly (or higher) frequency from February to October, 2015 to 2017. Relationships between the regional hydrography, environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, etc.), nutrient concentrations, and phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition are considered. Preliminary results indicate that 2015 was an anomalous year with an earlier-than-average (mid-February) spring phytoplankton bloom. Phytoplankton community composition was dominated by centric, chain-forming diatoms in spring of all years, cell densities were higher in spring 2015 compared to 2016 and 2017. In both 2015 and 2016, copepods dominated the abundances of zooplankton at the deep locations in Malaspina Strait. However, the biomass was dominated by taxa known to be the preferred prey of juvenile salmonids (euphausiids, amphipods, crab larvae). At the nearshore station in both years, zooplankton biomass was dominated by “other” taxa, in particular gelatinous plankton. Biomass of large calanoid copepods and euphausiids was significantly positively correlated to the relative abundance of diatoms. Biomass of small calanoid copepods and non-calanoid copepods, on the other hand, was positively correlated with the relative abundance of dinoflagellates. Further analyses will relate environmental variables to the observed seasonal variations in phytoplankton and zooplankton. Results from this study will ultimately be extended to include other Citizen Science stations in order to gain a better understanding of how bottom-up processes vary in different regions of the Salish Sea, and the potential implications for higher trophic levels.

Session Title

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project: Phytoplankton and Zooplankton

Keywords

Seasonal dynamics of oceanographic conditions, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, Malaspina Strait, Strait of Georgia

Conference Track

SSE11: Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE11-332

Start Date

5-4-2018 3:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 3:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

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

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Apr 5th, 3:30 PM Apr 5th, 3:45 PM

Seasonal dynamics of oceanographic conditions, phytoplankton, and zooplankton in the Malaspina Strait, Strait of Georgia

Plankton dynamics in the Salish Sea may directly impact resident and migratory fish populations that are of major economic importance in the region. The Malaspina Strait in the northern Salish Sea is of particular interest as it is an important migration route for juvenile salmon. Here, we present data collected at three stations in the Malaspina Strait as part of the Citizen Science initiative of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. Sampling was conducted at bi-monthly (or higher) frequency from February to October, 2015 to 2017. Relationships between the regional hydrography, environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, etc.), nutrient concentrations, and phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition are considered. Preliminary results indicate that 2015 was an anomalous year with an earlier-than-average (mid-February) spring phytoplankton bloom. Phytoplankton community composition was dominated by centric, chain-forming diatoms in spring of all years, cell densities were higher in spring 2015 compared to 2016 and 2017. In both 2015 and 2016, copepods dominated the abundances of zooplankton at the deep locations in Malaspina Strait. However, the biomass was dominated by taxa known to be the preferred prey of juvenile salmonids (euphausiids, amphipods, crab larvae). At the nearshore station in both years, zooplankton biomass was dominated by “other” taxa, in particular gelatinous plankton. Biomass of large calanoid copepods and euphausiids was significantly positively correlated to the relative abundance of diatoms. Biomass of small calanoid copepods and non-calanoid copepods, on the other hand, was positively correlated with the relative abundance of dinoflagellates. Further analyses will relate environmental variables to the observed seasonal variations in phytoplankton and zooplankton. Results from this study will ultimately be extended to include other Citizen Science stations in order to gain a better understanding of how bottom-up processes vary in different regions of the Salish Sea, and the potential implications for higher trophic levels.