We study the dynamics of the planktonic ecosystem in the coastal upwelling zone within the California Current System using a three-dimensional (3-D), eddy-resolving circulation model coupled to an ecosystem\\/biogeochemistry model. The physical model is based on the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS), configured at a resolution of 15km for a domain covering the entire US West Coast, with an embedded
Nicolas Gruber; Hartmut Frenzel; Scott C. Doney; Patrick Marchesiello; James C. McWilliams; John R. Moisan; John J. Oram; Gian-Kasper Plattner; Keith D. Stolzenbach
The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), a temperate marine region dominated by episodic upwelling, is predicted to experience rapid environmental change in the future due to ocean acidification. The aragonite saturation state within the California Current System is predicted to decrease in the future with near-permanent undersaturation conditions expected by the year 2050. Thus, the CCLME is a critical region to study due to the rapid rate of environmental change that resident organisms will experience and because of the economic and societal value of this coastal region. Recent efforts by a research consortium - the Ocean Margin Ecosystems Group for Acidification Studies (OMEGAS) - has begun to characterize a portion of the CCLME; both describing the spatial mosaic of pH in coastal waters and examining the responses of key calcification-dependent benthic marine organisms to natural variation in pH and to changes in carbonate chemistry that are expected in the coming decades. In this review, we present the OMEGAS strategy of co-locating sensors and oceanographic observations with biological studies on benthic marine invertebrates, specifically measurements of functional traits such as calcification-related processes and genetic variation in populations that are locally adapted to conditions in a particular region of the coast. Highlighted in this contribution are (1) the OMEGAS sensor network that spans the west coast of the US from central Oregon to southern California, (2) initial findings of the carbonate chemistry amongst the OMEGAS study sites, and (3) an overview of the biological data that describes the acclimatization and the adaptation capacity of key benthic marine invertebrates within the CCLME.
Hofmann, G. E.; Evans, T. G.; Kelly, M. W.; Padilla-Gamiño, J. L.; Blanchette, C. A.; Washburn, L.; Chan, F.; McManus, M. A.; Menge, B. A.; Gaylord, B.; Hill, T. M.; Sanford, E.; LaVigne, M.; Rose, J. M.; Kapsenberg, L.; Dutton, J. M.
Beaked whales are among the most diverse yet least understood groups of marine mammals. A diverse set of mostly anthropogenic threats necessitates improvement in our ability to assess population status for this cryptic group. The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) conducted six ship line-transect cetacean abundance surveys in the California Current off the contiguous western United States between 1991 and 2008. We used a Bayesian hidden-process modeling approach to estimate abundance and population trends of beaked whales using sightings data from these surveys. We also compiled records of beaked whale stranding events (3 genera, at least 8 species) on adjacent beaches from 1900 to 2012, to help assess population status of beaked whales in the northern part of the California Current. Bayesian posterior summaries for trend parameters provide strong evidence of declining beaked whale abundance in the study area. The probability of negative trend for Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) during 19912008 was 0.84, with 1991 and 2008 estimates of 10771 (CV?=?0.51) and ?7550 (CV?=?0.55), respectively. The probability of decline for Mesoplodon spp. (pooled across species) was 0.96, with 1991 and 2008 estimates of 2206 (CV?=?0.46) and 811 (CV?=?0.65). The mean posterior estimates for average rate of decline were 2.9% and 7.0% per year. There was no evidence of abundance trend for Baird's beaked whale (Berardius bairdii), for which annual abundance estimates in the survey area ranged from ?900 to 1300 (CV?1.3). Stranding data were consistent with the survey results. Causes of apparent declines are unknown. Direct impacts of fisheries (bycatch) can be ruled out, but impacts of anthropogenic sound (e.g., naval active sonar) and ecosystem change are plausible hypotheses that merit investigation.
Moore, Jeffrey E.; Barlow, Jay P.
Widespread declines in the status of species and habitats in marine ecosystems have led to calls for ecosystem-scale management as a strategy to restore our oceans. Implementing ecosystem-based management requires an understanding of the complex dynamics ...
A. J. Hermann C. J. Harvey E. A. Fulton I. C. Kaplan K. N. Marshall P. J. Horne P. S. Levin
Few studies to date have demonstrated widespread biological impacts of ocean acidification (OA) under conditions currently found in the natural environment. From a combined survey of physical and chemical water properties and biological sampling along the Washington-Oregon-California coast in August 2011, we show that large portions of the shelf waters are corrosive to pteropods in the natural environment. We show a strong positive correlation between the proportion of pteropod individuals with severe shell dissolution damage and the percentage of undersaturated water in the top 100 m with respect to aragonite. We found 53% of onshore individuals and 24% of offshore individuals on average to have severe dissolution damage. Relative to pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, the extent of undersaturated waters in the top 100 m of the water column has increased over sixfold along the California Current Ecosystem (CCE). We estimate that the incidence of severe pteropod shell dissolution owing to anthropogenic OA has doubled in near shore habitats since pre-industrial conditions across this region and is on track to triple by 2050. These results demonstrate that habitat suitability for pteropods in the coastal CCE is declining. The observed impacts represent a baseline for future observations towards understanding broader scale OA effects. PMID:24789895
Bednarek, N; Feely, R A; Reum, J C P; Peterson, B; Menkel, J; Alin, S R; Hales, B
Long-term changes in the observed temperature and salinity along the southern California coast are studied using a four-dimensional space-time analysis of the 52-yr (1949-2000) California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) hydrography combined with a sensitivity analysis of an eddy- permitting primitive equation ocean model under various forcing scenarios. An overall warming trend of 1.3°C in the ocean surface, a deepening
Emanuele Di Lorenzo; Arthur J. Miller; Niklas Schneider; James C. McWilliams
To a certain degree, Eastern Boundary Current (EBC) ecosystems are similar: Cold bottom water from moderate depths, rich in nutrients, is transported to the euphotic zone by a combination of trade winds, Coriolis force and Ekman transport. The resultant high primary production fuels a rich secondary production in the upper pelagic and nearshore zones, but where O2 exchange is restricted,
W. E. Arntz; V. A. Gallardo; D. Gutiérrez; E. Isla; L. A. Levin; J. Mendo; C. Neira; G. T. Rowe; J. Tarazona; M. Wolff
'Delta Revival: Restoring a California Ecosystem' shows scientists from many disciplines working together to guide the unprecendented restoration of the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta east of San Francisco Bay.
Geological Survey (U.S.); California Bay Delta Authority
The objectives of this research were to test available automated detection methods for passive acoustic monitoring and integrate the best available method into standard marine mammal monitoring protocols for ship based surveys. The goal of the first chapter was to evaluate the performance and utility of PAMGUARD 1.0 Core software for use in automated detection of marine mammal acoustic signals during towed array surveys. Three different detector configurations of PAMGUARD were compared. These automated detection algorithms were evaluated by comparing them to the results of manual detections made by an experienced bio-acoustician (author TMY). This study provides the first detailed comparisons of PAMGUARD automated detection algorithms to manual detection methods. The results of these comparisons clearly illustrate the utility of automated detection methods for odontocete species. Results of this work showed that the majority of whistles and click events can be reliably detected using PAMGUARD software. The second chapter moves beyond automated detection to examine and test automated classification algorithms for beaked whale species. Beaked whales are notoriously elusive and difficult to study, especially using visual survey methods. The purpose of the second chapter was to test, validate, and compare algorithms for detection of beaked whales in acoustic line-transect survey data. Using data collected at sea from the PAMGUARD classifier developed in Chapter 2 it was possible to measure the clicks from visually verified Baird's beaked whale encounters and use this data to develop classifiers that could discriminate Baird's beaked whales from other beaked whale species in future work. Echolocation clicks from Baird's beaked whales, Berardius bairdii, were recorded during combined visual and acoustic shipboard surveys of cetacean populations in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) and with autonomous, long-term recorders at four different sites in the Southern California Bight (SCB). The preliminary measurement of the visually validated Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals recorded from the ship-based towed array were used as a basis for identifying Baird's signals in the seafloor-mounted autonomous recorder data. The passive acoustic detection algorithms for beaked whales developed using data from Chapters 2 and 3 were field tested during a three year period to test the reliability of acoustic beaked whale monitoring techniques and to use these methods to describe beaked whale habitat in the SCB. In 2009 and 2010, PAM methods using towed hydrophone arrays were tested. These methods proved highly effective for real-time detection of beaked whales in the SCB and were subsequently implemented in 2011 to successfully detect and track beaked whales during the ongoing Southern California Behavioral Response Study (SOCAL-BRS). The final step in this research was to utilize the passive acoustic detection techniques developed herin to predictively model beaked whale habitat use and preferences in the CCE. This chapter uses a multifaceted approach to model beaked whale encounter rates in the CCE. Beaked whale acoustic encounters are utilized to inform Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) of encounter rate for beaked whales in the CCE and compare these to visual based models. Acoustic and visual based models were independently developed for a small beaked whale group and Baird's beaked whales. Two models were evaluated for visual and acoustic encounters, one that also included Beaufort sea state as a predictor variable in addition to those listed and one that did not include Beaufort sea state. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Yack, Tina M.
Of the four major eastern boundary currents, the Humboldt Current (HC) stands out because it is extremely productive, dominated by anchovy dynamics and subject to frequent direct environmental perturbations of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The long-term dynamics of the HC ecosystem are controlled by shifts between alternating anchovy and sardine regimes that restructure the entire ecosystem from phytoplankton
Jürgen Alheit; Miguel Niquen
The physical and biological oceanography of the Southern California Bight (SCB), a highly productive subregion of the California Current System (CCS) that extends from Point Conception, California, south to Ensenada, Mexico, continues to be extensively studied. For example, the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program has sampled this region for over 50 years, providing an unparalleled time series of physical and biological data. However, our understanding of what physical processes control the large-scale and mesoscale variations in these properties is incomplete. In particular, the non-synoptic and relatively coarse spatial sampling (70km) of the hydrographic grid does not completely resolve the mesoscale eddy field (Figure 1a). Moreover, these unresolved physical variations exert a dominant influence on the evolution of the ecosystem. In recent years, additional datasets that partially sample the SCB have become available. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements, which now sample upper-ocean velocity between stations, and sea level observations along TOPEX tracks give a more complete picture of the mesoscale variability. However, both TOPEX and ADCP are well-sampled only along the cruise or orbit tracks and coarsely sampled in time and between tracks. Surface Lagrangian drifters also sample the region, although irregularly in time and space. SeaWiFS provides estimates of upper-ocean chlorophyll-a (chl-alpha), usually giving nearly complete coverage for week-long intervals, depending on cloud coverage. Historical ocean color data from the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) has been used extensively to determine phytoplankton patterns and variability, characterize the primary production across the SCB coastal fronts, and describe the seasonal and interannual variability in pigment concentrations. As in CalCOFI, these studies described much of the observed structures and their variability over relatively large space and time scales.
Miller, Arthur J.; Chereskin, T.; Cornuelle, B. D.; Niiler, P. P.; Moisan, J. R.; Lindstrom, Eric (Technical Monitor)
Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey
Julie A. Jedlicka; Russell Greenberg; Deborah K. Letourneau
Restoration of natural habitat has become increasingly important over the last three decades in the United States, first as mitigation for development (especially in wetlands), and more recently in natural areas. This latter restoration has come about as land managing agencies have seen the need to reverse the impact of past land uses and agencies like the National Park Service have taken on the responsibility for less-than-pristine lands. Restorations have typically been carried out with little prior study and with no follow-up monitoring. On the Channel Islands, the need for restoration is great, but the desire is to base this restoration on sound ecological understanding. By conducting surveys, implementing long-term research and monitoring, and by conducting population and community dynamics research, the necessary data is obtained to arrive at such an understanding. Once management actions have been taken to effect restoration, monitoring is used to determine the success of those actions. The intention is to gain enough of an understanding of the islands' ecosystems that we can manage to restore, not just populations of native plants and animals, but also the processes of a naturally functioning ecosystem. ?? International Scientific Publications, New Delhi.
Halvorson, W. L.
The 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley of California provide multiple benefits or ecosystem services to peopleincluding wildlife habitat, water supply, open space, recreation, and cultural resources. Most of this land is privately owned and managed for livestock production. These rangelands are vulnerable to land-use conversion and climate change. To help resource managers assess the impacts of land-use change and climate change, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators developed scenarios to quantify and map changes to three main rangeland ecosystem serviceswildlife habitat, water supply, and carbon sequestration. Project results will help prioritize strategies to conserve these rangelands and the ecosystem services that they provide.
Byrd, Kristin; Alvarez, Pelayo; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan
The California Department of Fish and Game started routinely acoustically surveying the smaller schooling pelagic fish resources in the California Current System in 1966. This report covers the first 6.5 years of these surveys (1966-1973). The purpose of ...
K. F. Mais
Nearshore waters of the California Current System (California CS) already have a low carbonate saturation state, making them particularly susceptible to ocean acidification. We used eddy-resolving model simulations to study the potential development of ocean acidification in this system up to the year 2050 under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A2 and B1 scenarios. In both scenarios, the saturation state of aragonite ?(arag) is projected to drop rapidly, with much of the nearshore region developing summer-long undersaturation in the top 60 meters within the next 30 years. By 2050, waters with ?(arag) above 1.5 will have largely disappeared, and more than half of the waters will be undersaturated year-round. Habitats along the sea floor will become exposed to year-round undersaturation within the next 20 to 30 years. These projected events have potentially major implications for the rich and diverse ecosystem that characterizes the California CS. PMID:22700658
Gruber, Nicolas; Hauri, Claudine; Lachkar, Zouhair; Loher, Damian; Frölicher, Thomas L; Plattner, Gian-Kasper
...District, California, Whisky Ecosystem Restoration Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA...is proposing a series of ecological restoration treatments, east of the community of...Background Information: The Whisky Ecosystem Restoration Project (Madera County,...
To understand and quantify plankton community dynamics in the ocean, high-resolution models are needed to capture the temporal and spatial variations of physical, biological, and biogeochemical processes. However, ecosystem models often fail to agree with observations. This failure can be due to inadequacies in the data and/or inadequacies in the model formulation and parameterization. Here we parameterize and optimize a two-phytoplankton functional type model of phytoplankton growth rate and chlorophyll/carbon (Chl:C) ratio using data from the Lagrangian field measurements conducted during process cruises of the Long-Term Ecosystem Research-California Current Ecosystem (CCE) program. We parameterize the model based on a small coastal subset of the data and then extend and test it with the full data set, including data from offshore regions. The CCE process studies were focused on quantifying the size-resolved planktonic growth, grazing, production, and export rates while following water parcels. The resulting data therefore provided strong constraints for the model we employed. The modeled growth rates and Chl:C ratios were in good agreement with observations. Our results indicate that the model can accurately predict Chl:C ratios, biomasses, and growth rates of dominant functional types using relatively easily measured environmental variables (temperature, nutrients, and bulk chlorophyll). The model also accurately reproduces the subsurface maxima of growth rates, the spatial separation of carbon and chlorophyll maxima, and many other observations in the California Current coastal and pelagic ecosystems.
Li, Qian P.; Franks, Peter J. S.; Landry, Michael R.; Goericke, Ralf; Taylor, Andrew G.
The Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax caeruleus) is one of several coastal pelagic, planktivorous species of fish that provide important trophic links within the ecosystems of the major eastern and western boundary currents. Significant and persistent change in sardine productivity has occurred in the California Current over interdecadal periods in response to reorganization of basin-wide, ocean-atmosphere circulation. Less extreme, but still
T. R. Baumgartner; G. Auad; A. J. Miller
The Northern California coast is particularly susceptible to tsunami damage. Thirty-one tsunamis have been recorded since 1933 when the first tide gauge was installed at Citizens Dock in Crescent City, California and four have caused damage. In November 2006, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in the Kuril Islands generated a tsunami that caused over $20 million in damages and replacement costs to the Crescent City small boat basin. The 2006 tsunami did not flood any areas above the normal high tide; very strong currents produced as the tsunami surged in and out of the small boat basin caused all of the damage. The Harbor Master and commercial fishermen in the area estimated the peak currents near the mouth of the small boat basin at 12 to 15 knots or 6 to 8 m/sec. MOST numerical modeling of the 2006 currents in Crescent City gives peak velocities in the 2-3 m/sec range. We have initiated a pilot project to directly measure current velocities produced by moderate tsunamis such as the 2006 event. In spring of 2009 we acquired a Nortek Aquadopp 600 kHz acoustic 2-D current profiler through a donation from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company to measure currents in Humboldt Bay, located 100 km south of Crescent City. The manufacturer specifies the current meter can measure currents up to 10 m/sec. In a preliminary deployment at the Fairhaven dock inside Humboldt Bay in May 2009, we measured current velocities of 1.5 m/sec caused by the daily tidal fluctuation with a 1 minute sampling rate. Our primary goal is to model control and data telemetry of this current meter after NOAAs tsunami-ready tide gages, in collaboration with NOAA personnel at PMEL and CO-OPS. We also intend to make available real-time current measurements online for the local maritime community. In this poster, we present preliminary results from the current meter and discuss deployment and telecommunication considerations. While some interference is present in the closest range bins, the system measures currents in the nearby navigational channel that compare favorably to NOAA tidal predictions at a nearby location. Once the deployment and telemetry issues have been resolved at the Humboldt Bay site, we will be deploying two additional instruments in Crescent City.
Crawford, G. B.; Dengler, L. A.; Montoya, J.
...California, Grey's Mountain Ecosystem Restoration Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA...is proposing a series of ecological restoration treatments, north of the community...the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Restoration treatments are also planned for...
Rangeland ecosystems managed for livestock production represent the largest land-use footprint globally, covering more than one-quarter of the world's land surface (Asner et al. 2004). In California, rangelands cover an estimated 17 million hectares or approximately 40% of the land area (FRAP 2003). These ecosystems have considerable potential to sequester carbon (C) in soil and offset greenhouse gas emissions through
W. L. Silver; R. Ryals; D. J. Lewis; J. Creque; M. Wacker; S. Larson
Woody species have increased in abundance in many grassland ecosystems during the last century. To investigate the consequences of Baccharis pilularis encroachment into coastal California grasslands, we established a chronosequence of sites naturally invaded by Baccharis zero to 25 years ago. Increasing above- and below-ground biomass increase along the chronosequence drove increases in ecosystem N sequestration of ?700% and in
E. S. Zavaleta; L. S. Kettley
The Gulf of California Large Marine Ecosystem is assessed using Duda and Sherman's (2002) modular approach. Productivity, fisheries, ecosystem health, socioeconomic factors, and governance of the region are evaluated and a transboundary diagnostic analysis identified three areas of concern: pollution, habitat destruction, and fishery depletions. Addressing these environmental problems requires land-based pollution controls, marine protected areas, and stricter fisheries regulations,
It is important for fishery scientists and ecosystem-based fishery managers to recognize that there may be apparent persistence\\u000a in an ecosystem followed by ecosystem changes corresponding to different ecological states and different levels of fisheries\\u000a output; revenues paid to California fishers have varied more than fivefold in inflation adjusted dollars during the 75-year\\u000a period of our study. Empirical orthogonal function
Jerrold G. Norton; Samuel F. Herrick; Janet E. Mason
We investigate decadal variations in the three-dimensional structure of the California Current System (CCS) upwelling cells as a potential mechanism for explaining observed ecosystem changes after the mid-1970s. To this end, we track the origin of upwelled water masses using adjoint passive tracers during time periods corresponding to the positive and negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) in a 55 year regional ocean model simulation of the CCS. Results show that in the PDO ``cool'' phase (pre mid-1970s), the upwelling cell is deeper while during the ``warm'' phase (post mid-1970s), the upwelling cell is shallower with more horizontal entrainment of surface waters from the north. These changes in the coastal upwelling cell exhibit a latitudinal non-uniformity and may result in significant changes of the nutrient flux, which would have important impacts on the biological productivity of the coastal ocean.
Chhak, K.; Di Lorenzo, E.
Nutrient recycling by consumers in streams can influence ecosystem nutrient availability and the assemblage and growth of photoautotrophs. Stream fishes can play a large role in nutrient recycling, but contributions by other vertebrates to overall recycling rates remain poorly studied. In tributaries of the Pacific Northwest, coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) occur at high densities alongside steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and are top aquatic predators. We surveyed the density and body size distributions of D. tenebrosus and O. mykiss in a California tributary stream, combined with a field study to determine mass-specific excretion rates of ammonium (N) and total dissolved phosphorus (P) for D. tenebrosus. We estimated O. mykiss excretion rates (N, P) by bioenergetics using field-collected data on the nutrient composition of O. mykiss diets from the same system. Despite lower abundance, D. tenebrosus biomass was 2.5 times higher than O. mykiss. Mass-specific excretion summed over 170 m of stream revealed that O. mykiss recycle 1.7 times more N, and 1.2 times more P than D. tenebrosus, and had a higher N:P ratio (8.7) than that of D. tenebrosus (6.0), or the two species combined (7.5). Through simulated trade-offs in biomass, we estimate that shifts from salamander biomass toward fish biomass have the potential to ease nutrient limitation in forested tributary streams. These results suggest that natural and anthropogenic heterogeneity in the relative abundance of these vertebrates and variation in the uptake rates across river networks can affect broad-scale patterns of nutrient limitation.
Munshaw, Robin G.; Palen, Wendy J.; Courcelles, Danielle M.; Finlay, Jacques C.
The status of marine ecosystems affects the well being of human societies. These ecosystems include but are not limited to estuaries, lagoons, reefs, and systems further offshore such as deep ocean vents. The coastal regions that connect terrestrial and marine ecosystems are of p...
The varied topography and micro-climates of northern and central coastal California result in high biodiversity and many different levels of primary production driving regional carbon cycles. Coastal mountains trap moisture from low clouds and fog in summer to supplement rainfall in winter. This creates a favorable micro-environment for coniferous forests, including the southernmost habitat of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which grows mainly on lower north-facing slopes in Big Sur. In rain shadows, forests transition to open oak woodland, and then into the more fire-tolerant chaparral and coast scrub. Field sites for our on-going climate change studies on the California northern and central coasts currently include the University of California Santa Cruz Campus Natural Reserve, the US Forest Service Brazil Ranch, and the University of California Big Creek Reserve. We are conducting research at each of these sites to better understand possible impacts of climate change, including: (1) biological and physical capacity of soils to capture carbon and retain plant-essential nutrients; (2) rates of plant-soil water and carbon cycling and energy flow; and (3) recovery mechanisms for disturbances such as invasive weed species, grazing, and wildfire. The NASA-CASA simulation model based on satellite observations of monthly vegetation cover from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used to estimate carbon cycling for much of the central coast as far north as Mendocino County. Net primary production (NPP) of all vegetation cover was mapped at 30-meter resolution for selected years by combining MODIS and Landsat images across the region. Results show annual NPP predictions of between 200-400 grams C per square meter for coastal scrub and 800-1200 grams C per square meter for coastal evergreen forests, Net ecosystem fluxes of carbon will be presented for the region based on NASA-CASA modeling and field measurements of soil respiration fluxes.
Potter, C.; Klooster, S.; Gross, P.; Hiatt, S.; Genovese, V.
Current meter records from 14 moorings in the deep-sea basin (3000-4500 m deep) south of the Mendocino Fracture Zone are analyzed. All moorings had current meters between 200 m and 500 m above the bottom, and some extended to within 150 m of the surface. There were high vertical correlations between measurements on the same mooring within 1500 m of the bottom and within 800 m of the surface but almost no significant correlation in the horizontal. In the basin the presence of eddies appears strongest at depths below 1200 m. Several of the records exceed 3 years in length, and one extended for 5 years. Spectral analysis of these shows that most of the kinetic energy below 3000 m is in the temporal mesoscale (periods of 31 to 120 days), while the spectral estimates in the upper 1000 m are dominated by longer time scales. Only in the deep records is there a significant southward mean flow. Neither a mean California Current nor a poleward undercurrent is apparent in the shallower data (above 1250 m). The currents in the upper 500 m nearest the continental margin are influenced by the presence of cold filaments originating near Point Arena.
Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Smith, Robert L.
The coastal ecosystems of California are highly utilized by humans and animals, but the ecology of fecal bacteria at the landsea interface is not well understood. This study evaluated the distribution of potentially pathogenic bacteria in invertebrates from linked marine, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems in central California. A variety of filter-feeding clams, mussels, worms, and crab tissues were selectively cultured
W. A. Miller; M. A. Miller; I. A. Gardner; E. R. Atwill; B. A. Byrne; S. Jang; M. Harris; J. Ames; D. Jessup; D. Paradies; K. Worcester; A. Melli; P. A. Conrad
A series of legal decisions culminated in 2002 with the California State Water Resources Control Board funding the San Francisco\\u000a Estuary Institute to develop and implement a 3-year monitoring program to determine the potential environmental impacts of\\u000a aquatic herbicide applications. The monitoring program was intended to investigate the behavior of all aquatic pesticides\\u000a in use in California, to determine potential
Geoffrey S. Siemering; Jennifer D. Hayworth; Ben K. Greenfield
Estuaries are among the most invaded ecosystems on the planet. Such invasions have led in part, to the formation of a massive $1 billion restoration effort in California's SacramentoSan Joaquin River Delta. However, invasions of weeds into riparian, floodplain, and aquatic habitats threaten the success of restoration efforts within the watershed and jeopardize economic activities. The doctrine of early detection and
Erin L. Hestir; Shruti Khanna; Margaret E. Andrew; Maria J. Santos; Joshua H. Viers; Jonathan A. Greenberg; Sepalika S. Rajapakse; Susan L. Ustin
In 1991 the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, in cooperation with Mono County, California, initiated a multiyear effort to restore the Owens River Gorge. The project aims to return the river channel, dewatered for more than 50 years, to a functional riverine-riparian ecosystem capable of supporting healthy brown trout and wildlife populations. The passive, or natural, restoration approach
Mark T. Hill; William S. Platts
Within the Mediterranean-climate region of California and adjacent regions, invasive plants are largely concentrated in the lower- elevation valleys and foothills. Fire has historically been an important part of the ecology of many of these ecosystems; however, anthropogenic disruptions of natural fire regimes have contributed to the widespread invasion of certain communities. Throughout the Coast Ranges and foothills of the
Jon E. Keeley
Despite major reductions in the dominant DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) input off Los Angeles (California, USA) in the early 1970s, the levels of these pollutants decreased only slightly from 1972 to 1975 both in surficial bottom sediments and in a flatfish bioindicator ...
The Guide presents taxonomic keys based on vegetative features of 132 southern California shrub and subshrub species found in a area bounded by the southern part of the coast ranges, the north and east sides of the transverse and peninsular ranges, and Me...
C. E. Conrad
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and its partners are attempting to restore the riparian ecosystem of the Sacramento River over ~100 river miles, from Red Bluff to Colusa. To evaluate baseline ecosystem conditions, determine how the system is responding to current management practices (including restoration efforts) and better define current threats, TNC is collaborating with scientists from academic institutions, state and
G. H. GOLET; D. L. BROWN; E. E. CRONE; G. R. GEUPEL; S. E. GRECO; K. D. HOLL; D. E. JUKKOLA; G. M. KONDOLF; E. W. LARSEN; F. K. LIGON; R. A. LUSTER; M. P. MARCHETTI; N. NUR; B. K. ORR; D. R. PETERSON; W. E. RAINEY; M. D. ROBERTS; J. G. SILVEIRA; J. C. VICK; D. S. WILSON; D. M. WOOD
This study describes research using the CASA (Carnegie-Ames-Stanford) ecosystem model with HYDRA surface hydrologic model for the state of California to understand the effects of potential land cover and climate events on mountain ecosystems and regional water resources. The models are run at 1-km resolution to capture localized topographic effects at the regional scale. To assess HYDRA's ability to estimate actual water flows in both extreme and non-extreme years, we have compared HYDRA's results with gauge station data throughout the state. Historical predictions for the Northern Coastal Range show that HYDRA's estimate of actual water flow improves as the model progresses downstream within a watershed. Other complex watersheds that display similar characteristics include the Klamath and the San Joaquin Valley. High resolution studies of land cover and surface hydrology are presented for the Central Coast Range of California, which is impacted by extreme events of fire and rapidly changing climate gradients.
Shupe, J.; Potter, C.; Kramer, M.; Genovese, V.; Gross, P.
During the oceanic period from July to November, the southward flowing California current dominates the nearshore current patterns. Commencing about the middle of November and extending to mid-February, the Davidson current, a northward moving countercurrent, is the dominant inshore transporter of water and suspensates. The phenomenon of upwelling is prevalent during the period from the middle of February to the end of July. Thus, every year along the coast of California, there are three successive current seasons: the oceanic, the Davidson, and the upwelling. This paper is a discussion of the nature of these nearshore currents. In addition, the capabilities of various remote sensing platforms and systems for providing methods of monitoring the coastal processes associated with the current seasons of California are demonstrated herein.
Pirie, D. M.; Murphy, M. J.; Edmisten, J. R.
We explored ?15N compound-specific amino acid isotope data (CSI-AA) in filter-feeding intertidal mussels (Mytilus californianus) as a new approach to construct integrated isoscapes of coastal primary production. We examined spatial ?15N gradients in the California Upwelling Ecosystem (CUE), determining bulk ?15N values of mussel tissue from 28 sites between Port Orford, Oregon and La Jolla, California, and applying CSI-AA at selected sites to decouple trophic effects from isotopic values at the base of the food web. Bulk ?15N values showed a strong linear trend with latitude, increasing from North to South (from ?7 to ?12, R2?=?0.759). In contrast, CSI-AA trophic position estimates showed no correlation with latitude. The ?15N trend is therefore most consistent with a baseline ?15N gradient, likely due to the mixing of two source waters: low ?15N nitrate from the southward flowing surface California Current, and the northward transport of the California Undercurrent (CUC), with15N-enriched nitrate. This interpretation is strongly supported by a similar linear gradient in ?15N values of phenylalanine (?15NPhe), the best AA proxy for baseline ?15N values. We hypothesize ?15NPhe values in intertidal mussels can approximate annual integrated ?15N values of coastal phytoplankton primary production. We therefore used ?15NPhe values to generate the first compound-specific nitrogen isoscape for the coastal Northeast Pacific, which indicates a remarkably linear gradient in coastal primary production ?15N values. We propose that ?15NPhe isoscapes derived from filter feeders can directly characterize baseline ?15N values across major biochemical provinces, with potential applications for understanding migratory and feeding patterns of top predators, monitoring effects of climate change, and study of paleo- archives.
Vokhshoori, Natasha L.; McCarthy, Matthew D.
Over the past 50 years, human beings have influenced ecosystems more rapidly than at any similar time in human history, drastically\\u000a altering ecosystem functioning. Along with ecosystem transformation and degradation, a number of studies have addressed the\\u000a functioning, assessment and management of ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem services has been developed in the scientific\\u000a literature since the end of the 1970s.
Petteri Vihervaara; Mia Rönkä; Mari Walls
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provide an important tool for conservation of marine ecosystems. To be most effective, these areas should be strategically located in a manner that supports ecosystem function. To inform marine spatial planning and support strategic establishment of MPAs within the California Current System, we identified areas predicted to support multispecies aggregations of seabirds ("hotspot????). We developed habitat-association models for 16 species using information from at-sea observations collected over an 11-year period (1997-2008), bathymetric data, and remotely sensed oceanographic data for an area from north of Vancouver Island, Canada, to the USA/Mexico border and seaward 600 km from the coast. This approach enabled us to predict distribution and abundance of seabirds even in areas of few or no surveys. We developed single-species predictive models using a machine-learning algorithm: bagged decision trees. Single-species predictions were then combined to identify potential hotspots of seabird aggregation, using three criteria: (1) overall abundance among species, (2) importance of specific areas ("core area????) to individual species, and (3) predicted persistence of hotspots across years. Model predictions were applied to the entire California Current for four seasons (represented by February, May, July, and October) in each of 11 years. Overall, bathymetric variables were often important predictive variables, whereas oceanographic variables derived from remotely sensed data were generally less important. Predicted hotspots often aligned with currently protected areas (e.g., National Marine Sanctuaries), but we also identified potential hotspots in Northern California/Southern Oregon (from Cape Mendocino to Heceta Bank), Southern California (adjacent to the Channel Islands), and adjacent to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that are not currently included in protected areas. Prioritization and identification of multispecies hotspots will depend on which group of species is of highest management priority. Modeling hotspots at a broad spatial scale can contribute to MPA site selection, particularly if complemented by fine-scale information for focal areas. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.
Nur, N.; Jahncke, J.; Herzog, M. P.; Howar, J.; Hyrenbach, K. D.; Zamon, J. E.; Ainley, D. G.; Wiens, J. A.; Morgan, K.; Balance, L. T.; Stralberg, D.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide an important tool for conservation of marine ecosystems. To be most effective, these areas should be strategically located in a manner that supports ecosystem function. To inform marine spatial planning and support strategic establishment of MPAs within the California Current System, we identified areas predicted to support multispecies aggregations of seabirds ("hotspots"). We developed habitat-association models for 16 species using information from at-sea observations collected over an 11-year period (1997-2008), bathymetric data, and remotely sensed oceanographic data for an area from north of Vancouver Island, Canada, to the USA/Mexico border and seaward 600 km from the coast. This approach enabled us to predict distribution and abundance of seabirds even in areas of few or no surveys. We developed single-species predictive models using a machine-learning algorithm: bagged decision trees. Single-species predictions were then combined to identify potential hotspots of seabird aggregation, using three criteria: (1) overall abundance among species, (2) importance of specific areas ("core areas") to individual species, and (3) predicted persistence of hotspots across years. Model predictions were applied to the entire California Current for four seasons (represented by February, May, July, and October) in each of 11 years. Overall, bathymetric variables were often important predictive variables, whereas oceanographic variables derived from remotely sensed data were generally less important. Predicted hotspots often aligned with currently protected areas (e.g., National Marine Sanctuaries), but we also identified potential hotspots in Northern California/Southern Oregon (from Cape Mendocino to Heceta Bank), Southern California (adjacent to the Channel Islands), and adjacent to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that are not currently included in protected areas. Prioritization and identification of multispecies hotspots will depend on which group of species is of highest management priority. Modeling hotspots at a broad spatial scale can contribute to MPA site selection, particularly if complemented by fine-scale information for focal areas. PMID:21939058
Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime; Herzog, Mark P; Howar, Julie; Hyrenbach, K David; Zamon, Jeannette E; Ainley, David G; Wiens, John A; Morgan, Ken; Ballance, Lisa T; Stralberg, Diana
The Gulf of California system presents major challenges to the still developing frameworks for ecosystem-based management\\u000a (EBM). It is very much an open system and is intermittently subject to important influxes of migratory visitors, including large pelagic predatory fishes and small\\u000a pelagic forage fishes. These migrants include the more tropical species from the coastal ecosystems to the south and perhaps
Andrew Bakun; Elizabeth A. Babcock; Salvador E. Lluch-Cota; Christine Santora; Christian J. Salvadeo
Current meters records from 14 moorings in the deep-sea basin (3000-4500 m deep) south of the Mendocino Fracture Zone are analyzed. All moorings had current meters between 200 m and 500 m above the bottom, and some extended to within 150 m of the surface....
P. J. Stabeno R. L. Smith
Of the four major eastern boundary currents, the Humboldt Current (HC) stands out because it is extremely productive, dominated by anchovy dynamics and subject to frequent direct environmental perturbations of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The long-term dynamics of the HC ecosystem are controlled by shifts between alternating anchovy and sardine regimes that restructure the entire ecosystem from phytoplankton to the top predators. These regime shifts are caused by lasting periods of warm or cold temperature anomalies related to the approach or retreat of warm subtropical oceanic waters to the coast of Peru and Chile. Phases with mainly negative temperature anomalies parallel anchovy regimes (1950-1970; 1985 to the present) and the rather warm period from 1970 to 1985 was characterized by sardine dominance. The transition periods (turning points) from one regime to the other were 1968-1970 and 1984-1986. Like an El Nino, the warm periods drastically change trophic relationships in the entire HC ecosystem, exposing the Peruvian anchovy to a multitude of adverse conditions. Positive temperature anomalies off Peru drive the anchovy population close to the coast as the coastal upwelling cells usually offer the coolest environment, thereby substantially decreasing the extent of the areas of anchovy distribution and spawning. This enhances the effects of negative density-dependent processes such as egg and larval cannibalism and dramatically increases its catchability. Increased spatial overlap between anchovies and the warmer water preferring sardines intensifies anchovy egg mortality further as sardines feed heavily on anchovy eggs. Food sources for juvenile and adult anchovies which prey on a mixed diet of phyto- and zooplankton are drastically reduced because of decreased plankton production due to restricted upwelling in warm years, as demonstrated by lower zooplankton and phytoplankton volumes and the diminution of the fraction of large copepods, their main food source. Horse mackerel and mackerel, the main predators of anchovy, increase predation pressure on juvenile and adult anchovies due to extended invasion into the anchovy habitat in warmer years. In contrast to these periods of warm and cold temperature anomalies on the decadal scale, ENSO events do not play an important role for long-term anchovy dynamics, as the anchovy can recover even from strong ENSO events within 1-2 years. Consequently, the strong 1972-1973 ENSO event (in combination with overfishing) was not the cause of the famous crash of the Peruvian anchovy fishery in the 1970s.
Alheit, Jürgen; Niquen, Miguel
This on-line expedition focuses on the flow of ocean water along with its climatic impact and environmental consequences. Learning objectives include an awareness that ocean waters are constantly on the move, that ocean currents influence climate and living conditions for plants and animals, even on land, and that currents flow in complex patterns affected by wind, the water's salinity and heat content, bottom topography, and the earth's rotation. This expedition is one of nine expeditions and two field studies which are part of a course entitled Geology 105 - Mysteries of the Deep.
In the modern ocean the eastern side of the North Pacific basin is characterized by the equatorward circulating California current and coastal upwelling, both of which lead to cool sea surface temperatures (SST) compared to the same latitude in the western part of the basin. The cool SSTs in this region contribute to important air-sea interactions that influence regional and
P. S. Dekens; C. M. Reed; D. E. Wojcieszek
This study measured the material properties of zooplankton, Pacific hake (Merluccius productus), Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), and two species of myctophids (Symbolophorus californiensis and Diaphus theta) collected from the California Current ecosystem. The density contrast (g) was measured for euphausiids, decapods (Sergestes similis), amphipods (Primno macropa, Phronima sp., and Hyperiid spp.), siphonophore bracts, chaetognaths, larval fish, crab megalopae, larval squid, and medusae. Morphometric data (length, width, and height) were collected for these taxa. Density contrasts varied within and between zooplankton taxa. The mean and standard deviation for euphausiid density contrast were 1.059 +/- 0.009. Relationships between zooplankton density contrast and morphometric measurements, geographic location, and environmental conditions were investigated. Site had a significant effect on euphausiid density contrast. Density contrasts of euphausiids collected in the same geographic area approximately 4-10 days apart were significantly higher (p < 0.001). Sound speed contrast (h) was measured for euphausiids and pelagic decapods (S. similis) and it varied between taxa. The mean and standard deviation for euphausiid sound speed were 1.019 +/- 0.009. Euphausiid mass was calculated from density measurements and volume, and a relationship between euphausiid mass and length was produced. We determined that euphausiid from volumes could be accurately estimated two dimensional measurements of animal body shape, and that biomass (or biovolume) could be accurately calculated from digital photographs of animals. Density contrast (g) was measured for zooplankton, pieces of hake flesh, myctophid flesh, and of the following Humboldt squid body parts: mantle, arms, tentacle, braincase, eyes, pen, and beak. The density contrasts varied within and between fish taxa, as well as among squid body parts. Effects of animal length and environmental conditions on nekton density contrast were investigated. The sound speed contrast (h) was measured for Pacific hake flesh, myctophid flesh, Humboldt squid mantle, and Humboldt squid braincase. Sound speed varied within and between nekton taxa. The material properties reported in this study can be used to improve target strength estimates from acoustic scattering models which would increase the accuracy of biomass estimates from acoustic surveys for these zooplankton and nekton.
Since the days of Elton, population cycles have challenged ecologists and resource managers. Although the underlying mechanisms remain debated, theory holds that both density-dependent and density-independent processes shape the dynamics. One striking example is the large-scale fluctuations of sardine and anchovy observed across the major upwelling areas of the world. Despite a long history of research, the causes of these fluctuations remain unresolved and heavily debated, with significant implications for fisheries management. We here model the underlying causes of these fluctuations, using the California Current Ecosystem as a case study, and show that the dynamics, accurately reproduced since A.D. 1661 onward, are explained by interacting density-dependent processes (i.e., through species-specific life-history traits) and climate forcing. Furthermore, we demonstrate how fishing modifies the dynamics and show that the sardine collapse of the 1950s was largely unavoidable given poor recruitment conditions. Our approach provides unique insight into the origin of sardine-anchovy fluctuations and a knowledge base for sustainable fisheries management in the California Current Ecosystem and beyond. PMID:23836661
Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M; Rouyer, Tristan; MacCall, Alec D; Stenseth, Nils Chr
Since the days of Elton, population cycles have challenged ecologists and resource managers. Although the underlying mechanisms remain debated, theory holds that both density-dependent and density-independent processes shape the dynamics. One striking example is the large-scale fluctuations of sardine and anchovy observed across the major upwelling areas of the world. Despite a long history of research, the causes of these fluctuations remain unresolved and heavily debated, with significant implications for fisheries management. We here model the underlying causes of these fluctuations, using the California Current Ecosystem as a case study, and show that the dynamics, accurately reproduced since A.D. 1661 onward, are explained by interacting density-dependent processes (i.e., through species-specific life-history traits) and climate forcing. Furthermore, we demonstrate how fishing modifies the dynamics and show that the sardine collapse of the 1950s was largely unavoidable given poor recruitment conditions. Our approach provides unique insight into the origin of sardineanchovy fluctuations and a knowledge base for sustainable fisheries management in the California Current Ecosystem and beyond.
Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M.; Rouyer, Tristan; MacCall, Alec D.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.
Almost six decades of sampling of the California Current system, carried out by the CalCOFI program (California Cooperative Fisheries Investigation) complemented by a decade of observations from the IMECOCAL program (Investigaciones Mexicanas de la Corriente de California), have revealed changing patterns in zooplankton abundances, species composition, and distributions over interannual through multidecadal time scales. Interannual changes associated with ENSO variability are manifested as strong but transitory perturbations in the mean annual cycle in seasonal abundances (and distributions) of particular species. An investigation of longer- term change, limited to the region off southern California, shows a persistent decline in zooplankton volumes (a proxy for overall biomass of macrozooplankton) between 1977 and 1998 that is considered to be a response to the well documented shift in basin-scale climate forcing that occurred in 1976-77. Further examination of this decline in zooplankton volumes indicates that it was due principally to the disappearance of several salp species after 1977. Other species and functional groups did not decline after the change in climate regime, while some species have followed persistent secular trends that appear to be associated more with the phenomenon of long-term global warming. Differences in the regional responses to climate change throughout the California Current system have also been observed recently in the spatial distribution of zooplankton biomass and changes in latitudinal ranges of certain species. For example, zooplankton biomass in the Baja California region show typical values for the 1997-98 El Niño that were followed by a decrease during the sharp transition to the cool La Niña conditions in 1999. This contrasts with the nearby region off southern California that was characterized by reduced biomass during the El Niño period and the subsequent recovery during the La Niña. Another regional contrast in zooplankton distribution observed recently was the significant presence of subarctic euphausiid species off Baja California during July 2005, while the krill collapsed in the region off Oregon in the same period. It is reasonable to suspect that regional contrasts in the zooplankton abundance and species distributions may increase as a response to latitudinal shifts in habitat character due to global warming.
Lavaniegos, B. E.
Land use change, natural disturbance, and climate change directly alter ecosystem productivity and carbon stock level. The estimation of ecosystem carbon dynamics depends on the quality of land cover change data and the effectiveness of the ecosystem models that represent the vegetation growth processes and disturbance effects. We used the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) and a set of 30- to 60-m resolution fire and land cover change data to examine the carbon changes of California's forests, shrublands, and grasslands. Simulation results indicate that during 1951-2000, the net primary productivity (NPP) increased by 7%, from 72.2 to 77.1TgCyr-1 (1 teragram=1012g), mainly due to CO2 fertilization, since the climate hardly changed during this period. Similarly, heterotrophic respiration increased by 5%, from 69.4 to 73.1TgCyr-1, mainly due to increased forest soil carbon and temperature. Net ecosystem production (NEP) was highly variable in the 50-year period but on average equalled 3.0TgCyr-1 (total of 149TgC). As with NEP, the net biome production (NBP) was also highly variable but averaged -0.55TgCyr-1 (total of -27.3TgC) because NBP in the 1980s was very low (-5.34TgCyr-1). During the study period, a total of 126Tg carbon were removed by logging and land use change, and 50Tg carbon were directly removed by wildland fires. For carbon pools, the estimated total living upper canopy (tree) biomass decreased from 928 to 834TgC, and the understory (including shrub and grass) biomass increased from 59 to 63TgC. Soil carbon and dead biomass carbon increased from 1136 to 1197TgC. Our analyses suggest that both natural and human processes have significant influence on the carbon change in California. During 1951-2000, climate interannual variability was the key driving force for the large interannual changes of ecosystem carbon source and sink at the state level, while logging and fire were the dominant driving forces for carbon balances in several specific ecoregions. From a long-term perspective, CO2 fertilization plays a key role in maintaining higher NPP. However, our study shows that the increase in C sequestration by CO2 fertilization is largely offset by logging/land use change and wildland fires. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Liu, J.; Vogelmann, J. E.; Zhu, Z.; Key, C. H.; Sleeter, B. M.; Price, D. T.; Chen, J. M.; Cochrane, M. A.; Eidenshink, J. C.; Howard, S. M.; Bliss, N. B.; Jiang, H.
This study analyzes interannual variability in springtime carbon biomass of pelagic tunicates (salps, doliolids, pyrosomes, and appendicularians) over the period 1951-2002 from CalCOFI zooplankton samples taken in the southern sector of the California Current System. The results provide evidence for ecosystem changes between 1976 and 1977 and perhaps between 1998 and 1999. A cool-phase group of salps ( Salpa maxima, Pegea socia, Cyclosalpa bakeri, and Cyclosalpa affinis) that was present between 1951 and 1976 was nearly undetectable in Southern California waters during the warm phase of the California Current (1977-98). C. bakeri and C. affinis then re-appeared in 2001. A persistent group of salps ( Salpa aspera, Salpa fusiformis, Thalia democratica, Ritteriella picteti, Iasis zonaria) was observed throughout the study period. The cool-phase species tend to be distributed in mid-latitudes, while the distributions of the persistent species extend to equatorial waters. The cool-phase species have been reported to show little evidence of diel vertical migration, while most of the persistent species are reported to be diel migrants. No distinct multi-decadal patterns were observed in the dominant doliolid Dolioletta gegenbauri, but the rarer subtropical doliolid Doliolum denticulatum was present predominantly during the warm phase of the California Current. The recurrence patterns and biogeographic distributions of both salps and doliolids suggest that the warm phase of the California Current was accompanied by at least some intervals of anomalous transport "seeding" organisms from the south. Variations in total pyrosome and total appendicularian carbon biomass are not clearly related to long-term trends in the water column, although the highest pyrosome biomass occurred in earlier decades and appendicularian biomass has increased since 1999. Long-term changes in the biomass of pelagic tunicates appear to be chiefly responsible for the previously documented long-term decline in California Current total zooplankton biomass. The pattern of decline appeared to reverse in 1999, with a shift to cooler temperatures, somewhat reduced thermal stratification, and an increase in biomass of total zooplankton and of pelagic tunicates.
Lavaniegos, Bertha E.; Ohman, Mark D.
Until recently, quantitative measurements of the circulation of the California Current were limited to hydrographic determinations [See figure in the PDF file] of temperature and salinity. This information is now being augmented by satellite data. Clouds permitting, satellite scanner systems can locate major ocean frontal boundaries if they are associated with even quite weak horizontal sea-surface temperature gradients. The satellite data are most usefully interpreted in a region such as that encompassing the California Current, where the surface and main thermocline temperature distributions bear some relation to each other. In such a region, it is possible to make interpretations of circulation based on satellite-derived sea-surface temperature patterns. The correctness of these interpretations depends heavily on the availability of historical and present-day subsurface data, collected by conventional methods from ships and aircraft. Satellite infrared scanners, in addition to providing information on circulation with vastly increased spatial resolution, have the potential (with cooperative weather) for providing increased time resolution. These improvements in resolution have permitted us to see that much of the spatial variation in the California Current takes place along welldefined fronts and to observe the evolution of one particular meander. PMID:17844599
Bernstein, R L; Breaker, L; Whritner, R
The Humboldt squid is an important predator in the pelagic ecosystem of the central Gulf of California and the commercial catch of this species has increased over the past decade, probable due to a decrease of several top predators (sharks, large pelagic fish and the marine mammals) and the optimal feeding conditions in this area. Its high abundance and important
R. Rosas-Luis; C. A. Salinas-Zavala; V. Koch; P. Del Monte Luna; M. V. Morales-Zárate
In the modern ocean the eastern side of the North Pacific basin is characterized by the equatorward circulating California current and coastal upwelling, both of which lead to cool sea surface temperatures (SST) compared to the same latitude in the western part of the basin. The cool SSTs in this region contribute to important air-sea interactions that influence regional and global climate. SST records at ODP site 1012 and 1014 along the California margin (Brierly et al, 2009 and Dekens et al., 2007, respectively) show that the early Pliocene warm period was up to 9°C warmer compared to today. However, both of these sites are located south of Point conception. Given the heterogeneity of SST along the California margin today, and the importance that variability plays in controlling regional climate, it is important to understand if the latitudinal and zonal SST gradients observed along the coast today were present during a previous time of global warmth. We will present alkenone (UK'37) SST estimates for the early Pliocene from a latitudinal transect along the California margin. The site furthest south is ODP site 1011 (31.5°N, 117.5°W), while the site furthest north is ODP site ODP site 1020 (41.0°N, 126.5°W). The sites in between, ODP sites 1016 (34.5°N, 122.5°W), 1018 (37.0°N, 123.5°W), and 1022 (40.0°N, 125.5°W), along with previously published data from ODP sites 1012 and 1014, will provide a spatial map of SST along the California coast for the early Pliocene.
Dekens, P. S.; Reed, C. M.; Wojcieszek, D. E.
The detectability of many nearshore processes from ERTS is made possible due to the suspended sediment present in the coastal waters. From viewing and analyzing the California coastal imagery collected during the last year and a half, the overall current patterns and their changes have become evident. It is now possible to map monthly and seasonal changes that occur throughout the year. The original objectives of detecting currents, sediment transport, estuaries and river discharge have now been expanded to include the use of ERTS information in operational problems of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This incorporates the detected nearshore features into planning and organizing shore protection facilities.
Steller, D. D.; Pirie, D. M.
Invertebrates have long been used as resident sentinels for assessing ecosystem health and productivity. The shore crabs, Hemigrapsus oregonensis and Pachygrapsus crassipes, are abundant in estuaries and beaches throughout northern California, USA and have been used as indicators of habitat conditions in several salt marshes. The overall objectives of the present study were to conduct a lab-based study to test the accumulation of current-use pesticides, validate the analytical method and to analyze field-collected crabs for a suite of 74 current-use and legacy pesticides. A simple laboratory uptake study was designed to determine if embryos could bioconcentrate the herbicide molinate over a 7-d period. At the end of the experiment, embryos were removed from the crabs and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Although relatively hydrophilic (log KOW of 2.9), molinate did accumulate with an estimated bioconcentration factor (log BCF) of approximately 2.5. Following method validation, embryos were collected from two different Northern California salt marshes and analyzed. In field-collected embryos 18 current-use and eight organochlorine pesticides were detected including synthetic pyrethroids and organophosphate insecticides, as well as DDT and its degradates. Lipid-normalized concentrations of the pesticides detected in the field-collected crab embryos ranged from 0.1 to 4 ppm. Pesticide concentrations and profiles in crab embryos were site specific and could be correlated to differences in land-use practices. These preliminary results indicate that embryos are an effective sink for organic contaminants in the environment and have the potential to be good indicators of ecosystem health, especially when contaminant body burden analyses are paired with reproductive impairment assays.
Smalling, Kelly L.; Morgan, Steven; Kuivila, Kathryn K.
The ecological consequences of biodiversity loss have aroused considerable interest and controversy during the past decade. Major advances have been made in describing the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem processes, in identifying functionally important species, and in revealing underlying mechanisms. There is, however, uncertainty as to how results obtained in recent experiments scale up to landscape and regional levels
M. Loreau; S. Naeem; P. Inchausti; J. Bengtsson; J. P. Grime; A. Hector; D. U. Hooper; M. A. Huston; D. Raffaelli; B. Schmid; D. Tilman; D. A. Wardle
The ecological consequences of biodiversity loss have aroused considerable interest and controversy during the past decade. Major advances have been made in describing the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem processes, in identifying functionally important species, and in revealing underlying mechanisms. There is, however, uncertainty as to how results obtained in recent experiments scale up to landscape and regional levels
M. Loreau; S. Naeem; P. Inchausti; J. Bengtsson; J. P. Grime; A. Hector; D. U. Hooper; M. A. Huston; D. Raffaelli; B. Schmid; D. Tilman; D. A. Wardle
Large areas of the southern California desert ecosystem have been negatively affected by off-highway vehicle use, overgrazing by domestic livestock, agriculture, urbanization, construction of roads and utility corridors, air pollution, military training exercises, and other activities. Secondary contributions to degradation include the proliferation of exotic plant species and a higher frequency of an- thropogenic fire. Effects of these impacts include alteration or destruction of macro- and micro- vegetation elements, establishment of annual plant communities dominated by exotic species, destruction of soil stabilizers, soil compaction, and increased erosion. Published estimates of recovery time are based on return to predisturbance levels of biomass, cover, density, community structure, or soil characteristics. Natural recovery rates depend on the nature and severity of the impact but are generally very slow. Recovery to predisturbance plant cover and biomass may take 50-300 years, while complete ecosystem recovery may require over 3000 years. Restorative intervention can be used to enhance the success and rate of recovery, but the costs are high and the probability for long-term success is low to moderate. Given the sensitivity of desert habitats to disturbance and the slow rate of natural recovery, the best management option is to limit the extent and intensity of impacts as much as possible.
Lovich, J. E.; Bainbridge, D.
Schroeder, Isaac D.; Black, Bryan A.; Sydeman, William J.; Bograd, Steven J.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Santora, Jarrod A.; Wells, Brian K.
Moored acoustic Doppler current profiler velocity estimates and buoy wind observations made during a period of moderate southward winds were used to test the Ekman balance at a site in the California Current. As in prior studies, the wind-driven flow was separated from the total flow by subtraction of a deep reference current. The wind-driven flow was shown to be in an Ekman balance on daily timescales over a period of several months. The mean observed transport was to the right of the wind and agreed to within 3% in magnitude and 4° in phase with the predicted Ekman transport, although the error bar was about 20%. The mean velocity profile was a smooth spiral, qualitatively similar (although flatter) than the theoretical Ekman spiral. Prom the observed mean momentum balance, profiles of the turbulent stress and eddy viscosity were inferred. Eddy viscosity estimates within the wind mixed layer were O(100 cm2 s-1).
Chereskin, T. K.
Marine spatial planning and ecosystem models that aim to predict and protect fisheries and wildlife benefit greatly from syntheses of empirical information on physical and biological partitioning of marine ecosystems. Here, we develop spatially-explicit oceanographic and ecological descriptions of the central California Current region. To partition this region, we integrate data from 20 years of shipboard surveys with satellite remote-sensing to characterize local seascapes of ecological significance, focusing on krill, other micronekton taxa, and top predators (seabirds and marine mammals). Specifically, we investigate if micronekton and predator assemblages co-vary spatially with mesoscale oceanographic conditions. The first principal component of environmental and micronekton seascapes indicates significant coupling between physics, primary productivity, and secondary and tertiary marine consumers. Subsequent principal components indicate latitudinal variability in niche-community space due to varying habitat characteristics between Monterey Bay (deep submarine canyon system) and the Gulf of the Farallones (extensive continental shelf), even though both of these sub-regions are located downstream from upwelling centers. Overall, we identified five ecologically important areas based on spatial integration of environmental and biotic features. These areas, characterized by proximity to upwelling centers, shallow pycnoclines, and high chlorophyll-a and krill concentrations, are potential areas of elevated trophic focusing for specific epipelagic and mesopelagic communities. This synthesis will benefit ecosystem-based management approaches for the central California Current, a region long-impacted by anthropogenic factors.
Santora, Jarrod A.; Field, John C.; Schroeder, Isaac D.; Sakuma, Keith M.; Wells, Brian K.; Sydeman, William J.
Current meter data from a trial of moorings located on the continental rise offshore of Point Reyes-Point Arena and from a mooring site located about 250 km offshore and to the northwest of the array are analyzed. The continental rise moorings were deployed from October 1984 to July 1985, and each had five meters at depths from about 150 to
Michele M. Rienecker; Christopher N. K. Mooers; Robert L. Smith
This portal provides a current review of the ecosystem and climate of the Bering Sea. One link provides access to an article featuring an overview of the current state of the sea in terms of ecosystem and climate change. The "Quick View" segment provides graphic representations of how four indicators (physical data, biology and fisheries, climate indices, and composites) have changed over time. Other links provide access to datasets, science reports and essays, and to additional information such as maps and photographs.
We analyzed variations in naturally occurring ?15N in four species of zooplankton as an index of climate influences on pelagic food web structure in a major eastern boundary current ecosystem. Our analyses focused on two species of particle-grazing copepods ( Calanus pacificus and Eucalanus californicus) and two species of carnivorous chaetognaths ( Sagitta bierii and Sagitta euneritica), drawing on the CalCOFI zooplankton time series from both the southern and central sectors of the California Current System. We detected a significant difference between regions in average stable N isotope content of the two species of copepods, with ?15N elevated by 0.5-1.1 per mil in the southern region, but no regional differences in the isotopic content of the chaetognaths. We address climate influences over a 54-year time period, on three different time scales: interannual (dominated by ENSO), decadal, and multi-decadal. Three of four species showed evidence of an ENSO-related isotopic shift toward increased 15N during El Niño conditions. In addition, in Southern California waters, C. pacificus and S. euneritica showed elevated ?15N in the warm phase of the NE Pacific between 1978 and 1998 relative to the preceding and following time periods. When considered over the entire 5½ decades treated here, for most species there was remarkable long-term stability in stable isotope content in both southern and central California waters, despite interannual and decadal perturbations. Only E. californicus in the southern sector showed a significant downward secular trend in ?15N. Variability of ?15N in 3 species covaried with the average nitrate concentration in the mixed layer, suggesting altered nitrate utilization at the base of the food web as a primary mechanism underlying interannual changes in zooplankton isotopic content.
Ohman, Mark D.; Rau, Greg H.; Hull, Pincelli M.
This self-contained module on ecosystems includes a range of fun activities that students can perform in the classroom and at home with family members. They impart important concepts such as observation, identification, measurement, and differentiation.
Science, Houghton M.
We analyzed long-term (56-year) variations in springtime biomass of the zooplankton of the California Current System from two primary regions sampled by CalCOFI: Southern California (SC) and Central California (CC) waters. All organisms were enumerated from the plankton samples and converted to organic carbon biomass using length-carbon relationships, then aggregated into 19 major taxa. Planktonic copepods dominate the carbon biomass in both SC (59%) and CC (46%), followed by euphausiids (18% and 25% of mean biomass in SC and CC, respectively). Pelagic tunicates, especially salps and doliolids, constituted a higher fraction of the biomass in CC (13%) than in SC (5%). There was no long-term trend detectable in total zooplankton carbon biomass, in marked contrast to a decline in zooplankton displacement volume in both regions. The difference between these biomass metrics is accounted for by a long-term decline in pelagic tunicates (particularly salps), which have a relatively high ratio of biovolume:carbon. The decline in pelagic tunicates was accompanied by a long-term increase in water column density stratification. No other taxa showed a decline over the duration of the study, apart from salps and pyrosomes in SC and doliolids in CC. Some zooplankton taxa showed compensatory increases over the same time period (ostracods, large decapods, and calycophoran siphonophores in both SC and CC; appendicularians and polychaetes in SC). Two tests for ecosystem shifts, a sequential algorithm and the cumulative sum of anomalies (CuSum) approach, failed to detect changes in 1976-1977 in total carbon biomass, displacement volume, or most individual major taxa, suggesting that aggregated biomass is an insensitive indicator of climate forcing. In contrast, both techniques revealed a cluster of step-like changes associated with the La Niña of 1999. The major El Niños in the past half century have consistently depressed total zooplankton biomass and biomass of many major taxa in both SC and CC, although such effects are transitory. Much, but not all, of the interannual variability in zooplankton is shared between the Southern and Central California sectors of the California Current System.
Lavaniegos, Bertha E.; Ohman, Mark D.
Rangeland ecosystems managed for livestock production represent the largest land-use footprint globally, covering more than one-quarter of the world's land surface (Asner et al. 2004). In California, rangelands cover an estimated 17 million hectares or approximately 40% of the land area (FRAP 2003). These ecosystems have considerable potential to sequester carbon (C) in soil and offset greenhouse gas emissions through changes in land management practices. Climate policies and C markets may provide incentives for rangeland managers to pursue strategies that optimize soil C storage, yet we lack a thorough understanding of the effects of management on soil C pools in rangelands over time and space. We sampled soil C pools on rangelands in a 260 km2 region of Marin and Sonoma counties to determine if patterns in soil C storage exist with management. Replicate soil samples were collected from 35 fields that spanned the dominant soil orders, plant communities, and management practices in the region while controlling for slope and bioclimatic zone (n = 1050). Management practices included organic amendments, intensive (dairy) and extensive (other) grazing practices, and subsoiling. Soil C pools ranged from approximately 50 to 140 Mg C ha-1 to 1 m depth, with a mean of 99 ± 22 (sd) Mg C ha-1. Differences among sites were due primarily to C concentrations, which exhibited a much larger coefficient of variation than bulk density at all depths. There were no statistically significant differences among the dominant soil orders. Subsoiling appeared to significantly increase soil C content in the top 50 cm, even though subsoiling had only occurred for the first time the previous Nov. Organic amendments also appeared to greatly increase soil C pools, and was the dominant factor that distinguished soil C pools in intensive and extensive land uses. Our results indicate that management has the potential to significantly increase soil C pools. Future research will determine the location of sequestered C within the soil matrix and its turnover time.
Silver, W. L.; Ryals, R.; Lewis, D. J.; Creque, J.; Wacker, M.; Larson, S.
Automated measurements provide the high-resolution information that enables us to analyze potential causes for diel variability in soil respiration. These diel patterns are the complex result of biological and physical processes that determine the production and diffusion of CO2 through the soil. We examined the diel patterns of soil respiration from four arid California ecosystems: (1) a pinon-juniper woodland in at the Burns Pinon Ridge Reserve near Joshua Tree National Park, (2) a cold desert shrub community and (3) a perennial grassland near the city of Bishop in the Owens Valley, and (4) a mixed oak-pine forest at the James Reserve in the San Jacinto Mountains. In addition to automated chamber and environmental measurements at these sites, we used isotopic (14C) partitioning techniques to separate the plant and microbial sources contributing to soil respiration at certain time points. Here we present the diel cycles of soil respiration and environmental variables, the source partitioning results, and hypotheses about what processes determine these diel patterns that both span, and are specific to the studied ecosystems. In these systems dominated by Mediterranean or desert climates, we observed that factors like relative humidity can dominate the diel variations in soil respiration for sites with very dry surface litter. At other sites and times of year, diel variation in soil respiration reflects photosynthetic and VPD influence on root respiration. The combination of automated chamber measurements with isotopes provides information useful for separating the plant and heterotrophic control on diel and seasonal soil respiration fluxes.
Carbone, M.; Trumbore, S.; Winston, G.; Serio, D.
Synechococcus is an abundant marine cyanobacterial genus composed of different populations that vary physiologically. Synechococcus narB gene sequences (encoding for nitrate reductase in cyanobacteria) obtained previously from isolates and the environment (e.g., North Pacific Gyre Station ALOHA, Hawaii or Monterey Bay, CA, USA) were used to develop quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays. These qPCR assays were used to quantify populations from specific narB phylogenetic clades across the California Current System (CCS), a region composed of dynamic zones between a coastal-upwelling zone and the oligotrophic Pacific Ocean. Targeted populations (narB subgroups) had different biogeographic patterns across the CCS, which appear to be driven by environmental conditions. Subgroups C_C1, D_C1, and D_C2 were abundant in coastal-upwelling to coastal-transition zone waters with relatively high to intermediate ammonium, nitrate, and chl. a concentrations. Subgroups A_C1 and F_C1 were most abundant in coastal-transition zone waters with intermediate nutrient concentrations. E_O1 and G_O1 were most abundant at different depths of oligotrophic open-ocean waters (either in the upper mixed layer or just below). E_O1, A_C1, and F_C1 distributions differed from other narB subgroups and likely possess unique ecologies enabling them to be most abundant in waters between coastal and open-ocean waters. Different CCS zones possessed distinct Synechococcus communities. Core California current water possessed low numbers of narB subgroups relative to counted Synechococcus cells, and coastal-transition waters contained high abundances of Synechococcus cells and total number of narB subgroups. The presented biogeographic data provides insight on the distributions and ecologies of Synechococcus present in an eastern boundary current system.
Paerl, Ryan W.; Johnson, Kenneth S.; Welsh, Rory M.; Worden, Alexandra Z.; Chavez, Francisco P.; Zehr, Jonathan P.
Empirical critical loads for N deposition effects and maps showing areas projected to be in exceedance of the critical load (CL) are given for seven major vegetation types in California. Thirty-five percent of the land area for these vegetation types (99,639 km(2)) is estimated to be in excess of the N CL. Low CL values (3-8 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) were determined for mixed conifer forests, chaparral and oak woodlands due to highly N-sensitive biota (lichens) and N-poor or low biomass vegetation in the case of coastal sage scrub (CSS), annual grassland, and desert scrub vegetation. At these N deposition critical loads the latter three ecosystem types are at risk of major vegetation type change because N enrichment favors invasion by exotic annual grasses. Fifty-four and forty-four percent of the area for CSS and grasslands are in exceedance of the CL for invasive grasses, while 53 and 41% of the chaparral and oak woodland areas are in exceedance of the CL for impacts on epiphytic lichen communities. Approximately 30% of the desert (based on invasive grasses and increased fire risk) and mixed conifer forest (based on lichen community changes) areas are in exceedance of the CL. These ecosystems are generally located further from emissions sources than many grasslands or CSS areas. By comparison, only 3-15% of the forested and chaparral land areas are estimated to be in exceedance of the NO(3)(-) leaching CL. The CL for incipient N saturation in mixed conifer forest catchments was 17 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). In 10% of the CL exceedance areas for all seven vegetation types combined, the CL is exceeded by at least 10 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1), and in 27% of the exceedance areas the CL is exceeded by at least 5 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Management strategies for mitigating the effects of excess N are based on reducing N emissions and reducing site N capital through approaches such as biomass removal and prescribed fire or control of invasive grasses by mowing, selective herbicides, weeding or domestic animal grazing. Ultimately, decreases in N deposition are needed for long-term ecosystem protection and sustainability, and this is the only strategy that will protect epiphytic lichen communities. PMID:20705383
Fenn, M E; Allen, E B; Weiss, S B; Jovan, S; Geiser, L H; Tonnesen, G S; Johnson, R F; Rao, L E; Gimeno, B S; Yuan, F; Meixner, T; Bytnerowicz, A
In 2009, a pilot project was implemented in Humboldt Bay, near Eureka, California to measure the currents produced by tsunamis. This area is susceptible to both near- and far-field tsunamis and has a historic record of damaging events. Crescent City Harbor, located about 100km north of Humboldt Bay, suffered 20 million in damages from strong currents produced by the 2006 Kuril Islands tsunami and an additional 16 million from the 2011 Tohoku-oki (Japan) tsunami. We deployed a Nortek Aquadopp 600kHz 2D Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) with a one-minute sampling interval in Humboldt Bay, near the NOAA tide gauge site. The instrument recorded the tsunami produced by the Mw 8.8 Chilean earthquake on February 27, 2010 as well as the Mw 9.0 Japanese earthquake on March 11, 2011. Currents from the 2010 tsunami persisted in Humboldt Bay for at least 30hrs with a peak current amplitude of 0.3m/s. The 2011 tsunami signal lasted for over 86hrs with a peak amplitude of 1.2m/s. Strongest currents corresponded to the maximum change in water level as recorded on the NOAA tide gauge, about 90min after the initial wave arrival. Tsunami currents associated with ebb tides (tidal currents flowing out of the bay) were about 25% larger than currents associated with flood tides. No damage was observed in Humboldt Bay for either event; the 2011 tsunami pulled one boat away from its moorings at the marina about six kilometers away from the instrument site. Although we have no instrument in Crescent City, we were able to estimate currents for the first three and a half hours of the Japan tsunami using security camera video footage from the Harbor Master building across from the entrance to the boat basin, about 70m away from the NOAA tide gauge site. Most of the damage occurred within this time window. The strongest currents reached 4.5m/s and six cycles exceeded 4m/s in the three and a half hours of data. We used the MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunamis) model to compare measured currents to numerical predictions. MOST does a reasonably good job of predicting peak amplitudes for the 2010 and 2011 events in Humboldt Bay and the 2011 tsunami in Crescent City. For Humboldt Bay, the model does a good job of replicating the first four hours of the signal although the ebb currents are slightly underestimated. The model predictions break down for the later part of the signal. This project shows that ADCPs can effectively record tsunami currents for small to moderate events. Data from this project will be used to validate and/or calibrate MOST so that realistic tsunami current hazard maps can be generated for California for use by harbor managers.
Admire, A. R.; Dengler, L.; Crawford, G. B.; uslu, B. U.; Montoya, J.; Wilson, R. I.
Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.
Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; Gon, Sam 'Ohukani'ohi'a, III; Koob, Gregory A.
Shoreline concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and fecal indicator viruses (FIV) in Avalon Bay (Catalina Island, California) display a marked diurnal pattern (higher at night and lower during the day) previously attributed to the tidal flux of sewage-contaminated groundwater and the tidal washing of contaminated sediments, coupled with light and dark die-off of FIB and FIV (Boehm, et al., Environ. Sci. Technol. 2009, 43, 8046-8052). In this paper we document the existence of strong (peak velocities between 20 to 40 cm/s) transient currents in the nearshore waters of Avalon Bay that occur between 07:00 and 20:00 each day. These currents, which have a significant onshore component, are generated by anthropogenic activities in the Bay, including prop wash from local boat traffic and the docking practices of large passenger ferries. A budget analysis carried out on simultaneous measurements of FIB at two cross-shore locations indicates that anthropogenic currents contribute to the diurnal cycling of FIB concentrations along the shoreline, by transporting relatively unpolluted water from offshore toward the beach. The data and analysis presented in this paper support the idea that anthropogenic currents represent a significant, and previously overlooked, source of variability in shoreline water quality. PMID:21329349
Ho, Lin C; Litton, Rachel M; Grant, Stanley B
Polycystine radiolarians were identified in 36 plankton samples collected at depths ranging from 0 to 2000 m at four stations extending west from about the U.S.-Mexico border (approx. 32°N,117°W to 124°W), in November-December 1977. In total, 136 radiolarian taxa were recorded, but 90% of all individuals were accounted for by only 40 of these. Highest abundances were found either at the surface, or at 25-50 m. Based on maxima in the vertical profiles of the most abundant radiolarians, three major depth-intervals were defined in the upper 300 m: 0-50 m,100 m and 200-300 m. Between-station-similarities in the specific makeups of these layers, however, were low. Thirty-nine taxa had peak abundances below 300 m at one or more stations; 11 of these are probably deep-water forms. Although in terms of individuals per liter of water filtered, upper-layer taxa are noticeably more abundant than deep species, the latter have much more extended depth-ranges, which might significantly enhance their sedimentary output. The inshore and oceanic stations shared very similar, warmer-water radiolarian assemblages in the uppermost 25 m, whereas the intermediate station was dominated by colder-water forms at those depths. Below 50 m, however, the inshore station had enhanced proportions of deeper- and colder-water species, differing strongly from the oceanic site. We suggest that this pattern results from circulation of the Southern California Eddy, which transports Central Water from the oceanic station on the western edge of the California Current around the intermediate stations to the inshore stations. The coldwater signal at subsurface layers of the inshore station could be reinforced by coastal upwelling and southward transport by the California Current, thus further enhancing the abundances of deeperwater radiolarians at this site. Analyses of the effect of such vertical patterns on paleoceanographic interpretations stress the importance of the signal of "environmentally neutral" deep-living species, as well as that of shells produced in the near-surface layers of distant areas and transported at depth to the region of the study.
Kling, Stanley A.; Boltovskoy, Demetrio
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), for its 2013 Update of the California Water Plan (CWP), is building new analytic capabilities for developing and evaluating regional and state-wide water management strategies. These strategies are intended to address growing and diverse water needs coupled with uncertain future hydrologic conditions and available supplies. Recognizing the significant uncertainty about future water management conditions, DWR is utilizing new robust decision methods to identify robust and adaptive water management strategies. This talk will describe a recently completed application of Robust Decision Making (RDM) for long-term water planning as part of the 2013 CWP Update. This analysis utilizes a new hydrologic / water management model of the Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, and Tulare hydrologic regions, running the model under hundreds of potential futures. These futures consider potential variation in demographic growth, land-use patterns, drought length and timing, and other climate factors from projections generated by downscaled global circulation models. Cluster-finding "scenario discovery" algorithms, applied to the resulting database of simulation model results, identify the key characteristics of future conditions where current management fails to meet a wide range of policy objectives. These "vulnerabilities" provide the foundation for developing more robust and adaptive response packages and the considering tradeoffs between such response packages. This analysis will provide guidance for considering response packages to meet the challenges posed by future conditions in the California Central Valley and provides a widely applicable new approach for making water management plans more cognizant and responsive to a wide range of uncertainties.
Bloom, E.; Groves, D.; Joyce, B. A.; Juricich, R.
This "Ecosystems" module has four units of instruction. The units include: natural selection, population balance, exchange cycles, and environmental protection. Each module has a "Hazards" link that leads to a menu of study units on various environmental hazards (such as oil spills, farm runoff, insecticides, and so on).
Klemm, W. R.
High bycatch of non-target species and species of conservation concern often drives the implementation of fisheries policies. However, species- or fishery-specific policies may lead to indirect consequences, positive or negative, for other species or fisheries. We use an Atlantis ecosystem model of the Northern Gulf of California to evaluate the effects of fisheries policies directed at reducing bycatch of vaquita (Phocoena sinus) on other species of conservation concern, priority target species, and metrics of ecosystem function and structure. Vaquita, a Critically Endangered porpoise endemic to the Upper Gulf of California, are frequently entangled by finfish gillnets and shrimp driftnets. We tested five fishery management scenarios, projected over 30 years (2008 to 2038), directed at vaquita conservation. The scenarios consider progressively larger spatial restrictions for finfish gillnets and shrimp driftnets. The most restrictive scenario resulted in the highest biomass of species of conservation concern; the scenario without any conservation measures in place resulted in the lowest. Vaquita experienced the largest population increase of any functional group; their biomass increased 2.7 times relative to initial (2008) levels under the most restrictive spatial closure scenario. Bycatch of sea lions, sea turtles, and totoaba decreased > 80% in shrimp driftnets and at least 20% in finfish gillnet fleets under spatial management. We found indirect effects on species and ecosystem function and structure as a result of vaquita management actions. Biomass and catch of forage fish declined, which could affect lower-trophic level fisheries, while other species such as skates, rays, and sharks increased in both biomass and catch. When comparing across performance metrics, we found that scenarios that increased ecosystem function and structure resulted in lower economic performance indicators, underscoring the need for management actions that consider ecological and economic tradeoffs as part of the integrated management of the Upper Gulf of California. PMID:23691155
Morzaria-Luna, Hem Nalini; Ainsworth, Cameron H; Kaplan, Isaac C; Levin, Phillip S; Fulton, Elizabeth A
High bycatch of non-target species and species of conservation concern often drives the implementation of fisheries policies. However, species- or fishery-specific policies may lead to indirect consequences, positive or negative, for other species or fisheries. We use an Atlantis ecosystem model of the Northern Gulf of California to evaluate the effects of fisheries policies directed at reducing bycatch of vaquita (Phocoena sinus) on other species of conservation concern, priority target species, and metrics of ecosystem function and structure. Vaquita, a Critically Endangered porpoise endemic to the Upper Gulf of California, are frequently entangled by finfish gillnets and shrimp driftnets. We tested five fishery management scenarios, projected over 30 years (2008 to 2038), directed at vaquita conservation. The scenarios consider progressively larger spatial restrictions for finfish gillnets and shrimp driftnets. The most restrictive scenario resulted in the highest biomass of species of conservation concern; the scenario without any conservation measures in place resulted in the lowest. Vaquita experienced the largest population increase of any functional group; their biomass increased 2.7 times relative to initial (2008) levels under the most restrictive spatial closure scenario. Bycatch of sea lions, sea turtles, and totoaba decreased > 80% in shrimp driftnets and at least 20% in finfish gillnet fleets under spatial management. We found indirect effects on species and ecosystem function and structure as a result of vaquita management actions. Biomass and catch of forage fish declined, which could affect lower-trophic level fisheries, while other species such as skates, rays, and sharks increased in both biomass and catch. When comparing across performance metrics, we found that scenarios that increased ecosystem function and structure resulted in lower economic performance indicators, underscoring the need for management actions that consider ecological and economic tradeoffs as part of the integrated management of the Upper Gulf of California.
Morzaria-Luna, Hem Nalini; Ainsworth, Cameron H.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Levin, Phillip S.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.
Microbial enzymes play a fundamental role in ecosystem processes and nutrient mineralization. Although there have been many studies concluding that global climate change affects plant communities, the effects on microbial communities in leaf litter have been much less studied. We measured extracellular enzyme activities in litter decomposing in plots with either reduced precipitation or increased nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem in Loma Ridge National Landmark in Southern California. We used a reciprocal transplant design to examine the effects of plot treatment, litter origin, and microbial community origin on litter decomposition and extracellular enzyme activity. Our hypothesis was that increased nitrogen would increase activity because nitrogen often limits microbial growth, while decreased precipitation would decrease activity due to lower litter moisture levels. Samples were collected in March 2011 and analyzed for the activities of cellobiohydrolase (CBH), ?-glucosidase (BG), ?-glucosidase (AG), N-acetyl-?-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), ?-xylosidase (BX), acid phosphatase (AP), and leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). None of the factors in the nitrogen manipulation had a significant effect on any of the enzymes, although BG, CBH, and NAG increased marginally significantly in plots with nitrogen addition (p = 0.103, p = 0.082, and p = 0.114, respectively). For the precipitation manipulation, AG, BG, BX, CBH, and NAG significantly increased in plots with reduced precipitation (p = 0.015, p <0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.001, respectively) while LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.002). LAP catalyzes the hydrolysis of polypeptides, so reduced LAP activity could result in lower rates of enzyme turnover in the reduced precipitation treatment. We also observed that AP significantly increased (p = 0.014) in litter originating from reduced precipitation plots, while AG, BX, and LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.011, p = 0.031, and 0.005, respectively). There were no significant correlations found between fungal or bacterial mass and enzymatic activity with either of the treatment types. Our results suggest that increased enzymatic activity due to drought could mitigate negative effects of moisture limitation on decomposition. However, this mitigating effect may be offset by declines in enzyme activity due to changes in plant community composition and associated litter chemistry in response to drought.
Alster, C. J.; German, D.; Allison, S. D.
Groundwater ecosystems constitute the largest terrestrial freshwater biome. They are dark, extremely low in energy and do not provide much space but they contain an unexpectedly high diversity of living forms showing characteristic adaptive features. The restricted accessibility along with the enormous 'invisible' heterogeneity challenged for a long time testing of scientific theories and unraveling of ecosystem functioning. Triggered by an improved interdisciplinarity, comprehensive sampling strategies and current developments in biotechnology and statistical analysis, groundwater ecology gains momentum entering a new era of research. We are only beginning to understand adaptive mechanisms, species distribution patterns and ecosystem functioning. Ninety-five percent of global liquid freshwater is stored in the terrestrial subsurface constituting a major source of water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes. There is an urgent need to integrate evolutionary and ecological research for developing a holistic perspective of the functional roles of biodiversity and ecosystem services and predicting global changes under alternative groundwater resource use scenarios. PMID:24590188
Griebler, Christian; Malard, Florian; Lefébure, Tristan
Given the importance of nitrate in sustaining high primary production and fishery yields in eastern boundary current ecosystems, it is desirable to know the amounts of this nutrient reaching the euphotic zone through the upwelling process. Because such measurements are not routinely available, we developed predictive models of water-column (0-200 m) nitrate based on temperature for a region of the California Current System (30-47°N) within 50 km from the coast. Prediction was done using generalized additive models based on a compilation of 37,607 observations collected over the period 1959-2004 and validated with a separate set of 6430 observations for the period 2005-2011. A temperature-only model had relatively high explanatory power (explained deviance, D2 = 71.6%) but contained important depth, latitudinal, and seasonal biases. A model incorporating salinity in addition to temperature (D2 = 91.2%) corrected for the latitudinal and depth biases but not the seasonal bias. The best model included oxygen, temperature, and salinity (D2 = 96.6%) and adequately predicted nitrate temporal behavior at two widely separated locations (44°39.1'N and 32°54.6'N) with slight or no bias [root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 2.39 and 0.40 µM, respectively). For situations when only temperature is available, a model including depth, month, and latitude as proxy covariates corrects some of the biases, but it had lower predictive skill (RMSE = 2.50 and 5.22 ?M, respectively). The results of this study have applications for the proxy derivation of nitrate availability for primary producers (phytoplankton, macroalgae) in upwelling regions and for biogeochemical and ecosystem modeling studies.
Palacios, Daniel M.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Schroeder, Isaac D.; Bograd, Steven J.
Organic matter amendments, such as compost and manure, are often applied to grasslands to improve soil conditions and enhance net primary productivity. It has been proposed that this land management strategy can sequester carbon (C) in soils and may therefore contribute to climate change mitigation. However, the net mitigation potential of organic amendments depends in part on the ecosystem response following land-application, which is likely to vary with the amendment chemical quality (C, N, C:N). To investigate the differences in ecosystem response to soil amendments of various qualities, we established research plots on three grazed annual grasslands in northern California. The study sites were sampled for soil chemical and physical properties (bulk density, temperature, and moisture), plant community composition, and peak season net primary productivity prior to and following treatment applications. In October 2011, before the rainy season, we applied a thin layer of organic amendments to the study plots. At each site, three replicate plots were treated with fresh manure (1.2 % N, 15.8 % C, C:N = 13.5), three plots were treated with a commercial plant-waste compost (2.4 % N, 26.6 % C, C:N = 11.1), and three plots were left untreated as controls. At one site, 3 additional plots received a thin layer of compost with a lower N concentration and a higher C:N ratio (1.9 % N, 27.4 % C, C:N = 14.5). All plots were sampled for greenhouse gas emissions (N2O, CH4, and CO2, n=3 per plot) using vented chambers shortly after the organic matter was applied, and then intensively following three rain events throughout the rainy season. Results showed that dry amendments were associated with negligible trace gas fluxes, but that these fluxes increased after rain events. Nitrous oxide emissions increased slightly after the first rain event and reached peak levels (approximately 20 ng N cm-1 h-1 for the manure and high N compost only) after three days, following second rain event. The emissions from the high N compost declined more quickly than the manure emissions during the dry-up period. The low N compost exhibited the lowest peak emissions (< 5 ng N cm-1 h-1). Nitrous oxide emissions for all amendments quickly declined and were negligible on both wet and dry days sampled during mid-rainy season. These results suggest that trace gas emissions may not strongly offset the mitigation potential for organic matter amendments. However, differences in the amendment type and quality can influence the offset magnitude. These findings will be presented within the context of other key ecosystem characteristics, such as plant community composition, net primary productivity, and soil conditions.
DeLonge, M. S.; Silver, W. L.
This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 6-8. It focuses on biodiversity within ecosystems and within species. Students visit a local area and collect leaves to demonstrate how diverse life can exist within a small area. Included are objectives, materials, procedures, discussion questions, evaluation ideas, suggested readings, and vocabulary. There are videos available to order which complement this lesson, an audio-enhanced vocabulary list, and links to teaching tools for making custom quizzes, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans.
This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 6-8. It focuses on biodiversity within ecosystems and within species. Students visit a local area and collect leaves to demonstrate how diverse life can exist within a small area. Included are objectives, materials, procedures, discussion questions, evaluation ideas, suggested readings, and vocabulary. There are videos available to order which complement this lesson, an audio-enhanced vocabulary list, and links to teaching tools for making custom quizzes, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans.
Therapeutic hypothermia initiated at <6 hours of age reduces death and disability in newborns ? 36 weeks' gestation with moderate to severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Given the limited therapeutic window, cooling during transport becomes a necessity. Our goal was to describe the current practice of therapeutic hypothermia during transport used in the state of California. All level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) were contacted to identify those units providing therapeutic hypothermia. An electronic questionnaire was sent to obtain basic information. Responses were received from 28 (100%) NICUs performing therapeutic hypothermia; 26 NICUs were cooling newborns and two were in the process of program development. Eighteen (64%) centers had cooled a patient in transport, six had not yet cooled in transport, and two do not plan to cool in transport. All 18 centers use passive cooling, except for two that perform both passive and active cooling, and 17 of 18 centers recommend initiation of cooling at the referral hospital. Reported difficulties include overcooling, undercooling, and bradycardia. Cooling on transport is being performed by majority of NICUs providing therapeutic hypothermia. Clinical protocols and devices for cooling in transport are essential to ensure safety and efficacy. PMID:22143969
Akula, Vishnu Priya; Davis, Alexis S; Gould, Jeffery B; Van Meurs, Krisa
Understanding of the effects of wildland fire and fire management on aquatic and riparian ecosystems is an evolving field, with many questions still to be resolved. Limitations of current knowledge, and the certainty that fire management will continue, underscore the need to summarize available information. Integrating fire and fuels management with aquatic ecosystem conservation begins with recognizing that terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are linked and dynamic, and that fire can play a critical role in maintaining aquatic ecological diversity. To protect aquatic ecosystems we argue that it will be important to: (1) accommodate fire-related and other ecological processes that maintain aquatic habitats and biodiversity, and not simply control fires or fuels; (2) prioritize projects according to risks and opportunities for fire control and the protection of aquatic ecosystems; and (3) develop new consistency in the management and regulatory process. Ultimately, all natural resource management is uncertain; the role of science is to apply experimental design and hypothesis testing to management applications that affect fire and aquatic ecosystems. Policy-makers and the public will benefit from an expanded appreciation of fire ecology that enables them to implement watershed management projects as experiments with hypothesized outcomes, adequate controls, and replication.
Bisson, P. A.; Rieman, B.; Luce, C.; Hessburg, P. F.; Lee, D.; Kershner, J.; Reeves, G. H.; Gresswell, Robert E.
Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.
Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; Gon, Sam 'Ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A.
Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions. PMID:24805254
Vorsino, Adam E; Fortini, Lucas B; Amidon, Fred A; Miller, Stephen E; Jacobi, James D; Price, Jonathan P; Gon, Sam 'ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A
The Benguela system is one of the four major eastern boundary upwelling systems of the world. It is unusual as there are two stratified subtropical or warm temperate boundary regions, on either side of the major wind-driven upwelling region(19-34°S), which itself is subdivided at 26°S by the powerful Luderitz upwelling cell. Important biological components cross the boundary areas at different stages to complete the life-history cycle. While the Bakun triad of factors responsible for the development of large pelagic fish populations (enrichment, concentration and retention) provide an important unifying principle for understanding the compromise implicit in adaptation to upwelling systems, the role of predation has been neglected, as has the fish yield relative to photosynthesis. The role global climate change will have in the Benguela in terms of shifting boundaries or weakening or intensifying gradients is being explored. The interannual and decadal signals are so strong in the region that long term trends are difficult to distinguish. Intensive resource utilisation and the collapse of several fish stocks occurred in the Benguela region during the 1960s and 1970s, with different recovery trajectories in the north and the south. The Angolan subsystem can be described as a subtropical transition zone between the wind-driven upwelling system and the Equatorial Atlantic, with gentle upwelling-favourable winds, well-defined seasons, intermediate productivity and moderate, declining fisheries. It is separated from the Namibian subsystem by the Angola-Benguela front. The northern Benguela shelf is a typical coastal upwelling system with equatorward winds, cool water, high plankton biomass and moderate to high fish biomass, which is currently in a depleted state. A shift from sardines to horse mackerel occurred during the period 1970-1990, while hake have never fully recovered from intensive fishing pressure up to 1990. Widespread oxygen-depleted waters and sulphur eruptions result from local and remote forcing, restricting the habitat available for pelagic and demersal fish species. The Luderitz-Orange River Cone is an intensive perennial upwelling cell where strong winds, high turbulence and strong offshore transport constitute a partial barrier to epipelagic fish species. Upwelling source water alters in salinity and oxygen, across this boundary zone. A decline in upwelling-favourable winds occurred between 1990 and 2005. The southern Benguela region is characterised by a pulsed, seasonal, wind-driven upwelling at discrete centres and warm Agulhas water offshore. High primary productivity forms a belt of enrichment along the coast, constrained by a front. Low-oxygen water, which only occurs close inshore, may adversely affect some resources. The west coast is primarily a nursery ground for several fish species which spawn on the Agulhas Bank and are transported by alongshore jet currents to the west coast. The Agulhas Bank forms the southern boundary of the Benguela system and it displays characteristics of both an upwelling and a temperate shallow shelf system, with seasonal stratification and mixing, coastal, shelf-edge and dynamic upwelling, moderate productivity and a well oxygenated shelf. A large biomass of fish occupies the Bank during the summer season, with some evidence for tight coupling between trophic levels. A cool ridge of upwelled water, with links to coastal upwelling and to the Agulhas Current, appears to play an important but poorly understood role affecting the distribution and productivity of pelagic fish. A boom in sardine and anchovy populations was accompanied by an eastward shift, followed by 5 years of poor recruitment by sardine but successful recruitment of anchovy, indicating changes in the early life-history patterns of these two species.
Hutchings, L.; van der Lingen, C. D.; Shannon, L. J.; Crawford, R. J. M.; Verheye, H. M. S.; Bartholomae, C. H.; van der Plas, A. K.; Louw, D.; Kreiner, A.; Ostrowski, M.; Fidel, Q.; Barlow, R. G.; Lamont, T.; Coetzee, J.; Shillington, F.; Veitch, J.; Currie, J. C.; Monteiro, P. M. S.
Estimates of the standing stocks, secondary production and metabolism of the benthos have been compared in the coastal upwelling ecosystems off northwest Africa, Baja California, and southern Peru. Northwest Africa is characterized by shelf break upwelling and as a result standing stocks, macrobenthic production and sediment organic matter are highest out at the shelf-slope boundary. Sediment microbial activity and biomass on the other hand are highest nearshore in the dynamic zone where aeolian silt and sand are being blown into the sea from the Sahara Desert. Baja California is dominated by the red crab, Pleuroncodes planipes, having high rates of growth and metabolic utilization of organic matter, both on bottom and in the water. Peru benthos and metabolism are very different from the above areas because of the low oxygen concentrations in the bottom water. Organic matter is far higher in the sediment and heterotrophic metabolism is principally anaerobic rather than aerobic. A normal offshore benthic fauna is replaced by a mat of sulfur bacteria with unknown production and metabolic rates. Benthic subsystems in upwelling ecosystems can be placed in two categories: those overloaded with organic matter, depleted of oxygen and dominated by sulfate reduction and those that are not overloaded and remain aerobic. Peru and southwest Africa typify overloaded systems whereas NW Africa and Baja California are examples of aerobic systems. Although benthic metabolism and ionorganic nutrient regeneration are high in both types of subsystems, all upwelling ecosystems, with their dynamic open boundaries, export organic particulate matter and import inorganic nutrients at rates that are far in excess of that consumed or produced by benthic metabolism. 42 refs., 7 figs., 8 tabs.
A large number of data sets from within the California Current region, and the large-scale fields that affect this region, are available for timely assessment of recent environmental conditions in this system. In addition to the long-running quarterly CalCOFI cruises, which fea- tured the initial research cruise of RV Roger Revelle, sev- eral surveys off Baja California and central California
Franklin B. Schwing; Thomas L. Haywalu; Keith M. Sakuma; Tom Mukphkee; Affonso S. Mascarenas Jk; Sergio I. Lakios Castlllo; Arnold W. Mantyla; Sherry L. Cummings; Francisco P. Chavez; Kenneth Baltz; DAVID G. AINLEY; H. T. Harvey
Climate variability and change affects natural and managed ecosystems, namely agriculture and rangelands, and the services they offer such as food, fiber, energy, fresh water, etc. we derive from them are among the highest concerns in quantifying the potential consequences of anthropogenic climate change. These impacts are expected to be ecosystem and region specific, thus requiring climate information at greater spatial and temporal resolution offered by the global climate models. In this study we are using a combination of climate downscaling and regional climate models in conjunction with ecosystem models to assess the impact of climate variability and change on the natural and managed ecosystems in California and Southwest region of the United States. In an attempt to generate reliable assessments of the impact of regional climate variability and change on the agro-ecosystems in the region, we have designed an impact assessment study in which multiple Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are used to develop downscaled climate information to in turn drive ecosystem models. We develop the climate scenarios for the region based on a combination of dynamical and statistical approaches. We evaluate the efficacy of the climate scenarios in hindcast mode against available historical observation records to build confidence in their future climate projections. We then use the derived climate information in the ecosystem models to assess how these ecosystems will function under the projected climate conditions. We will present some early results from the evaluation of three regional climate models in a long-term hindcast experiments, the fundamental step before performing regional climate projection. Model variables needed by agro-ecosystem models, daily precipitation and temperature extremes, from individual models and their ensembles, are being evaluated against the National Weather Service observation network and the global gridded analyses from NCEP. We also compare direct RCM simulations with a hybrid dynamical-statistical downscaling approach in order to expand our understanding of the limitations and strengths of various plausible approaches to generating high-resolution climate projections for agroecosystem impact analyses. The combination of Earth observations with model runs provides great opportunities for practical assessment of climate impacts at regional scales.
Kafatos, M.; Asrar, G. R.; El-Askary, H. M.; Hatzopoulos, N.; Hayhoe, K.; Kim, J.; Ziska, L.; Medvigy, D.; Prasad, A. K.; Tremback, C.; Walko, R. L.
In an earlier publication on California`s forest-zone hardwoods, 22 reasons were offered for the failure of a sustained hardwood industry to develop. This report presents knowledge developed over the past 18 years on each of these reasons. Progress is reflected in society`s shift from a negative to a positive attitude towards the hardwood industry, better estimates of the inventory base and resource values, the advent of small portable sawmills, better lumber drying schedules and equipment, and recognizing the need to furnish promotional material to architects, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Hardwood management in the near future will reflect a broadened emphasis on wildlife, water, esthetics, and wood.
McDonald, P.M.; Huber, D.W.
The California Current System is expected to experience the ecological impacts of ocean acidification earlier than most other ocean regions because marine waters in the North Pacific are among the oldest in the global oceans and natural upwelling processes in this eastern boundary current system bring CO2-rich water masses to the surface in coastal oceans during late spring-early fall months. We used a multiple linear regression (MLR) approach to generate predictive models using oxygen and temperature as proxy variables to reconstruct pH and carbonate saturation states in the Southern California Bight. The calibration data set included high-quality measurements of dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, oxygen, temperature, salinity, and nutrients and was collected during a cruise from British Columbia to Baja California in May-June 2007. The resulting relationships predicting pH and aragonite and calcite saturation states (?) from oxygen and temperature data were robust, with r2 values >0.98 and root mean square errors of 0.020 (pH), 0.048 (?arag), and 0.075 (?calc). Predicted vs. measured ocean acidification conditions (i.e. pH, ?arag, and ?calc) matched very well for seven verification data sets collected between 2008 and 2010 during quarterly CalCOFI cruises in the Southern California Bight and during several sampling dates on an Ensenada transect occupied several times between 2006 and 2010. Over sub-decadal time scales, these predictive models provide a valuable tool for reconstructing historical time-series of ocean acidification conditions in the California Current Ecosystem where historical inorganic carbon measurements are scarce. Reconstructed pH and saturation state values based on CalCOFI oxygen and temperature data for all cruises between 2005 and 2010 reveal a seasonal cycle in the upper water column, with higher pH and ? values present during the winter cruises, and stronger gradients including much lower pH and ? values during spring through fall cruises. Deeper in the water column (~300 m), conditions are more stable throughout the annual cycle, with consistently low pH, undersaturation with respect to aragonite, and calcite saturation values <1.5. These predictive relationships can also be used to improve the performance of models used to nowcast and forecast ocean acidification in eastern boundary current systems like the California Current System.
Alin, S. R.; Feely, R. A.; Dickson, A. G.; Hernandez-Ayon, J. M.; Juranek, L. W.; Ohman, M. D.; Goericke, R.
We examined the long-term effects of debris flows on channel characteristics and aquatic food webs in steep (0.04-0.06 slope), small (4-6 m wide) streams. A large rain-on-snow storm event in January 1997 resulted in numerous landslides and debris flows throughout many basins in the Klamath Mountains of northern California. Debris floods resulted in extensive impacts throughout entire drainage networks, including mobilization of valley floor deposits and removal of vegetation. Comparing 5 streams scoured by debris flows in 1997 and 5 streams that had not been scoured as recently, we determined that debris-flows decreased channel complexity by reducing alluvial step frequency and large woody debris volumes. Unscoured streams had more diverse riparian vegetation, whereas scoured streams were dominated by dense, even-aged stands of white alder (Alnus rhombiflia). Benthic invertebrate shredders, especially nemourid and peltoperlid stoneflies, were more abundant and diverse in unscoured streams, reflecting the more diverse allochthonous resources. Debris flows resulted in increased variability in canopy cover, depending on degree of alder recolonization. Periphyton biomass was higher in unscoured streams, but primary production was greater in the recently scoured streams, suggesting that invertebrate grazers kept algal assemblages in an early successional state. Glossosomatid caddisflies were predominant scrapers in scoured streams; heptageniid mayflies were abundant in unscoured streams. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were of similar abundance in scoured and unscoured streams, but scoured streams were dominated by young-of-the-year fish while older juveniles were more abundant in unscoured streams. Differences in the presence of cold-water (Doroneuria) versus warm-water (Calineuria) perlid stoneflies suggest that debris flows have altered stream temperatures. Debris flows have long-lasting impacts on stream communities, primarily through the cascading effects of removal of riparian vegetation. Because debris flow frequency increases following road construction and timber harvest, the long-term biological effects of debris flows on stream ecosystems, including anadromous fish populations, needs to be considered in forest management decisions.
Cover, M. R.; Delafuente, J. A.; Resh, V. H.
This study to assess the current situation of Mexican immigrants in California and project future possibilities constructs a demographic profile of the immigrants, examines their economic effects on the state, and describes their socioeconomic integration into California society. Models of immigration/integration processes are developed and used
McCarthy, Kevin F.; Valdez, R. Burciaga
Integrated assessment of the euphausiid Nematoscelis difficilis (Crustacea; Euphausiacea) and the zooplankton assemblage of the California Current was designed to investigate individual, population, and community responses to mesoscale variability in biological and physical characters of the ocean. Zooplankton samples and observational data were collected along a cross-shelf transect of the California Current in association with the California Cooperative Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) Survey during October 1996. The transect crossed three domains defined by temperature and salinity: nearshore, mid-Current, and offshore. Individual N. difficilis differed in physiological condition along the transect, with higher size-corrected concentrations of four central metabolic enzymes (citrate synthetase, hexokinase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI)) for euphausiids collected in nearshore waters than in mid-Current and offshore waters. There was little variation in the DNA sequences of the genes encoding PGI and LDH (all DNA changes were either silent or heterozygous base substitutions), suggesting that differences in enzyme concentration did not result from underlying molecular genetic variation. The population genetic makeup of N. difficilis varied from sample to sample based on haplotype frequencies of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI; P=0.029). There were significant differences between pooled nearshore and offshore samples, based on allele frequencies at two sites of common substitutions in the mtCOI sequence ( P=0.020 and 0.026). Silhouette and bioacoustical backscattering measurements of the zooplankton assemblage of the top 100 m showed marked diel vertical migration of the scattering layer, of which euphausiids were a small but significant fraction. The biochemical and molecular assays are used as indices of complex physiological (i.e., growth and condition) and genetic (i.e., mortality) processes; the bioacoustical observations provide insight into the ecosystem context for the single-species measurements. All data are intended for integration into predictive models of secondary production and biomass concentration in the ocean.
Bucklin, Ann; Wiebe, Peter H.; Smolenack, Sara B.; Copley, Nancy J.; Clarke, M. Elizabeth
This report estimates the natural background and ambient concentrations of primary producer abundance indicators in California wadeable streams, identifies thresholds of adverse effects of nutrient-stimulated primary producer abundance on benthic macroinvertebrate and algal commu...
Eutrophication has long been known to negatively affect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. In freshwater ecosystems,\\u000a excessive nutrient input results in a shift from vascular plant dominance to algal dominance, while the nutrient-species richness\\u000a relationship is found to be unimodal. Eutrophication studies are usually conducted in continuously aquatic or terrestrial\\u000a habitats, but it is unclear how these patterns may be
Jamie M. Kneitel; Carrie L. Lessin
Climate change can affect sensitive species and ecosystems in many ways, yet sparse data and the inability to apply various climate models at functional spatial scales often prevents relevant research from being utilized in conservation management plans. Climate change has been linked to declines and disturbances in a multitude of species and habitats, and in California, one of the greatest climatic concerns is the predicted reduction in mountain snowpack and associated snowmelt. These decreases in natural storage of water as snow in mountain regions can affect the timing and variability of critical snowmelt runoff periodsimportant seasonal signals that species in montane ecosystems have evolved life history strategies aroundleading to greater intra-annual variability and diminished summer and fall stream flows. Although many species distribution models exist, few provide ways to integrate continually updated and revised Global Climate Models (GCMs), hydrologic data unique to a watershed, and ecological responses that can be incorporated into conservation strategies. This study documents a novel and applicable method of combining boosted regression tree (BRT) modeling and species distributions with hydroclimatic data as a potential management tool for conservation. Boosted regression trees are suitable for ecological distribution modeling because they can reduce both bias and variance, as well as handle sharp discontinuities common in sparsely sampled species or large study areas. This approach was used to quantify the effects of hydroclimatic changes on the distribution of key riparian-associated amphibian species in montane meadow habitats in the Sierra Nevada at the sub-watershed level. Based on modeling using current species range maps in conjunction with three climate scenarios (near, mid, and far), extreme range contractions were observed for all sensitive species (southern long-toed salamander, mountain yellow-legged frog, Yosemite toad) by the year 2100. Among many environmental and hydroclimatic variables used in the model, snowpack and snowmelt (runoff) variables were consistently among the most informative in predicting species occupancy. Few sub-watersheds contained greater than 50% probability of species occupancy throughout the modeled time period; however several core areas were identified as more resilient to climate change for each species. There was overlap among species in areas that were predicted to remain hydroclimatically stable, particularly in sub-watersheds that contain high meadow density. Quantifying these areas of habitat stability, or "resiliency", may ultimately be the most useful outcome of BRT modeling, with the flexibility to utilize multiple GCMs at varying scales. Ultimately managers need to consider both short term and long term conservation goals by identifying and protecting suitable habitat areas most resilient to climate change to give multiple species the best chance to persist. This approach provides a unique tool for conservation management which can be easily applied to a variety of data and species, and provides useful knowledge at both near and long term time scales.
Peek, R.; Viers, J.; Yarnell, S. M.
The system of radiological protection of the environment that is currently under development is one contribution to the general need to adequately protect the environment against stress. Dominated by operational goals, it emphasizes conceptual and methodological approaches that are readily accessible today: reference organisms supported by individual-based traditional ecotoxicological data. Whilst there are immediate advantages to this approach (pragmatism, consistency with other approaches in use for man and biota), there are also clear limitations, especially in a longer run perspective, that need to be acknowledged and further considered. One can mention a few: uncertainties generated by the need for various extrapolations (from lower to higher levels of biological organisation, ...), various features missed such as potential ecological impact through impairment of ecosystem processes, trans-generational impacts as mediated through genomic instability, indirect effects mediated through trophic interactions or disruption of ecological balances,... Such limitations have already been faced in other fields of environmental protection against other stressors, pushing a number of environment professionals to assign stronger emphasis on more systemic approaches. This review discusses the advantages and limitations of the current approach designed for the radiological protection of non-human biota in the broader context of environment protection as a whole, with especial reference to upcoming trends and evolutions. This leads in particular to advocating the need to boost scientific and methodological approaches featuring the ecosystem concept as a mean to access a unified goal of protection: preserving life sustainability through protection of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:19643514
Brèchignac, F; Doi, Masahiro
The world's major Eastern Boundary Currents (EBC) such as the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) are critically important areas for global fisheries. Computational limitations have divided past EBC modeling into two types: high resolution regional approaches that resolve the strong meso-scale structures involved, and coarse global approaches that represent the large scale context for EBCs, but only crudely resolve only the largest scales of their manifestation. These latter global studies have illustrated the complex mechanisms involved in the climate change and acidification response in these regions, with the CCLME response dominated not by local adjustments but large scale reorganization of ocean circulation through remote forcing of water-mass supply pathways. While qualitatively illustrating the limitations of regional high resolution studies in long term projection, these studies lack the ability to robustly quantify change because of the inability of these models to represent the baseline meso-scale structures of EBCs. In the present work, we compare current generation coarse resolution (one degree) and a prototype next generation high resolution (1/10 degree) Earth System Models (ESMs) from NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in representing the four major EBCs. We review the long-known temperature biases that the coarse models suffer in being unable to represent the timing and intensity of upwelling-favorable winds, along with lack of representation of the observed high chlorophyll and biological productivity resulting from this upwelling. In promising contrast, we show that the high resolution prototype is capable of representing not only the overall meso-scale structure in physical and biogeochemical fields, but also the appropriate offshore extent of temperature anomalies and other EBC characteristics. Results for chlorophyll were mixed; while high resolution chlorophyll in EBCs were strongly enhanced over the coarse resolution ESM, they were still considerably lower than observed values. In terms of representation of large scale circulation and biogeochemistry, results were also mixed, with the high resolution prototype addressing some, but not all, of the biases in the coarse resolution ESM. While considerable work remains to understand the current strengths and weaknesses of the high resolution ESM and continue to improve fidelity, this work is a major step forward in demonstrating the added value of high resolution in global ESMs and represents a fundamental leap forward towards both ecological forecasting and long term projection of climate, ecosystem, and acidification baselines and sensitivity.
Dunne, J. P.; John, J. G.; Stock, C. A.
We use hydrographic data from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations program to explore the spatial and temporal variability of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the southern California Current System (CCS) over the period 19842006. Large declines in DO (up to 2.1 ?mol\\/kg\\/y) have been observed throughout the domain, with the largest relative DO declines occurring below the thermocline (mean decrease
Steven J. Bograd; Carmen G. Castro; Emanuele Di Lorenzo; Daniel M. Palacios; Helen Bailey; William Gilly; Francisco P. Chavez
Accurate determination of rooting depths in terrestrial biosphere models is important for simulating terrestrial water and carbon cycles. In this study, we developed a method for optimizing rooting depth using satellite-based evapotranspiration (ET) seasonality and an ecosystem model by minimizing the differences between satellite-based and simulated ET. We then analyzed the impacts of rooting depth optimization on the simulated ET
Kazuhito Ichii; Weile Wang; Hirofumi Hashimoto; Feihua Yang; Petr Votava; Andrew R. Michaelis; Ramakrishna R. Nemani
The relationship between trace chemical concentra- tions and trophic level of fishes and several invertebrates was investigated in four southern California marine eco- systems: the Salton Sea, a saline lake; Newport Bay, a back-bay area; the Palos Verdes shelf, a waste-water con- taminated coastal zone; and the San Pedro Channel, which contains a coastal pelagic food web. Feeding habits were
DAVID R. YOUNG; ALAN J. MEARNS; TSU-KAI JAN; THEADORE C. HEESEN; MICHAEL D. MOORE; ROBERT P. EGANHOUSE; G. PATRICK HERSHELMAN; RICHARD W. GOSSETT
The varied topography and micro-climates of northern and central coastal California result in high biodiversity and many different levels of primary production driving regional carbon cycles. Coastal mountains trap moisture from low clouds and fog in summer to supplement rainfall in winter. This creates a favorable micro-environment for coniferous forests, including the southernmost habitat of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens),
C. Potter; S. Klooster; P. Gross; S. Hiatt; V. Genovese
In eastern boundary current, eddies, meanders, fronts, and coastal upwelling are the main processes in the generation of mesoscale variability. Seasonal variability of the integrated temperature in the quasi-isothermal layer depth and the integrated salinity in the quasi-isohaline layer depth of the southern part of the California Current are examined using hydrographic data from thirty six surveys carried out from
J. Gomez-Valdes; G. Jeronimo
Satellite-derived time series for the California Current System (CCS) showed marked changes in the surface chlorophyll a concentration (Chl, mg m-3) associated with the 1997-98 El Niño. In addition to the previously known decrease in Chl off Southern California (Fiedler, 1984), we also observed a significant increase of Chl off Baja California. Whereas the extent of eutrophic (Chl >1.0) areas decreased throughout the CCS, the extent of mesotrophic areas (0.2
Kahru, Mati; Mitchell, B. Greg
The recent deglaciation event is an ideal laboratory to study the rapid expansion of Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) and the ecological ramifications of such events. Santa Barbara Basin (SBB) sediments are high-resolution archives of seafloor ecosystems, recording both global-scale climate and regional-scale hydrographic events. Seafloor hypoxia in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) is caused by OMZs in intermediate water depths (300-1200 m), and produces striking evidence in SBB sediment archives. We construct a vertical transect of proxies across SBB (34° 15'N, 119° 45'W) using a core from 418 m water depth (MV0811-15JC), and previously investigated cores from 440 m (MD02-2504) and 570 m (MD02-2503) water depths. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages and planktonic ?18O proxies were quantified at all three depths, while benthic invertebrate communities were quantified in the shallowest core at a 1-cm resolution (~10 years). This high-resolution invertebrate record provides a window into rapid, decadal-scale environmental change in continental margin ecosystems. Seafloor biodiversity is highly variable on 10-10^4 year timescales (across Protist, Mollusc, Arthropod and Echinoderm taxonomic groups), and is tightly coupled to both regional-scale environmental change and global-scale climate events. Additionally, we provide evidence that strongly hypoxic waters shoaled to <300 m water depth at Termination 1A (14.7 ka), implying that the upper boundary of the regional OMZ can expand >150 m on multi-decadal timescales. These data confirm that OMZs have rapidly expanded in the CCE during previous events of global-scale warming, and that continental margin seafloor biodiversity is variable on previously undescribed timescales.
Moffitt, S. E.; Hill, T. M.
We analyzed zooplankton biomass, micro- and nannophytoplankton abundance, Calanus pacificus Brodsky 1948 abundance, and sea surface temperature along the west coast of Baja California between February 1983 and September 1991. The zooplankton biovolume abundance decreased from spring to autumn. The average abundance of nannophytoplankton (< 20 microns) was generally higher than microphytoplankton (> 20 microns). Both increased 3.5 times in abundance after 1986. Seasonally, both fractions (NP and MP) were least abundant in winter and most abundant in summer and autumn. Calanus pacificus abundance was variable, but especially high in May of some years. Abundance was lowest in winter and highest in spring, dropping in summer and autumn. Sea surface temperatures averaged 21.5 degrees C, with highest in autumn (24.2 degrees C) and the lowest in spring (17.9 degrees C). C. pacificus abundance and sea surface temperature were inversely related by cruise, season, and latitude. The phytoplankton abundance and zooplankton biomass and C. pacificus abundance showed low and high abundance patterns coincident with warming and cooling events (El Niño-La Niña). PMID:11795144
Hernández Trujillo, S; Gómez Ochoa, F; Verdugo Díaz, G
Given the rapidly growing human population in mediterranean-climate systems, land use may pose a more immediate threat to biodiversity than climate change this century, yet few studies address the relative future impacts of both drivers. We assess spatial and temporal patterns of projected 21st century land use and climate change on California sage scrub (CSS), a plant association of considerable diversity and threatened status in the mediterranean-climate California Floristic Province. Using a species distribution modeling approach combined with spatially-explicit land use projections, we model habitat loss for 20 dominant shrub species under unlimited and no dispersal scenarios at two time intervals (early and late century) in two ecoregions in California (Central Coast and South Coast). Overall, projected climate change impacts were highly variable across CSS species and heavily dependent on dispersal assumptions. Projected anthropogenic land use drove greater relative habitat losses compared to projected climate change in many species. This pattern was only significant under assumptions of unlimited dispersal, however, where considerable climate-driven habitat gains offset some concurrent climate-driven habitat losses. Additionally, some of the habitat gained with projected climate change overlapped with projected land use. Most species showed potential northern habitat expansion and southern habitat contraction due to projected climate change, resulting in sharply contrasting patterns of impact between Central and South Coast Ecoregions. In the Central Coast, dispersal could play an important role moderating losses from both climate change and land use. In contrast, high geographic overlap in habitat losses driven by projected climate change and projected land use in the South Coast underscores the potential for compounding negative impacts of both drivers. Limiting habitat conversion may be a broadly beneficial strategy under climate change. We emphasize the importance of addressing both drivers in conservation and resource management planning.
Riordan, Erin Coulter; Rundel, Philip W.
Atmospheric nitrogen deposition, associated with chronic urban air pollution, has produced stream water nitrate concentrations as high as 7.0 mg of N L/sup -1/ in chaparral watershed in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, CA. Stream water (NO/sub 3//sup -/) and discharge were greatest at high flow and may contribute significantly to existing groundwater NO/sub 3//sup -/ pollution. Annual NO/sub 3//sup -/ discharge ranged from 0.04 to 10.0 kg of N ha/sup -1/ over 4 years. Canopy throughfall and precipitation inputs of 23.3 and 8.2 kg of N ha/sup -1/ year/sup -1/ were high relative to other undisturbed ecosystems nationwide. Dry deposition was apparently a major source of the throughfall nitrogen. NO/sub 3//sup -/ concentrations from nearby, relatively unpolluted watersheds were lower by 1-3 orders of magnitude. NO/sub 3//sup -/ yield was elevated on watersheds where chaparral was converted to grassland in 1960 and may be greatly accelerated after wildfire because of high postfire NH/sub 4//sup +/ concentrations and rapid nitrification in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Riggan P.J.; Lockwood, R.N.; Lopez, E.N.
Koteen, Laura E., Raz-Yaseef, Naama, and Dennis D. Baldocchi University of California, Berkeley California's blue oak, Quercus douglasii, is a unique tree in several ways. Despite the intense heat of California's central valley and Sierra foothills, and absence of precipitation during dry summer months, blue oaks are winter deciduous, and rely on a suite of drought adaptation measures for highly-efficient water use. To date, much more is known about aboveground dynamics in semi-arid oak savanna ecosystems than belowground. Yet, the root system is instrumental in ensuring oak survival and in determining the magnitude and timing of land-atmospheric fluxes via its control of water and nutrient supply to aboveground processes and soil moisture content. Tree root distribution is notoriously heterogeneous. Therefore a comprehensive sampling effort is needed in order to optimally represent it. To further understand the patterns of water use in oak savanna ecosystems in the Sierra foothills of California, we have sought to characterize the root system by depth. To accomplish this goal, we have sampled the root system using conventional sampling methods (i.e. pit and core sampling), in conjunction with ground penetrating radar (GPR). Using both methods together made it possible to compensate for the limitations of each: Fine roots can only be detected by conventional sampling, and involve time intensive work in the lab, limiting sample size. GPR, on the other hand, allows for much greater spatial coverage and therefore more comprehensive characterization of the coarse root component. An extensive field campaign was executed during May 2011. 7 tree areas where chosen, representing the range of tree sizes and composition at the research site: 2 small trees, 2 large trees and 2 tree clusters. One additional very large tree that has undergone extensive additional physiological measurements was also chosen in order to posit and test hypotheses about linkages among root, soil water and photosynthetic processes. We extracted root cores according to a radial sampling scheme, with a 5 cm diameter soil auger at distances of 0.5, 1 and 1.5 the mean canopy radius from the tree. Soil cores were removed in intervals from 0-10, 10-20, 20-40, 40-60, and 60 cm to bedrock, which varied in depth from 20 cm to 1 meter. Fine roots were rinsed of soil, separated from debris, dried and weighed. GPR measurements were conducted using Noggin1000 (Sensors and Software Inc.). Prior to measurements, 8 by 8 m grids were prepared, with line density of 20 cm. Following GPR measurements, 2 pits of size 60 by 100 cm were dug down to the bedrock. Coarse roots were removed in regular depth intervals, sieved and taken to the lab. In the lab, coarse roots were washed of soil, dried, sorted into size classes and weighed. GPR visual data was analyzed using appropriate software, and the number of pixels identified as roots was linked to root biomass from pits. Lastly, 3D imaging of the root structure was achieved through the use of visualization software. The knowledge we have gained through this research will be used to improve our understanding of tree water usage, and soil moisture dynamics in this semi-arid oak savanna system.
Koteen, L. E.; Raz-Yaseef, N.; Baldocchi, D. D.
Although jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) have been oc- casional visitors to the California Current over the last century, their abundance and distribution increased be- tween 2002 and 2006. We report several time series of jumbo squid relative abundance from commercial and recreational fisheries as well as resource surveys and food habits studies. To evaluate the trophic relationships of jumbo squid,
JOHN C. FIELD; KEN BALTZ; A. JASON PHILLIPS
Six years of daily satellite data are used to quantify and map intraseasonal variability of chlorophyll and sea surface temperature (SST) in the California Current. We define intraseasonal variability as temporal variation remaining after removal of interannual variability and stationary seasonal cycles. Semivariograms are used to quantify the temporal structure of residual time series. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analyses of
Kasey R. Legaard; Andrew C. Thomas
Six years of daily satellite data are used to quantify and map intraseasonal variability of chlorophyll and sea surface temperature (SST) in the California Current. We define intraseasonal variability as temporal variation remaining after removal of interannual variability and stationary seasonal cycles. Semivariograms are used to quantify the temporal structure of residual time series. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analyses of
Kasey R. Legaard; Andrew C. Thomas
This paper provides evidence of the effects of urban wastewater discharges on the trophic state and environmental quality of a coastal water body in a semiarid subtropical region in the Gulf of California. The concentrations of dissolved inorganic nutrients and organic matter from urban wastewater primary treatment were estimated. La Salada Cove was the receiving water body and parameters measured during an annual cycle were temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, orthophosphate, and chlorophyll a. The effects of sewage inputs were determined by using Trophic State Index (TRIX) and the Arid Zone Coastal Water Quality Index (AZCI). It was observed that urban wastewater of the city of Guaymas provided 1,237 ton N yr(-1) and 811 ton P yr(-1) and TRIX indicated that the receiving water body showed symptoms of eutrophication from an oligotrophic state to a mesotrophic state; AZCI also indicated that the environmental quality of the water body was poor. The effects of urban wastewater supply with insufficient treatment resulted in symptoms of eutrophication and loss of ecological functions and services of the coastal ecosystem in La Salada Cove. PMID:24711731
Vargas-González, Héctor Hugo; Arreola-Lizárraga, José Alfredo; Mendoza-Salgado, Renato Arturo; Méndez-Rodríguez, Lía Celina; Lechuga-Deveze, Carlos Hernando; Padilla-Arredondo, Gustavo; Cordoba-Matson, Miguel
This paper provides evidence of the effects of urban wastewater discharges on the trophic state and environmental quality of a coastal water body in a semiarid subtropical region in the Gulf of California. The concentrations of dissolved inorganic nutrients and organic matter from urban wastewater primary treatment were estimated. La Salada Cove was the receiving water body and parameters measured during an annual cycle were temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, orthophosphate, and chlorophyll a. The effects of sewage inputs were determined by using Trophic State Index (TRIX) and the Arid Zone Coastal Water Quality Index (AZCI). It was observed that urban wastewater of the city of Guaymas provided 1,237?ton N yr?1 and 811?ton P yr?1 and TRIX indicated that the receiving water body showed symptoms of eutrophication from an oligotrophic state to a mesotrophic state; AZCI also indicated that the environmental quality of the water body was poor. The effects of urban wastewater supply with insufficient treatment resulted in symptoms of eutrophication and loss of ecological functions and services of the coastal ecosystem in La Salada Cove.
Vargas-Gonzalez, Hector Hugo; Arreola-Lizarraga, Jose Alfredo; Mendoza-Salgado, Renato Arturo; Mendez-Rodriguez, Lia Celina; Lechuga-Deveze, Carlos Hernando; Padilla-Arredondo, Gustavo; Cordoba-Matson, Miguel
Two large, high-resolution upper-ocean surveys of the California Current region were conducted in the summer of 1993. Temperature and salinity were measured from a Seasoar vehicle, and velocity was measured by a ship-borne acoustic Doppler current profiler. Both surveys extended from the continental margin to 128°W, and consisted of zonal sections 28km apart. The first survey (728 June) extended from
A. Huyer; J. A. Barth; P. M. Kosro; R. K. Shearman; R. L. Smith
Upwelling-favorable winds have increased in several coastal upwelling systems and may further increase in the future. The present study investigates the effects of upwelling intensification on ocean acidification in the California and Canary Current systems (CSs). Model simulations show that the volume of water undersaturated with respect to aragonite almost triples in the California CS under a doubling of wind stress. In contrast, the same wind perturbation results in the disappearance of undersaturation in the Canary CS. These contrasting responses arise from the differences in the relative contributions of circulation and biological processes to aragonite undersaturation in the two systems and the sensitivity of these processes to upwelling intensification. When combined with rising atmospheric CO2 and increased stratification, upwelling intensification accentuates acidification in the California CS and dampens it in the Canary CS. These findings highlight the challenge to predict the future evolution of ocean acidification in regions subject to concurrent disturbances.
Clear Lake, California, USA, receives acid mine drainage and mercury (Hg) from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Superfund Site that was active intermittently from 1873 to 1957 and partially remediated in 1992. Mercury concentrations were analyzed primarily in four species of Clear Lake fishes: inland silversides (Menidia beryllina, planktivore), common carp (Cyprinus carpio, benthic scavenger/omnivore), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus, benthic omnivorous predator), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides, piscivorous top predator). These data represent one of the largest fish Hg data sets for a single site, especially in California. Spatially, total Hg (TotHg) in silversides and bass declined with distance from the mine, indicating that the mine site represents a point source for Hg loading to Clear Lake. Temporally, fish Hg has not declined significantly over 12 years since mine site remediation. Mercury concentrations were variable throughout the study period, with no monotonic trends of increase or decrease, except those correlated with boom and bust cycles of an introduced fish, threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense). However, stochastic events such as storms also influence juvenile largemouth bass Hg as evidenced during an acid mine drainage overflow event in 1995. Compared to other sites regionally and nationally, most fish in Clear Lake exhibit Hg concentrations similar to other Hg-contaminated sites, up to approximately 2.0 mg/kg wet mass (WM) TotHg in largemouth bass. However, even these elevated concentrations are less than would be anticipated from such high inorganic Hg loading to the lake. Mercury in some Clear Lake largemouth bass exceeded all human health fish consumption guidelines established over the past 25 years by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1.0 mg/kg WM), the National Academy of Sciences (0.5 mg/kg WM), and the U.S. EPA (0.3 mg/kg WM). Mercury in higher trophic level fishes exceeds ecotoxicological risk assessment estimates for concentrations that would be safe for wildlife, specifically the nonlisted Common Merganser and the recently delisted Bald Eagle. Fish populations of 11 out of 18 species surveyed exhibited a significant decrease in abundance with increasing proximity to the mine; this decrease is correlated with increasing water and sediment Hg. These trends may be related to Hg or other lake-wide gradients such as distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation. PMID:19475924
Suchanek, Thomas H; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Slotton, Darell G; Harner, E James; Colwell, Arthur E; Anderson, Norman L; Mullen, Lauri H; Flanders, John R; Adam, David P; McElroy, Kenneth J
Associations between cetacean distributions, oceanographic features, and bioacoustic backscatter were examined during two process cruises in the northern California Current System (CCS) during late spring and summer 2000. Line-transect surveys of cetaceans were conducted across the shelf and slope, out to 150 km offshore from Newport, Oregon (44.6°N) to Crescent City, California (41.9°N), in conjunction with multidisciplinary mesoscale and fine-scale surveys of ocean and ecosystem structure. Occurrence patterns (presence/absence) of cetaceans were compared with hydrographic and ecological variables (e.g., sea surface salinity, sea surface temperature, thermocline depth, halocline depth, chlorophyll maximum, distance to the center of the equatorward jet, distance to the shoreward edge of the upwelling front, and acoustic backscatter at 38, 120, 200 and 420 kHz) derived from a towed, undulating array and a bioacoustic system. Using a multiple logistic regression model, 60.2% and 94.4% of the variation in occurrence patterns of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae during late spring and summer, respectively, were explained. Sea surface temperature, depth, and distance to the alongshore upwelling front were the most important environmental variables during June, when humpbacks occurred over the slope (200-2000 m). During August, when humpbacks concentrated over a submarine bank (Heceta Bank) and off Cape Blanco, sea surface salinity was the most important variable, followed by latitude and depth. Humpbacks did not occur in the lowest salinity water of the Columbia River plume. For harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena, the model explained 79.2% and 70.1% of the variation in their occurrence patterns during June and August, respectively. During spring, latitude, sea surface salinity, and thermocline gradient were the most important predictors. During summer, latitude and distance to the inshore edge of the upwelling front were the most important variables. Typically a coastal species, harbor porpoises extended their distribution farther offshore at Heceta Bank and at Cape Blanco, where they were associated with the higher chlorophyll concentrations in these regions. Pacific white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens was the most numerous small cetacean in early June, but was rare during August. The model explained 44.5% of the variation in their occurrence pattern, which was best described by distance to the upwelling front and acoustic backscatter at 38 kHz. The model of the occurrence pattern of Dall's porpoise Phocoenoides dalli was more successful when mesoscale variability in the CCS was higher during summer. Thus, the responses of cetaceans to biophysical features and upwelling processes in the northern CCS were both seasonally and spatially specific. Heceta Bank and associated flow-topography interactions were very important to a cascade of trophic dynamics that ultimately influenced the distribution of foraging cetaceans. The higher productivity associated with upwelling near Cape Blanco also had a strong influence on the distribution of cetaceans.
Tynan, Cynthia T.; Ainley, David G.; Barth, John A.; Cowles, Timothy J.; Pierce, Stephen D.; Spear, Larry B.
The seasonality and interannual variation in potential net primary production (NPP) were examined in differing vegetation types in California over three years of contrasting precipitation using co-registered maps of climate, vegetation, and 1km biweekly NDVI derived from high resolution satellite AVHRR data. Differences in seasonality of the vegetation types (annual grassland, chamise chaparral, deciduous oak woodland, and evergreen oak) were clearly evident and corresponded well to patterns observed in field studies. In years and locations having high precipitation the annual peak in NDVI occurred later in all vegetation classes. The annual sum of biweekly NDVI was correlated with annual precipitation in all vegetation types, although the slopes and intercepts of the regressions differed among types. Annual grassland showed the largest increase in sumNDVI per unit increase in total precipitation and most of the variation in grassland sumNDVI was explained by variation in autumn precipitation. In general the ratio of sumNDVI to annual precipitation was dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation with respect to the long-term average pattern. Published relationships between precipitation and NPP were used to develop equations relating annual NDVI sum to NPP.
Koch, G.W.; Randerson, J.T. (Stanford Univ. Carnegie Institution of Plant Biology, CA (United States))
A scientific advisory panel was convened by the State of California to recommend monitoring for chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic systems that receive discharge of municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent and stormwater runoff. The panel developed a risk-based screening framework that considered environmental sources and fate of CECs observed in receiving waters across the State. Using existing occurrence and risk threshold data in water, sediment, and biological tissue, the panel applied the framework to identify a priority list of CECs for initial monitoring in three representative receiving water scenarios. The initial screening list of 16 CECs identified by the panel included consumer and commercial chemicals, flame retardants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and natural hormones. The panel designed an iterative, phased strategy with interpretive guidelines that direct and update management actions commensurate with potential risk identified using the risk-based framework and monitoring data. Because of the ever-changing nature of chemical use, technology, and management practices, the panel offered recommendations to improve CEC monitoring, including development of bioanalytical screening methods whose responses integrate exposure to complex mixtures and that can be linked to higher-order effects; development or refinement of models that predict the input, fate, and effects of future chemicals; and filling of key data gaps on CEC occurrence and toxicity. Finally, the panel stressed the need for adaptive management, allowing for future review of, and if warranted, modifications to the strategy to incorporate the latest science available to the water resources community. PMID:24129960
Maruya, Keith A; Schlenk, Daniel; Anderson, Paul D; Denslow, Nancy D; Drewes, Jörg E; Olivieri, Adam W; Scott, Geoffrey I; Snyder, Shane A
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) leaching from decomposing detritus accumulated above mineral soils is an important carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) flux that influences biogeochemical processes, C sequestration and the health of individual ecosystems. Previous studies have shown that the main process controlling DOM mobility in soils is sorption in the mineral horizons that adds to stabilized organic matter pools. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of temperature and incubation time on DOC and DON biodegradation and sorption in the mineral soil. Surface litter from a grass, oak and a conifer site were leached with deionized water for 5, 15 or 96 hours at 4, 20 or 30oC. The resulting DOM solutions were characterized using 13C NMR, XAD-8 resin and UV-vis spectroscopy. The biodegradable fraction (BDOC) of these solutions was quantified using inoculum from A horizon soils. The DOM solutions were also used in sorption experiments on A horizon soils. Supernatant from the A horizon sorption experiment was then used in a sorption experiment on Bt horizon soils and analyzed for BDOC using Bt horizon inoculum. The ability of the soils to adsorb DOC increased with increasing aromaticity in the DOC solution. Therefore, conifer DOM exhibited greater sorption than oak and grass DOM due to higher aromaticity. In all horizons, we observed net release of indigenous OM when OM-free solution was added. Net release of OM was greatest from the soils from the pine site, which had the greatest OM content among the soils we studied. ***Results still pending***
Pittiglio, S. L.; Zasoski, R.
Three related data sets from a baseline environmental survey on the continental shelf at San Onofre, California, consisting of: (1) zooplankton pumped from discrete depths on transects between the 8- and 30-m contours, sampled from 1976 to 1980; (2) zooplankton from oblique net hauls on a transect from 8 to 100 m sampled at 2-week intervals for 1 y, 1978-1979; and (3) vertical profiles of temperature, nutrients and plant pigments corresponding closely in time and space to the oblique net hauls, are used to describe cross-shelf zooplankton abundance patterns, community composition, and seasonal and shorter-term variations in cross-shelf zonation and their relation to variations in physical and chemical measures. Of 15 taxa tested for multiyear average patterns, threethe copepods Acartia clausi and Oithona oculata, and barnacle larvaehad centers of abundance shoreward of the 30-m contour and near the bottom. No differences were detected in the cross-shelf pattern between San Onofre and a transect 12 km southeast. Throughout the year, nearshore and offshore assemblages were distinguishable, the change occurring at about the 30-m contour. The offshore one, represented by the copepods Calanus pacificus, Eucalanus californicus and Rhincalanus nasutus, occupied water having less chlorophyll and less near-surface nutrient, i.e. of more oceanic character. In spring and summer, most nearshore taxa shifted slightly seaward, leaving a third assemblage, characterized by a very high abundance of Acartia spp. copepodids and maximum abundances of A. clausi and O. oculata near the beach. Three upwelling episodes resulted in marked increases in chlorophyll and nutrients, but not in cross-shelf gradients of these properties, as were noted at most other times. Maximum disturbance of cross-shelf zooplankton zonation was observed during a wintertime intrusion of offshore surface water, but the zonation was never obliterated. Nearshore zooplankton patterns appear to be protected from dislocation by the shallow shelf and sustained by phytoplankton distributed in a manner peculiar to the nearshore zone. Typically, shallow nearshore waters were richer in chlorophyll and nutrients than offshore waters of the same depth. The cross-shelf chlorophyll and nutrient profiles, in turn, appear to result from increased eddy diffusion and nutrient recycling in shallow waters, perhaps augmented by longshore transport from quasi-permanent, local upwelling nodes.
Barnett, Arthur M.; Jahn, Andrew E.
In California there are over 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley and the interior Coast Range, most of which are privately owned and managed for livestock production. Ranches provide extensive wildlife habitat and generate multiple ecosystem services that carry considerable market and non-market values. These rangelands are under pressure from urbanization and conversion to intensive agriculture, as well as from climate change that can alter the flow of these services. To understand the coupled and isolated impacts of land use and climate change on rangeland ecosystem services, we developed six spatially explicit (250 m) coupled climate/land use/hydrological change scenarios for the Central Valley and oak woodland regions of California consistent with three IPCC emission scenarios - A2, A1B and B1. Three land use land cover (LULC) change scenarios were each integrated with two downscaled global climate models (GCMs) (a warm, wet future and a hot, dry future) and related hydrologic data. We used these scenarios to quantify wildlife habitat, water supply (recharge potential and streamflow) and carbon sequestration on rangelands and to conduct an economic analysis associated with changes in these benefits. The USGS FOREcasting SCEnarios of land-use change model (FORE-SCE), which runs dynamically with downscaled GCM outputs, was used to generate maps of yearly LULC change for each scenario from 2006 to 2100. We used the USGS Basin Characterization Model (BCM), a regional water balance model, to generate change in runoff, recharge, and stream discharge based on land use change and climate change. Metrics derived from model outputs were generated at the landscape scale and for six case-study watersheds. At the landscape scale, over a quarter of the million acres set aside for conservation in the B1 scenario would otherwise be converted to agriculture in the A2 scenario, where temperatures increase by up to 4.5 °C compared to 1.3 °C in the B1 scenario. A comparison of two watersheds - Alameda Creek, an urbanized watershed, and Upper Stony Creek, impacted by intensified agriculture, demonstrates the relative contribution of urbanization and climate change to water supply. In Upper Stony Creek, where 24% of grassland is converted to agriculture in the A1B scenario, a hotter, dryer 4-year time period could lead to a 40% reduction in streamflow compared to present day. In Alameda Creek, for the same scenario, 47% of grassland is converted to urbanized lands and streamflow may increase by 11%, resulting in a recharge:runoff ratio of 0.26; though if urbanization does not take place, streamflow could decrease by 64% and the recharge:runoff ratio would be 1.2. Model outputs quantify the impact of urbanization on water supply and show the importance of soil storage capacity. Scenarios have applications for climate-smart conservation and land use planning by identifying outcomes associated with coupled future land use scenarios and more variable and extreme potential future climates.
Byrd, K. B.; Flint, L. E.; Casey, C. F.; Alvarez, P.; Sleeter, B. M.; Sohl, T.
Recent studies have indicated that populations of gelatinous zooplankton may be increasing and expanding in geographic coverage,\\u000a and these increases may in turn affect coastal fish populations. We conducted trawl surveys in the northern California Current\\u000a and documented a substantial biomass of scyphomedusae consisting primarily of two species (Chrysaora fuscescens and Aurelia labiata). Spatial overlap of these jellyfish with most
R. D. Brodeur; C. L. Suchman; D. C. Reese; T. W. Miller; E. A. Daly
Current meter records from seven sequential moorings were collected during 19931996 at an abyssal station off central California (Sta. M; 4100m depth). The entire 214-yr time series of the flow at 600, 50, and 2.5m above bottom (above, near the top of, and within the benthic boundary layer) were analyzed for mean flow statistics and subtidal and tidal variability. The
Stace Beaulieu; Roberta Baldwin
We used wavelet analyses of sea surface height (SSH) from >13 years of satellite altimeter data to characterize the variability in mesoscale circulation in the northern California Current (35°N49°N) and explore the mechanisms of variability. We defined mesoscale circulation as features, such as eddies and filaments, which have 50- to 300-km length scales and 4- to 18-week temporal scales. Fluctuations
Julie E. Keister; P. Ted Strub
The progress of four bills relating to geothermal energy is reported. The current regulatory activities of the California Energy Commission, the Lake County Planning Commission/Lake County Air Pollution Control District, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, the State Lands' Commission, and the California Public Utilities Commission are reviewed. (MHR)
This study shows results on litterfall dynamics and decay in mangrove stands of Avicennia germinans distributed along a latitudinal gradient (three forest sites) in the Gulf of California, in order to assess whether internal sources could support the observed mangrove ecosystem organic deficit in this arid tropic. Total mean annual litterfall production increased southward (712.6 ± 53.3, 1501.3 ± 145.1 and 1506.2 ± 280.5 g DW m -2 y -1, in the Yaqui, Mayo and Fuerte areas respectively), leaves being the main component of litter in all locations during the entire year, followed by fruits. The wet season (June-September) showed the highest litterfall rates through fruits. The temporal trend of litterfall production was significantly explained through mean air temperature ( R2 = 68%) whilst total annual litter production in the entire region showed a statistically significant relationship with total soil phosphorus, salinity, total nitrogen, organic matter and tree height ( R2 = 0.67). Throughout 117 days of the decomposition experiment, the litter lost 50% of its original dry weight in 5.8 days (average decay rate of 0.032 ± 0.04 g DW d -1) and there were not significant differences in the remaining mass after 6 days. The percentage of both C and P released from the litter correlated significantly with the ratio of tidal inundated days to total experiment days ( R2 = 0.62, p = 0.03 and R2 = 0.67, p = 0.02, respectively); however, the frequency of tidal inundation only showed a significant increase in C release from Avicennia litter after 6 and above 48 days of decomposition. Whereas the total C content of litter bags decreased linearly over the decomposition to (% Total C = 5.52 - 0.46 days, R2 = 0.81, p = 0.0005), N content displayed an irregular pattern with a significant increase of decay between 48 and 76 days from the beginning of the experiment. The pattern for relative P content of litter revealed reductions of up to 99% of the original (%tot- P = -9.77 to 1.004 days, R2 = 0.72, p = 0.01) although most of the P reduction occurred between 17 and 34 days after the experiment started. Soil N and P contents, which exhibited significant differences in the course of the decomposition experiment, appeared to show significant differences between sampling sites, although they were not related to tidal influence, nor by leaf and nutrient leaching. In a global basis, C/ N litter ratios decreased linearly ( C/ N = 32.86 - 0.1006 days, R2 = 0.62, p = 0.02), showing a strong and significant correlation with meteorological variables ( R2 = 0.99, p = 0.01). C/ P ratios of litter increased through an exponential function ( C/ P = 119.35e 0.04day, R2 = 0.89, p < 0.001). Changes in the remaining percentage of litter mass during the experiment were significantly correlated with soil C/ N ratio ( R2 = 0.56, p = 0.03) as well as with the soil C/ P ratio ( R2 = 0.98, p < 0.001). Our results of litter decomposition dynamics in this mangrove support the fact of null net primary productivity of the arid mangrove wetlands: fast litter decomposition compensates the ecosystem organic deficit in order to sustain the mangrove productivity. Litter decomposition plays a key role in the ecosystem metabolism in mangroves of arid tropics.
Sánchez-Andrés, R.; Sánchez-Carrillo, S.; Alatorre, L. C.; Cirujano, S.; Álvarez-Cobelas, M.
Hake (Merluccius gayi peruanus) predation plays an important role in the dynamics of the Humboldt Current ecosystem (HCE). Changes in the hake trophic habits associated with physical variability are expected to impact prey populations and to propagate through the food web. Time series (1995-2002) of (a) stomach contents of hake, (b) biomass estimations of fish prey species of hake, and
J. Tam; S. Purca; L. O. Duarte; V. Blaskovic; P. Espinoza
Sustaining aquatic resources requires managing existing threats and anticipating future impacts. Resource managers and planners often have limited understanding of the relative effects of human activities on stream conditions and how these effects will change over time. Here we assess and forecast the relative impacts of land use on sediment concentrations in Mediterranean-climate watersheds in California. We focus on the Russian River basin, which supports threatened salmonid populations vulnerable to high levels of fine sediment. We ask the following questions: (1) What are the relative impacts of three different land uses (urban, exurban and agriculture) on the patterns of fine sediment in streams? (2) What is the relative contribution of past and current changes in land use activities on these patterns? and (3) What are the effects of future development on these sediment levels? First, we characterized land use at the parcel scale to calibrate the relative impacts of exurban and urban land use on stream substrate quality, characterized by the concentration of fine sediment surrounding spawning gravels (`embeddedness') in 105 stream reaches. Second, we built multiple ordinal logistic regression models on a subset of watersheds (n=64) and then evaluated substrate quality predictions against observed data from another set of watersheds (n=41). Finally, we coupled these models with spatially explicit land use change models to project future stream conditions and associated uncertainties under different development scenarios for the year 2010. We found that the percent of urban housing and agriculture were significant predictors of in-stream embeddedness. Model results from parcel-level land use data indicated that changes in development were better predictors of fine sediment than total development in a single time period. In addition, our results indicate that exurban development is an important threat to stream systems; increases in the percent of total exurban development in a watershed significantly reduced the odds of observing low embeddedness. Our 2010 forecasts highlight the sensitivity of watersheds to small changes in exurban growth. In previously unimpaired watersheds, small increases in future exurban growth resulted in cumulative impacts on substrate quality not predicted by models lacking this land use type. Because most previous analyses have characterized land use at a resolution that cannot capture exurban development, these results suggest that many such models may be missing an important type of development that can adversely impacting aquatic ecosystems. We suggest that parcel level data may be the fundamental unit for land use change analysis because it represents the economic decision unit for land owners and resolves issues of geographical scale and boundary issues that have long hampered progress in ecological forecasting.
Lohse, K. A.; Newburn, D.; Opperman, J. J.; Brooks, C.; Merenlender, A.
We deployed a Nortek Aquadopp 600 kHz acoustic 2D current profiler in Humboldt Bay near Eureka, California in 2008 as part of a pilot project to measure the currents produced tsunamis. Humboldt Bay is located on Californias North Coast in an area susceptible to both near- and far-field tsunamis. Since 1933, when the first tide gauge was installed in Crescent City, about 100 km north of the study site, 33 tsunamis have been recorded including four that caused damage. The instrument is installed on the Fairhaven dock about 4 km north of the entrance to Humboldt Bay and 3 km north of the NOAAs North Spit tide gauge station. The instrument samples the navigation channel that runs parallel to the Samoa Peninsula and records tidal currents typically between 1 - 1.2 cm/second within the channel that vary in direction with ebb and flood tides. On February 27, a Mw 8.8 earthquake occurred in South Central Chile that produced a Pacific-wide tsunami. A tsunami advisory was issued along the west coast of the United States and currents sufficient to cause damage were observed at a number of locations in Southern California. The first arrivals were recorded at the North Spit tide gauge at 21:36 UTC, about 15 hours after the earthquake and persists at a nearly constant 20 mm amplitude and a 55 minute period for more than ten hours, and is detectable for more than 30 hours. The current signal begins at the same time as tide gauge signal and shows a similar period and duration as the water level, with an average amplitude in the first ten hours of about 0.2 cm/sec. There is no distinct difference in the current signal between ebb and flood tides. We use the MOST model to compare the predicted tsunami current velocities at the site with the recorded values. The Humboldt Bay tsunami current meter deployment is part of a project that will eventually deploy two similar instruments in Crescent City.
Admire, A.; Dengler, L. A.; Crawford, G. B.; Uslu, B. U.; Montoya, J.
Five years (1997-2002) of northern California Current SeaWiFS ocean color data place cold, low salinity hydrographic anomalies observed in summer 2002 into a larger spatial/temporal context and present their biological ramifications. Monthly mean chlorophyll concentrations were >1.0 mg m-3 larger than the previous 3 year average over the entire shelf from British Columbia (BC) to northern California (CA) in 2001-2002, spatially most extensive over the BC and Washington (WA) shelves but strongest (>2.0 mg m-3) on the southern Oregon shelf. Positive anomalies develop in August 2001 off BC and October 2001 off WA. By October 2002, shelf anomalies are reduced. Offshore, spatially extensive anomalies develop off CA (36°-42°N) in fall 2002, disappearing by December. Concurrent altimeter data show over 1000km of equatorward displacement. The positive chlorophyll anomalies, their spatial patterns and displacement are consistent with advection of subarctic, nutrient-enriched water into the California Current.
Thomas, Andrew C.; Strub, P. Ted; Brickley, Peter
In the Humboldt Current System (HCS), biological and non-biological components, ecosystem processes, and fisheries are known to be affected by multi-decadal, inter-annual, annual, and intra-seasonal scales. The interplay between atmospheric variability, the poleward undercurrent, the shallow oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), and the fertilizing effect of coastal upwelling and overall high primary production rates drive bio-physical interactions, the carbon biomass, and fluxes of gases and particulate and dissolved matter through the water column. Coastal upwelling (permanent and seasonally modulated off Peru and northern Chile, and markedly seasonal between 30°S and 40°S) is the key process responsible for the high biological productivity in the HCS. At present, the western coast of South America produces more fish per unit area than any other region in the world ocean (i.e. ?7.5 × 10 6 t of anchoveta were landed in 2007). Climate changes on different temporal scales lead to alterations in the distribution ranges of anchoveta and sardine populations and shifts in their dominance throughout the HCS. The factors affecting the coastal marine ecosystem that reverberate in the fisheries are crucial from a social perspective, since the economic consequences of mismanagement can be severe. Fish remains are often well-preserved in sediment settings under the hypoxic conditions of the OMZ off Peru and Chile, and reveal multi-decadal variability and centennial-scale changes in fish populations. Sediment studies from the Chilean continental margin encompassing the last 20,000 years of deposition reveal changes in sub-surface conditions in the HCS during deglaciation, interpreted to include: a major reorganization of the OMZ; a deglacial increase in denitrification decoupled from local marine productivity; and higher deglacial and Holocene paleoproductivities compared to the Last Glacial Maximum in central-south Chile (35-37°S) while this scheme is reversed for north-central Chile. Multi-scale, interdisciplinary approaches and focused research groups are needed to understand air-sea interactions, plankton dynamics, biomass removal by fisheries, and the transformation and fluxes of matter across the different HCS components. In this paper, we present a multidisciplinary synthesis of the HCS that covers its physics, atmosphere, primary and secondary production, medium and high trophic levels, fisheries including management aspects, and relevant sedimentary studies.
Montecino, Vivian; Lange, Carina B.
The interannual distribution of early life stages of Pacific hake Merluccius productus, within the southern part of the California Current (32-23 degrees N) from 1951 to 2001, was examined to describe the relationship between spawning habitat and environmental conditions. Mean annual abundance was affected by different factors along the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. In the northern areas (Ensenada and Punta Baja), reduced abundance of larvae coincided with the El Niño and a North Pacific Ocean climatic regime shift, but in the southern areas (San Ignacio to Bahía Magdalena), the drastic reductions suggested a fishery effect for large adults of the coastal migratory population, starting in 1966. Two spawning stocks, coastal and dwarf, were evident in comparisons of latitudinal differences in occurrence of early stages and differences in temperature preferences that seemed to break at Punta Eugenia. PMID:20738561
Funes-Rodríguez, R; Elorduy-Garay, J F; Hinojosa-Medina, A; Zárate-Villafranco, A
Remote sensing monitoring of vegetation phenology can be an important tool for detecting the impacts of climate change on whole ecosystem functioning at local to regional scales. This study elucidates climate-phenology relations and the changes occurring in the phenology of both chaparral and coastal sage scrub-dominated ecosystems in southern California. Whole ecosystem phenology is monitored for the period 2001-2012 using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived from MODIS MOD13Q1. Changes in phenology are assessed through a comparison of the time series with temperature, precipitation, and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) data and by computing time series phenology metrics. Overall we find that the vegetation index values have fluctuated around a stable mean for vegetation types for the entire time period. However, interannual variability is high, likely due to annual variations in climate. The most significant statistical correlation in chaparral ecosystems were found between NDVI and PDSI, indicating that chaparral phenology is likely driven by drought and soil water deficit at the multi-monthly timescale. However, coastal sage scrub correlations were highest between NDVI and temperature + precipitation combined with no time lag. This reflects a more immediate response by these shallow rooted and deciduous species. The start of the growing season in both plant communities occurred early in rainy years, and later in years with lower PDSI (drought-associated). This suggests that future predicted climate change in southern California may cause increased interannual variability in chaparral phenology cycles, with early initiation of the growing season occurring in years following large rain events, and later initiation in drought years. Coastal sage scrub-dominated areas will be less influenced by lower frequency, long-term drought, but more immediately affected by discrete precipitation events and timing.
Willis, K. S.; Gillespie, T.; Okin, G. S.; MacDonald, G. M.
The current study documents the fate of current-use pesticides in an agriculturally-dominated central California coastal estuary by focusing on the occurrence in water, sediment and tissue of resident aquatic organisms. Three fungicides (azoxystrobin, boscalid, and pyraclostrobin), one herbicide (propyzamide) and two organophosphate insecticides (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) were detected frequently. Dissolved pesticide concentrations in the estuary corresponded to the timing of application while bed sediment pesticide concentrations correlated with the distance from potential sources. Fungicides and insecticides were detected frequently in fish and invertebrates collected near the mouth of the estuary and the contaminant profiles differed from the sediment and water collected. This is the first study to document the occurrence of many current-use pesticides, including fungicides, in tissue. Limited information is available on the uptake, accumulation and effects of current-use pesticides on non-target organisms. Additional data are needed to understand the impacts of pesticides, especially in small agriculturally-dominated estuaries.
Smalling, Kelly L.; Kuivila, Kathryn M.; Orlando, James L.; Phillips, Bryn M.; Anderson, Brian S.; Siegler, Katie; Hunt, John W.; Hamilton, Mary
The current study documents the fate of current-use pesticides in an agriculturally-dominated central California coastal estuary by focusing on the occurrence in water, sediment and tissue of resident aquatic organisms. Three fungicides (azoxystrobin, boscalid, and pyraclostrobin), one herbicide (propyzamide) and two organophosphate insecticides (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) were detected frequently. Dissolved pesticide concentrations in the estuary corresponded to the timing of application while bed sediment pesticide concentrations correlated with the distance from potential sources. Fungicides and insecticides were detected frequently in fish and invertebrates collected near the mouth of the estuary and the contaminant profiles differed from the sediment and water collected. This is the first study to document the occurrence of many current-use pesticides, including fungicides, in tissue. Limited information is available on the uptake, accumulation and effects of current-use pesticides on non-target organisms. Additional data are needed to understand the impacts of pesticides, especially in small agriculturally-dominated estuaries. PMID:23790458
Smalling, Kelly L; Kuivila, Kathryn M; Orlando, James L; Phillips, Bryn M; Anderson, Brian S; Siegler, Katie; Hunt, John W; Hamilton, Mary
A West Coast satellite time series advisory group was established to consider the scientific rationale for the development of complete west coast time series of imagery of sea surface temperature (as derived by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer on the NOAA polar orbiter, and near-surface phytoplankton pigment concentrations (as derived by the Coastal Zone Color Scanner on Nimbus 7). The scientific and data processing requirements for such time series are also considered. It is determined that such time series are essential if a number of scientific questions regarding the synoptic-scale dynamics of the California Current System are to be addressed. These questions concern both biological and physical processes.
The projected impacts of climate change on Northern California ecosystems using model outputs from the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) for the period 1950-2099 based on 1km downscaled climate data from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) model are analyzed in this study. The impacts are analyzed for the Special Report Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B and A2, both maintaining present levels of urbanization constant and under projected urban expansion. The analysis is in support of the Climate Adaptation Science Investigation at NASA Ames Research Center. A statistical analysis is completed for time series of temperature, precipitation, gross primary productivity (GPP), evapotranspiration, soil runoff, and vapor pressure deficit. Trends produced from this analysis show that increases in maximum and minimum temperatures lead to declines in peak GPP, length of growing seasons, and overall declines in runoff within the watershed. For Northern California, GPP is projected under the A2 scenario to decrease by 18-25% by the 2090 decade as compared to the 2000 decade. These trends indicate a higher risk to crop production and other ecosystem services, as conditions would be less hospitable to vegetation growth. The increase in dried out vegetation would then lead to a higher risk of wildfire and mudslides in the mountainous regions.
Pitts, K.; Little, M.; Loewenstein, M.; Iraci, L. T.; Milesi, C.; Schmidt, C.; Skiles, J. W.
Water level observations from tide stations and current observations from current-meter moorings in South San Francisco Bay (South Bay), California have been harmonically analysed. At each tide station, 13 harmonic constituents have been computed by a least-squares regression without inference. Tides in South Bay are typically mixed; there is a phase lag of approximately 1 h and an amplification of 1??5 from north to south for a mean semi-diurnal tide. Because most of the current-meter records are between 14 and 29 days, only the five most important harmonics have been solved for east-west and north-south velocity components. The eccentricity of tidal-current ellipse is generally very small, which indicates that the tidal current in South Bay is strongly bidirectional. The analyses further show that the principal direction and the magnitude of tidal current are well correlated with the basin bathymetry. Patterns of Eulerian residual circulation deduced from the current-meter data show an anticlockwise gyre to the west and a clockwise gyre to the east of the main channel in the summer months due to the prevailing westerly wind. Opposite trends have been observed during winter when the wind was variable. ?? 1985.
Cheng, R. T.; Gartner, J. W.
Predictions of mixed layer depth (MLD) are regularly made using ocean general circulation models, although simple models are also useful tools in several situations. In this study, we report that Pollard, Rhines and Thompson (PRT) one-dimensional model shows considerable capability in reproducing the MLD annual cycle in the coastal and transition domains of the southern part of the California Current (24-32°N). MLD is predicted from PRT model as Au*/?Nf, where u* is shear velocity, N is buoyancy frequency and f is Coriolis parameter. Satellite-derived data (QuickScat) are used to calculate the shear velocity term. The hindcast study is applied to a decade (1997-2008) of conductivity-temperature-depth observations collected by quarterly survey cruises under supervision of Mexican Investigations of the California Current (IMECOCAL) program. Seasonal MLD observed values are obtained using a potential density criterion with an error of ± 3 m. The range of difference between model and observed values is between 2 and 7 m; the largest significant discrepancy occurs at the middle of the IMECOCAL domain during winter (January). Modeling results are consistent with a balance between surface heat flux and wind-driven offshore heat flux estimated from our dataset.
Gomez-Valdes, J.; Jeronimo, G.
Humans are altering the composition of biological communities through a variety of activities that increase rates of species invasions and species extinctions, at all scales, from local to global. These changes in components of the Earth's biodiversity cause concern for ethical and aesthetic reasons, but they also have a strong potential to alter ecosystem properties and the goods and services
D. U. Hooper; F. S. Chapin; J. J. Ewel; A. Hector; P. Inchausti; S. Lavorel; J. H. Lawton; D. M. Lodge; M. Loreau; S. Naeem; B. Schmid; H. Setälä; A. J. Symstad; J. Vandermeer; D. A. Wardle
The California Current System is expected to experience the ecological impacts of ocean acidification earlier than most other ocean regions because marine waters in the North Pacific are among the oldest in the global oceans and natural upwelling processes in this eastern boundary current system bring CO2-rich water masses to the surface in coastal oceans during late spring-early fall months.
S. R. Alin; R. A. Feely; A. G. Dickson; J. M. Hernandez-Ayon; L. W. Juranek; M. D. Ohman; R. Goericke
A pilot project was initiated in 2009 in Humboldt Bay, about 370 kilometers (km) north of San Francisco, California, to measure the currents produced by tsunamis. Northern California is susceptible to both near- and far-field tsunamis and has a historic record of damaging events. Crescent City Harbor, located approximately 100 km north of Humboldt Bay, suffered US 20 million in damages from strong currents produced by the 2006 Kuril Islands tsunami and an additional US 20 million from the 2011 Japan tsunami. In order to better evaluate these currents in northern California, we deployed a Nortek Aquadopp 600kHz 2D Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) with a one-minute sampling interval in Humboldt Bay, near the existing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS) tide gauge station. The instrument recorded the tsunamis produced by the Mw 8.8 Chile earthquake on February 27, 2010 and the Mw 9.0 Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011. Currents from the 2010 tsunami persisted in Humboldt Bay for at least 30 hours with peak amplitudes of about 0.3 meters per second (m/s). The 2011 tsunami signal lasted for over 86 hours with peak amplitude of 0.95 m/s. Strongest currents corresponded to the maximum change in water level as recorded on the NOAA NOS tide gauge, and occurred 90 minutes after the initial wave arrival. No damage was observed in Humboldt Bay for either event. In Crescent City, currents for the first three and a half hours of the 2011 Japan tsunami were estimated using security camera video footage from the Harbor Master building across from the entrance to the small boat basin, approximately 70 meters away from the NOAA NOS tide gauge station. The largest amplitude tide gauge water-level oscillations and most of the damage occurred within this time window. The currents reached a velocity of approximately 4.5 m/s and six cycles exceeded 3 m/s during this period. Measured current velocities both in Humboldt Bay and in Crescent City were compared to calculated velocities from the Method of Splitting Tsunamis (MOST) numerical model. For Humboldt Bay, the 2010 model tsunami frequencies matched the actual values for the first two hours after the initial arrival however the amplitudes were underestimated by approximately 65%. MOST replicated the first four hours of the 2011 tsunami signal in Humboldt Bay quite well although the peak flood currents were underestimated by about 50%. MOST predicted attenuation of the signal after four hours but the actual signal persisted at a nearly constant level for more than 48 hours. In Crescent City, the model prediction of the 2011 frequency agreed quite well with the observed signal for the first two and a half hours after the initial arrival with a 50% underestimation of the peak amplitude. The results from this project demonstrate that ADCPs can effectively record tsunami currents for small to moderate events and can be used to calibrate and validate models (i.e. MOST) in order to better predict hazardous tsunami conditions and improve planned responses to protect lives and property, especially within harbors. An ADCP will be installed in Crescent City Harbor and four additional ADCPs are being deployed in Humboldt Bay during the fall of 2012.
Admire, A. R.; Dengler, L.; Crawford, G. B.; uslu, B. U.; Montoya, J.
In California, oak woodlands and grasslands, have been expanding their geographic range over the past 100 years, and are projected to extend upward along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills in response to climate change. Since vegetation type plays a large role in soil formation and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling, shifts in vegetation distribution could impact C and N storage and processing. This study was designed to determine if dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) production, composition, biodegradation and sorption in the mineral soil of a grassland, oak woodland and conifer ecosystem is related to the type of plant material from which it is derived and how these processes are correlated with temperature. A field experiment where leachates from transplanted soil columns were collected over two rainy seasons at a grassland, oak woodland and conifer field location was combined with laboratory batch adsorption and biodegradation using litter and soil from the same sites. Specific ultra-violet absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA 254), 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) and fractionation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) into hydrophilic and hydrophobic factions was used to determine the structural composition of the DOC solutions. In the laboratory, surface litter from the grass, oak and a conifer site were incubated with de-ionized water for 5, 15 or 96 hours at 4, 20 or 30oC. Incubation time had little effect on DOC structure while vegetation type and temperature had significant effects on DOC functional groups. Increased incubation time and temperature significantly increased DOC and DON concentration. Percent biodegradable DOC was positively correlated to increasing heteroaliphatic functional groups. Since grass, oak and pine DOM solutions had the highest levels of biodegradation using soil inoculums from the sites where the surface litter originated, biodegradation appears to be related to site microbial activity. In batch adsorption studies, an increase in incubation temperature is related to an increase in sorption and biodegradation. There were no significant correlations between adsorption and DOC functional groups. Soil iron and aluminum content were found to play a larger role in DOC adsorption than DOC functional group concentration. Therefore, sorption appears to be primarily controlled by ecosystem soil characteristics and a thermodynamic relationship with temperature rather than surface litter type. In the field experiment, neither DOC, DON nor SUVA 254 values of column leachates differed significantly with surface litter or soil type. However, the 15 month incubation of the soil columns containing all three soil types at all three field locations resulted in several significant changes in soil C and N parameters. Percent C, water extractable DOC and soil C:N all increased in the soil from the pine location that was incubated at the oak and grass location. These changes indicate that the soils at mixed conifer sites in the Sierra Nevada foothills could store increased levels of soil C if grassland and oak woodland vegetation shift into the areas currently dominated by mixed conifers.
Pittiglio, S. L.; Zasoski, R.
We use MC1, a dynamic vegetation model, to evaluate the potential effects of climate change and augmented carbon dioxide on vegetation distribution in northern California and Nevada. We will discuss changes in productivity, vegetation type and fire regime using 21st-century climate scenarios provided by three general circulation models. Particularly we will analyze the effects of varying levels of fire suppression on vegetation and fire behavior. This model study is executed on an 800-meter grid and will be compared to earlier California-specific simulations using a 10-kilometer scale. Results from the coarser-resolution study suggest an increase in total annual area burned within California, with a subsequent increase in annual biomass consumption.
McGlinchy, M.; Neilson, R. P.; Lenihan, J. M.
The El Niño of 1997-98 was one of the strongest warming events of the past century; among many other effects, it impacted phytoplankton along the Peruvian coast by changing species composition and reducing biomass. While responses of the main fish resources to this natural perturbation are relatively well known, understanding the ecosystem response as a whole requires an ecotrophic multispecies approach. In this work, we construct trophic models of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem (NHCE) and compare the La Niña (LN) years in 1995-96 with the El Niño (EN) years in 1997-98. The model area extends from 4°S-16°S and to 60 nm from the coast. The model consists of 32 functional groups of organisms and differs from previous trophic models of the Peruvian system through: (i) division of plankton into size classes to account for EN-associated changes and feeding preferences of small pelagic fish, (ii) increased division of demersal groups and separation of life history stages of hake, (iii) inclusion of mesopelagic fish, and (iv) incorporation of the jumbo squid ( Dosidicus gigas), which became abundant following EN. Results show that EN reduced the size and organization of energy flows of the NHCE, but the overall functioning (proportion of energy flows used for respiration, consumption by predators, detritus and export) of the ecosystem was maintained. The reduction of diatom biomass during EN forced omnivorous planktivorous fish to switch to a more zooplankton-dominated diet, raising their trophic level. Consequently, in the EN model the trophic level increased for several predatory groups (mackerel, other large pelagics, sea birds, pinnipeds) and for fishery catch. A high modeled biomass of macrozooplankton was needed to balance the consumption by planktivores, especially during EN condition when observed diatoms biomass diminished dramatically. Despite overall lower planktivorous fish catches, the higher primary production required-to-catch ratio implied a stronger ecological impact of the fishery and stresses the need for precautionary management of fisheries during and after EN. During EN energetic indicators such as the lower primary production/total biomass ratio suggest a more energetically efficient ecosystem, while reduced network indicators such as the cycling index and relative ascendency indicate of a less organized state of the ecosystem. Compared to previous trophic models of the NHCE we observed: (i) a shrinking of ecosystem size in term of energy flows, (ii) slight changes in overall functioning (proportion of energy flows used for respiration, consumption by predators and detritus), and (iii) the use of alternate pathways leading to a higher ecological impact of the fishery for planktivorous fish.
Tam, Jorge; Taylor, Marc H.; Blaskovic, Verónica; Espinoza, Pepe; Michael Ballón, R.; Díaz, Erich; Wosnitza-Mendo, Claudia; Argüelles, Juan; Purca, Sara; Ayón, Patricia; Quipuzcoa, Luis; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Goya, Elisa; Ochoa, Noemí; Wolff, Matthias
A historical analysis of California Current System (CCS) circulation, performed using the Regional Ocean Modeling System with four-dimensional variational data assimilation, was used to study upwelling variability during the 1988-2010 period. We examined upwelling directly from the vertical velocity field, which elucidates important temporal and spatial variability not captured by traditional coastal upwelling indices. Through much of the CCS, upwelling within 50 km of the coast has increased, as reported elsewhere. However, from 50 to 200 km offshore, upwelling trends are negative and interannual variability is 180° out of phase with the nearshore signal. This cross-shore pattern shows up as the primary mode of variability in central and northern CCS vertical velocity anomalies, accounting for 40% of the total variance. Corresponding time series of the dominant modes in the central and northern CCS are strongly correlated with large-scale climate indices, suggesting that climate fluctuations may alternately favor different biological communities.
Jacox, M. G.; Moore, A. M.; Edwards, C. A.; Fiechter, J.
Data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites are used to study the seasonal evolution of temperature fronts in the northern California Current System (CCS), focusing on the interactions with topographic features. Fronts first appear close to the coast in response to upwelling winds, moving offshore with the continuous input of energy to the system. Late in the upwelling season (after July), the upwelling front is persistently found over deeper waters south of Heceta Bank, Oregon, than north of it, suggesting that the equatorward jet separates from the shelf at Heceta Bank. Inshore of the upwelling front, weak gradients are found on the Bank. The interaction of the equatorward flow with Heceta Bank and Cape Blanco, Oregon, farther south, substantially increases the mesoscale activity and oceanic frontal habitat downstream to the south in the CCS, where fronts are persistently found greater than 100 km from the coast.
Castelao, Renato M.; Barth, John A.; Mavor, Timothy P.
use autonomous nitrate (NO3-), oxygen (O2), and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) observations to examine the relationship between ratios of C:N:O at an upwelling site in the Southern California Current System. Mean ratios and 95% confidence intervals observed by sensors over 8 months were NO3-:O2 = -0.11 ± 0.002, NO3-:DIC = 0.14 ± 0.001, and DIC:O2 = -0.83 ± 0.01, in good agreement with Redfield ratios. Variability in the ratios on the weekly time scale is attributable to shifts in biological demand and nutrient availability and shown to exhibit a spectrum of values ranging from near 100% New Production to 100% Regenerated Production.
Martz, Todd; Send, Uwe; Ohman, Mark D.; Takeshita, Yuichiro; Bresnahan, Philip; Kim, Hey-Jin; Nam, SungHyun
Mercury is one of the most serious contaminants of water, sediment, and biota in Nevada because of its use during 19th century mining activities to recover gold and silver from ores. In 1998, mercury problems were discovered in the Walker River Basin of California and Nevada when blood drawn from three common loons from Walker Lake was analyzed and found to have severely elevated mercury levels. From 1999 to 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected water, sediment, and biological samples to determine mercury sources, distribution, and potential effects on the Walker River Basin ecosystem. Total-mercury concentrations ranged from 0.62 to 57.11 ng/L in streams from the Walker River system and ranged from 1.02 to 26.8 ng/L in lakes and reservoirs. Total-mercury concentrations in streambed sediment ranged from 1 to 13,600 ng/g, and methylmercury concentrations ranged from 0.07 to 32.1 ng/g. The sediment-effects threshold for mercury for fresh-water invertebrates is 200 ng/g, which was exceeded at nine stream sites in the Walker River Basin. The highest mercury concentrations were in streams with historic mines and milling operations in the watershed. The highest mercury concentration in sediment, 13,600 ng/g, was found in Bodie Creek near Bodie, Calif., a site of extensive gold mining and milling activities during the 19th century. Sediment cores taken from Walker Lake show total-mercury concentrations exceeding 1,000 ng/g at depths greater than 15 cm below lake bottom. The presence of 137Cs above 8 cm in one core indicates that the upper 8 cm was deposited sometime after 1963. The mercury peak at 46 cm in that core, 2,660 ng/g, likely represents the peak of mining and gold extraction in the Bodie and Aurora mining districts between 1870 and 1880. Mercury concentrations in aquatic invertebrates at all sites downstream from mining activities in the Rough Creek watershed, which drains the Bodie and Aurora mining districts, were elevated (range 0.263 to 0.863 ?g/g, dry weight). Mercury concentrations in the Walker Lake tui chub, the most abundant and likely prey for common loons, ranged from approximately 0.09 ?g/g to approximately 0.9 ?g/g (wet weight). Larger tui chub in the lake, which are most likely older, had the highest mercury concentrations. Blood samples from 94 common loons collected at Walker Lake between 1998 and 2001 contained a mean mercury concentration of 2.96 ?g/g (standard deviation 1.72 ?g/g). These levels were substantially higher than those found in more than 1,600 common loons tested across North America. Among the 1,600 common loons, the greatest blood mercury concentration, 9.46 ?g/g, was from a loon at Walker Lake. According to risk assessments for northeastern North America, blood mercury concentrations exceeding 3.0 ?g/g cause behavioral, reproductive, and physiological effects. At least 52 percent of the loons at Walker Lake are at risk for adverse effects from mercury on the basis of their blood-mercury concentrations. The larger loons staging in the spring are the most at risk group. The elevated mercury levels found in tui chub and common loons indicate that there is a potential threat to the well being and reproduction of fish and wildlife that use Walker Lake. Wildlife that use Weber Reservoir may also be at risk because it is the first reservoir downstream from mining activities in the Bodie and Aurora areas and mercury concentrations in sediment were elevated. Additional data on mercury concentrations in top level predators, such as piscivorous fish and birds, are needed to assess public health and other environmental risks.
Seiler, Ralph L.; Lico, Michael S.; Wiemeyer, Evers, David C.
We present preliminary results charactering Holocene environmental change in Elkhorn Slough, the second-largest estuary in California. Estuaries and other marginal marine environments provide valuable habitat for a diverse variety of species, and these environments are highly sensitive to changes in sea level, ocean pH, freshwater flux, nutrient input, tidal energy and sediment supply. Because these changes are occurring presently in
N. B. Quintana Krupinski; E. B. Watson; A. Paytan
We present results of an intensive sampling program designed to measure weekly changes in ecosystem respiration (oxygen consumption in the water column and sediments) around the 1996 spring bloom in South San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Measurements were made at a shallow site (2 m, where mean photic depth was 60% of the water column height) and a deep site (15 m, mean photic depth was only 20% of the water column). We also estimated phytoplankton primary production weekly at both sites to develop estimates of net oxygen flux as the sum of pelagic production (PP), pelagic respiration (PR) and benthic respiration (BR). Over the 14 wk period from February 5 to May 14, PP ranged from 2 to 210, PR from 9 to 289, and BR from 0.1 to 48 mmol O2 m-2 d-1, illustrating large variability of estuarine oxygen fluxes at the weekly time scale. Pelagic production exceeded total respiration at the shallow site, but not at the deep site, demonstrating that the shallow domains are net autotrophic but the deep domains are net heterotrophic, even during the period of the spring bloom. If we take into account the potential primary production by benthic microalgae, the estuary as a whole is net autotrophic during spring, net heterotrophic during the nonbloom seasons, and has a balanced net metabolism over a full annual period. The seasonal shift from net autotrophy to heterotrophy during the transition from spring to summer was accompanied by a large shift from dominance by pelagic respiration to dominance by benthic respiration. This suggests that changes in net ecosystem metabolism can reflect changes in the pathways of energy flow in shallow coastal ecosystems.
Caffrey, J. M.; Cloern, J. E.; Grenz, C.
Students learn how drought affects aquatic ecosystem services such as freshwater provision and habitat preservation by critically analyzing the current problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specific topics include the predicted climate-induced changes in the Sierra Nevada snowpack, factors influencing the endangered Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), problems affecting the salmon and other commercial fisheries, the substantial water usage of the agricultural industry, and the recent peripheral canal proposal that attempts to address all of these problems.
satellite-derived observations from 2002 to 2009 are used to quantify the relation between sea surface temperature (SST) fronts and ocean winds in the California Current System (CCS). An edge-detection algorithm is applied to SST observations to generate monthly maps of frontal probabilities. Empirical orthogonal decompositions reveal that the seasonal evolution of fronts in the CCS is strongly related to the seasonal evolution of coastal alongshore wind stress. The seasonal development of SST fronts is remarkably different to the north and to the south of Cape Mendocino, however. While fronts to the north of the cape extend for hundreds of kilometers from the coast peaking during summer and fall, when upwelling winds are stronger off northern California and Oregon, the region to the south of Cape Mendocino is characterized by high frontal activity during spring in a much narrower band close to the coast. Throughout the region, anomalies in the intensity of upwelling-favorable wind stress are followed by anomalies in frontal activity. The width and speed of the widening of the region of high frontal activity are also related to coastal alongshore wind stress. Interannual variability in the timing of the widening of the region of high frontal activity in the lee of Cape Blanco compared to the timing of the spring transition to upwelling-favorable winds may be related to the wind stress curl distribution in the lee of the cape. Stronger upwelling-favorable wind stress curl anomalies lead to early widening of the region of high frontal activity.
Castelao, Renato M.; Wang, Yuntao
SeaWiFS data provide the first systematic comparison of 10 years (1997-2007) of chlorophyll interannual variability over the California (CCS) and Humboldt (HCS) Current Systems. Dominant signals are adjacent to the coast in the wind-driven upwelling zone. Maximum anomalies in both systems are negative signals during the 1997-1998 El Niño that persist into 1999 at most latitudes. Thereafter, anomalies primarily appear to be associated with shifts in phenology, with those in the CCS stronger than those of the HSC. Prominent signals in the CCS are positive anomalies in 2001-2002 at latitudes >35°N and <30°N, and in 2005-2006 from ?30 to 45°N that persist at latitudes >40°N into 2007. In the HCS, latitudinally extensive positive events occur in austral summers of 2002-2003, 2003-2004. Relationships of chlorophyll anomalies to forcing are explored through correlations to local upwelling anomalies and three indices of Pacific Ocean basin-scale variability, the Multivariate El Niño Index (MEI), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO). These show that each system has strong latitudinal regionality in linkage to forcing. At higher latitudes, correlations follow expected relationships of increased (decreased) chlorophyll with positive upwelling and NPGO (MEI and PDO). At specific latitudes, notably the Southern California Bight and off Peru, where circulation and/or chlorophyll phenology differ from canonical EBUS patterns, correlations weaken or oppose those expected. Correlations excluding the El Niño period remain similar in the CCS but substantially changed in the HCS, indicating much stronger domination of El Niño conditions on HCS anomaly relationships over this 10-year period.
Thomas, Andrew C.; Brickley, Peter; Weatherbee, Ryan
In recent years, experts of optical hydrology have shown great interest in the variability of the specific absorption coefficient of light by phytoplankton ( aph*). This parameter is important and necessary for comparing in situ bio-optical and satellite optical measurements. Such comparisons are needed for detecting primary productivity at a mesoscale level. At present, however, the parameters used in algorithms for predicting productivity are global averages. To avoid this bias, we measured the spatial-temporal variability of aph* as part of the Jan-01 Investigaciones Mexicanas de la Corriente de California cruise along the southern California Current. We observed median values of 0.041 m 2 (mg chlorophyll a (Chl a)) -1 at 440 nm and 0.015 at 674 nm, with significant differences between inshore and offshore stations. In general, the stations located in the area of Bahía Vizcaíno, with oceanographic conditions favorable for the growth of phytoplankton, showed lower values of the aph*. The nano-microphytoplankton (>5 ?m) community comprised of 26 diatom genera with mean abundance values of the 19.5×10 3 cells l -1. Nitzschia closterium, a pennate diatom, was almost uniform throughout the study region. Flow cytometry measurements indicated that the picoplankton (<5 ?m) community consisted of two prokaryotes, Prochlorococcus (mean 3.6×10 6 cells l -1) and Synechococcus (mean 10.4×10 6 cells l -1), and a mixture of picoeukaryotes (mean 6.5×10 6 cells l -1). Analyses of Chl and carotenoid pigments determined by high-performance liquid chromatographic confirmed the presence of the divinyl Chl a characteristic of Prochlorococcus. The nano-micro- and picoplankton were 82% and 18% of total phytoplankton biomass (?g C l -1), respectively. In general, we concluded that the phytoplankton community structure and biomass on this cruise showed conditions similar to oligotrophic systems.
Millán-Núñez, Eduardo; Sieracki, Michael E.; Millán-Núñez, Roberto; Lara-Lara, José Rubén; Gaxiola-Castro, Gilberto; Trees, Charles C.
Detailed diatom and silicoflagellates records in three cores from the offshore region of southern Oregon to central California reveal the evolution of the northern part of the California Current during the past 12,000??yr. The early Holocene, prior to ??? 9??ka, was characterized by relatively warm sea surface temperatures (SST), owing to enhanced northerly flow of the subtropical waters comparable to the modern Davidson Current. Progressive strengthening of the North Pacific High lead to intensification of the southward flow of the California Current at ??? 8??ka, resulting in increased coastal upwelling and relatively cooler SST which persisted until ??? 5??ka. Reduced southward flow of the California Current between ??? 4.8??ka and 3.6??ka may have been responsible for a period of decreased upwelling. Modern seasonal oceanographic cycles, as evidenced by increased spring-early summer coastal upwelling and warming of early fall SST evolved between 3.5 and 3.2??ka. Widespread occurrence of paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic change between ??? 3.5-3.0??ka??along the eastern margins of the North Pacific was likely a response to increasing ENSO variability in the tropical Pacific.
Barron, J. A.; Bukry, D.
A long-term moored array was maintained over the northern California continental shelf from April 1981 to April 1983 as part of the Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment to determine the seasonal differences in the current and water temperature characteristics. The array consisted of two midshelf moorings and one upper slope mooring from April 1981 through July 1982 and one midshelf mooring
Steven J. Lentz; David C. Chapman
The seasonal dynamics of the Southern California Current (SCC) is investigated using a primitive equation ocean model with real coastlines and topography. The model is tested with different wind forcing, and the resulting flow fields are compared to the mean and seasonal circulation inferred from long-term in situ observations (California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI)). The model integration forced with the output winds of a regional atmospheric model (RSM) best captures the statistics of the observed circulation, with a 0.9 correlation coefficient for the streamlines and 0.5 for the velocity fields. The model integrations reveal a pronounced linear response of the flow field to changes in winds on the shelf region. A dynamical feature inferred from CalCOFI hydrography, also suggested in TOPEX/ERS maps, is an annually recurrent westward propagation of SSH anomalies originated in the Southern California Bight (SCB) during the upwelling season. The RSM integration is the only one to capture the correct timing and spatial evolution of this process. We therefore use this model integration for guidance in constructing a dynamical framework to interpret the observed circulation and its variability. During the upwelling season in spring, there is an upward tilt of the isopycnals along the coast directly forced by the winds in the Bight. As the spring transitions to the summer the upwelling winds relax in the Bight but are still strong in the region offshore, approximately in correspondence of the continental slope (positive wind-stress curl condition). Anomalous denser waters in the location of the Southern California Eddy are maintained and reinforced by the combined interaction of the coastal/islands geometry and the wind-stress curl (through Ekman dynamics). The adjustment process to the denser water initiates a westward propagation of ocean density anomaly through Rossby waves, and reinforces the cyclonic gyre-like circulation of the SCE (increasing positive vorticity). Surface poleward flow, maintained by the positive wind-stress curl, is also reinforced in proximity of Point Conception as a consequence of the adjustment. During the summer the cyclonic gyre becomes increasingly unstable as the core of the ocean anomalies crosses the continental slope. Instability processes within the cyclonic region, characterized by a sharp increase in EKE, shed eddies that leave the region either drifting to the west or interacting with existing eddies in the region offshore. The EKE reaches a seasonal maximum at the end the summer in the cyclonic region, and in late fall further offshore where the eddies are fully developed. The shedding of eddies cannot be directly seen in the CalCOFI observations because of the sampling aliasing. For this point we rely on the strong suggestion of the model, which we assume is able to capture the leading order dynamics. Additional integrations with a linearized version of the model are also presented to reinforce our interpretation of the westward propagation of the isopycnal anomalous displacement associated with Rossby wave dynamics.
Di Lorenzo, Emanuele
To characterize the environmental factors affecting seabird population trends in the central portion of the California current system (CCS), we analyzed standardized vessel-based surveys collected during the late spring (May-June) upwelling season over 22 yr (1985-2006). We tested the working hypothesis that population trends are related to species-specific foraging ecology, and predicted that temporal variation in population size should be most extreme in diving species with higher energy expenditure during foraging. We related variation in individual species abundance (number km -2) to seasonally lagged (late winter, early spring, late spring) and concurrent ocean conditions, and to long-term trends (using a proxy variable: year) during a multi-decadal period of major fluctuations in the El Niño-Southern oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). We considered both remote (Multivariate ENSO Index, PDO) and local (coastal upwelling indices and sea-surface temperature) environmental variables as proxies for ocean productivity and prey availability. We also related seabird trends to those of potentially major trophic competitors, humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae) and blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) whales, which increased in number 4-5-fold midway during our study. Cyclical oscillations in seabird abundance were apparent in the black-footed albatross ( Phoebastria nigripes), and decreasing trends were documented for ashy storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma homochroa), pigeon guillemot ( Cepphus columbus), rhinoceros auklet ( Cerorhinca monocerata), Cassins auklet ( Ptychoramphus aleuticus), and western gull ( Larus occidentalis); the sooty shearwater ( Puffinus griseus), exhibited a marked decline before signs of recovery at the end of the study period. The abundance of nine other focal species varied with ocean conditions, but without decadal or long-term trends. Six of these species have the largest global populations in the CCS, and four are highly energetic, diving foragers. Furthermore, three of the diving species trends were negatively correlated with the abundance of humpback whales in the study area, a direct competitor for the same prey. Therefore, on the basis of literature reviewed, we hypothesize that the seabirds were affected by the decreasing carrying capacity of the CCS, over-exploitation of some prey stocks and interference competition from the previously exploited, but now increasing, baleen whale populations. Overall, our study highlights the complexity of the ecological factors driving seabird population trends in the highly variable and rapidly changing CCS ecosystem.
Ainley, David G.; David Hyrenbach, K.
Currently there is no formal modeling standard for software ecosystems that models both the ecosystem and the environment in which software products and services operate. Major implications are (1) software vendors have trouble distinguishing the specific software ecosystems in which they are active and (2) they have trouble using these ecosystems to their strategic advantage. In this paper we present
Vasilis Boucharas; Slinger Jansen; Sjaak Brinkkemper
The data from two current meter moorings off Point Sur, California, were analyzed to examine the energy transfers over the continental slope in the California Current system (CCS). The method used was to calculate terms in the heat equation at intermediate depths between instruments, using the thermal wind relation to estimate the horizontal temperature gradients from the vertical shear. Time
Timothy D. Tisch; Steven R. Ramp
A climatic regime shift, an abrupt change from cooling to warming in the Japan\\/East Sea (JES), particularly in the Tsushima warm current (TWC) region, occurred in the late 1980s. The ecosystem of the JES responded strongly to the changing thermal regime. Many, but not all biological components of the ecosystem, spanning from plankton to predatory fishes, and including both warm-water
Yongjun Tian; Hideaki Kidokoro; Tatsuro Watanabe; Naoki Iguchi
The Salton Sea, Californias largest lake, provides essential habitat for several fish and wildlife species and is an important cultural and recreational resource. It has no outlet, and dissolved salts contained in the inflows concentrate in the Salton Sea through evaporation. The salinity of the Salton Sea, which is currently nearly one and a half times the salinity of ocean water, has been increasing as a result of evaporative processes and low freshwater inputs. Further reductions in inflows from water conservation, recycling, and transfers will lower the level of the Salton Sea and accelerate the rate of salinity increases, reduce the suitability of fish and wildlife habitat, and affect air quality by exposing lakebed playa that could generate dust. Legislation enacted in 2003 to implement the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) stated the Legislatures intent for the State of California to undertake the restoration of the Salton Sea ecosystem. As required by the legislation, the California Resources Agency (now California Natural Resources Agency) produced the Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Study and final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR; California Resources Agency, 2007) with the stated purpose to develop a preferred alternative by exploring alternative ways to restore important ecological functions of the Salton Sea that have existed for about 100 years. A decision regarding a preferred alternative currently resides with the California State Legislature (Legislature), which has yet to take action. As part of efforts to identify an ecosystem restoration program for the Salton Sea, and in anticipation of direction from the Legislature, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established a team to develop a monitoring and assessment plan (MAP). This plan is the product of that effort. The goal of the MAP is to provide a guide for data collection, analysis, management, and reporting to inform management actions for the Salton Sea ecosystem. Monitoring activities are directed at species and habitats that could be affected by or drive future restoration activities. The MAP is not intended to be a prescriptive document. Rather, it is envisioned to be a flexible, program-level guide that articulates high-level goals and objectives, and establishes broad sideboards within which future project-level investigations and studies will be evaluated and authorized. As such, the MAP, by design, does not, for example, include detailed protocols describing how investigations will be implemented. It is anticipated that detailed study proposals will be prepared as part of an implementation plan that will include such things as specific sampling objectives, sampling schemes, and statistical and spatial limits.
Compiled by Case, H. L., III; Boles, Jerry; Delgado, Arturo; Nguyen, Thang; Osugi, Doug; Barnum, Douglas A.; Decker, Drew; Steinberg, Steven; Steinberg, Sheila; Keene, Charles; White, Kristina; Lupo, Tom; Gen, Sheldon; Baerenklau, Ken A.
New primary production ( Pnew) (g C m -2 d -1) interannual variability for offshore and inshore regions of the southern California Current from September 1969 to September 2002, using CalCOFI and IMECOCAL data (CalCOFI Lines 90, 107, and 120), was estimated. Total primary production ( PT) and the f-ratio were estimated using empirical algorithms based on nitrate and temperature ship data. Monthly new production ( Pnew= PT· f-ratio) values were calculated from these empirical data. Time series of Pnew anomalies (AP new, g C m -2 d -1) were generated for each line. The period from 1977 to 1998 was characterized by frequent negative AP new values (0.10 g C m -2 d -1) , while the years 1999-2002 had relatively high AP new positive values (up to 0.14 g C m -2 d -1). The sequence of negative and positive AP new values followed not only that of El Niño-La Niña events, but also the interdecadal regime shifts. A cold regime was present in our study area during the 1970s, up to 1976, after which there was a change to positive anomalies up to 1998. During the no-ENSO years, AP new was approximately 20% higher than those of ENSO years.
Hernández-de-la-Torre, Benigno; Gaxiola-Castro, Gilberto; Alvarez-Borrego, Saúl; Gómez-Valdés, José; Nájera-Martínez, Sila
Dramatic global increases in anthropogenic nutrient production on land and negative impacts on coastal systems due to export from rivers are extensively documented. Recently, the comprehensive Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) concluded that excessive nutrient loading of ecosystems is one of the major drivers of global ecosystem change. Increased nutrient mobilization is expected to continue for decades in response to economic and population growth. Development of a scientific basis for actions to reverse these trends and sustain riverine and coastal ecosystem health requires quantitative models applicable at regional to global scales, sensitive to changes in watershed anthropogenic forcings, and capable of predicting changes in element ratios and nutrient forms (dissolved vs. particulate, organic vs. inorganic) which have been shown to modulate the impacts of nutrient loading on marine ecosystems. The Global Nutrient Export from Watersheds (NEWS) system of models was designed to meet these requirements and was previously applied to contemporary (1995) forcings. We will present preliminary results from an application to past (1970) and current (2000) conditions, and compare them to four MA future scenarios thru 2050. These scenarios integrate economic, social, and ecosystem processes, and represent plausible futures with contrasting degrees of global cooperation and of sustainability of ecosystem services.
Seitzinger, S.; Mayorga, E.; Beusen, A.; Bouwman, A.; Dumont, E.; Fekete, B.; Harrison, J.; Kroeze, C.; Lee, R.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; Wisser, D.
As a part of the GLOBEC-Northeast Pacific project, we investigated variation in the abundance of marine birds in the context of biological and physical habitat conditions in the northern portion of the California Current System (CCS) during cruises during the upwelling season 2000. Continuous surveys of seabirds were conducted simultaneously in June (onset of upwelling) and August (mature phase of upwelling) with ocean properties quantified using a towed, undulating vehicle and a multi-frequency bioacoustic instrument (38-420 kHz). Twelve species of seabirds contributed 99% of the total community density and biomass. Species composition and densities were similar to those recorded elsewhere in the CCS during earlier studies of the upwelling season. At a scale of 2-4 km, physical and biological oceanographic variables explained an average of 25% of the variation in the distributions and abundance of the 12 species. The most important explanatory variables (among 14 initially included in each multiple regression model) were distance to upwelling-derived frontal features (center and edge of coastal jet, and an abrupt, inshore temperature gradient), sea-surface salinity, acoustic backscatter representing various sizes of prey (smaller seabird species were associated with smaller prey and the reverse for larger seabird species), and chlorophyll concentration. We discuss the importance of these variables in the context of what factors seabirds may use to find food. The high seabird density in the Heceta Bank and Cape Blanco areas indicates them to be refuges contrasting the low seabird densities currently found in most other parts of the CCS, following decline during the recent warm regime of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
Ainley, David G.; Spear, Larry B.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Barth, John A.; Pierce, Stephen D.; Glenn Ford, R.; Cowles, Timothy J.
During spring and summer 2000, two mesoscale mapping cruises were carried out in the northern California Current System between 41.9?N and 44.6?N and between the shallow, inner continental shelf and up to 150 km offshore. Measurements were made using a towed undulating vehicle equipped with a conductivity-temperature-depth instrument and a chlorophyll fluorometer. A shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measured water velocities, and surface drifter trajectories and satellite sea-surface temperature imagery provide context for the mesoscale maps. Nearly identical upwelling favorable wind stresses of up to 0.2Nm-2 existed during both the spring and summer surveys. Early in the season (late May, early June) the upwelling front and jet followed the continental shelf bottom topography. There was cold water inshore of the shelfbreak all along the coast with pockets of elevated phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll (chl) up to 4mgm-3) near the coast. Mesoscale activity was minimal. During late-summer (August), the upwelling front and jet were much more convoluted, including significant meanders offshore associated with a major submarine bank (Heceta Bank, 44.0- 44.6?N) and a large coastal promontory (Cape Blanco, 42.8?N). High levels of phytoplankton biomass were found over Heceta Bank (chl 20mgm-3) and near the coast south of Cape Blanco (chl 10mgm-3). Low velocities inshore of Heceta Bank, measured by both shipboard ADCP and surface drifters, indicate the potential for retention of water over the Bank, leading to favorable conditions for phytoplankton biomass accumulation. The large offshore meander near Cape Blanco carried cold, nutrient-rich, high phytoplankton biomass (chl of 2- 5mgm-3) water over 100 km offshore. This flow-topography interaction feature was generated in mid-June and remained an important part of the regional circulation for about 2.5 months.
Barth, John A.; Pierce, Stephen D.; Cowles, Timothy J.
The three-dimensional dynamics in a shallow front are examined using density and current data from two surveys 100 km offshore of Monterey Bay, California. Survey 1 is forced by down-front winds, and both surveys have considerable cross-front density gradients and flow curvature. The maximum Rossby numbers on the dense side reached maxima of +0.60 in survey 1 and +0.45 in survey 2. Downwelling occurs in regions of confluence (frontogenesis) associated with potential vorticity (PV) change and thermal wind imbalance. Streamers of particulate matter and PV are advected southeastward by the frontal jet and downward. Nonlinear Ekman currents advect dense water over light water in the presence of down-front winds, which leads to upwelling along the front and downwelling on the light side of the front. At sites of active ageostrophic secondary circulation (ASC), induced by frontogenesis or Ekman effects, the observed cross-front ageostrophic velocity is consistent with the diagnosed vertical velocity. Furthermore, in survey 2, ageostrophic divergence may play an important role at the curved front, presumably counteracting quasi-geostrophic frontogenesis due to isopycnal confluence. Downward frictional vertical PV flux below the surface extracts PV from the pycnocline and reinforces the frontogenetic vertical PV flux. PV destruction at the surface is inferred from a low PV anomaly below the mixed layer in survey 2. Since the magnitude of the frontogenetic ASC is only twice the magnitude of Ekman suction, external forcing may have a considerable impact on the vertical heat and PV fluxes.
Pallã S-Sanz, E.; Johnston, T. M. S.; Rudnick, D. L.
To characterize the current status and historical trends in organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) contamination in Deep Bay, an important water body between Hong Kong and mainland China with a Ramsar mangrove wetland (Maipo), samples from seawater, suspended particulate matter (SPM), surface sediment, sediment core and fish were collected to determine the OCPs concentrations. Sediment core dating was accomplished using the 210Pb
Yao-Wen Qiu; Gan Zhang; Ling-Li Guo; Hai-Rong Cheng; Wen-Xiong Wang; Xiang-Dong Li; Onyx W. H. Wai
Sedimentary records from California's Northern Channel Islands and the adjacent Santa Barbara Basin (SBB) indicate intense regional biomass burning (wildfire) at the Ållerød-Younger Dryas boundary (13.0-12.9 ka) (All age ranges in this paper are expressed in thousands of calendar years before present [ka]. Radiocarbon ages will be identified and clearly marked " 14C years".). Multiproxy records in SBB Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Site 893 indicate that these wildfires coincided with the onset of regional cooling and an abrupt vegetational shift from closed montane forest to more open habitats. Abrupt ecosystem disruption is evident on the Northern Channel Islands at the Ållerød-Younger Dryas boundary with the onset of biomass burning and resulting mass sediment wasting of the landscape. These wildfires coincide with the extinction of Mammuthus exilis [pygmy mammoth]. The earliest evidence for human presence on these islands at 13.1-12.9 ka (11,000-10,900 14C years) is followed by an apparent 600-800 year gap in the archaeological record, which is followed by indications of a larger-scale colonization after 12.2 ka. Although a number of processes could have contributed to a post 18 ka decline in M. exilis populations (e.g., reduction of habitat due to sea-level rise and human exploitation of limited insular populations), we argue that the ultimate demise of M. exilis was more likely a result of continental scale ecosystem disruption that registered across North America at the onset of the Younger Dryas cooling episode, contemporaneous with the extinction of other megafaunal taxa. Evidence for ecosystem disruption at 13-12.9 ka on these offshore islands is consistent with the Younger Dryas boundary cosmic impact hypothesis [Firestone, R.B., West, A., Kennett, J.P., Becker, L., Bunch, T.E., Revay, Z.S., Schultz, P.H., Belgya, T., Kennett, D.J., Erlandson, J.M., Dickenson, O.J., Goodyear, A.A., Harris, R.S., Howard, G.A., Kloosterman, J.B., Lechler, P., Mayewski, P.A., Montgomery, J., Poreda, R., Darrah, T., Que Hee, S.S., Smith, A.R., Stich, A., Topping, W., Wittke, J.H. Wolbach, W.S., 2007. Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and Younger Dryas cooling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, 16016-16021.].
Kennett, D. J.; Kennett, J. P.; West, G. J.; Erlandson, J. M.; Johnson, J. R.; Hendy, I. L.; West, A.; Culleton, B. J.; Jones, T. L.; Stafford, Thomas W., Jr.
Current meter data collected at 11 stations and water level data collected at one station in Suisun and San Pablo Bays, California, in 1986 are compiled in this report. Current-meter measurements include current speed and direction, and water temperature and salinity (computed from temperature and conductivity). For each of the 19 current-meter records, data are presented in two forms. These are: (1) results of harmonic analysis; and (2) plots of tidal current speed and direction versus time and plots of temperature and salinity versus time. Spatial distribution of the properties of tidal currents are given in graphic form. In addition, Eulerian residual currents have been compiled by using a vector-averaging technique. Water level data are presented in the form of a time-series plot and the results of harmonic analysis. (USGS)
Gartner, J. W.; Yost, B. T.
Current meter records from seven sequential moorings were collected during 1993-1996 at an abyssal station off central California (Sta. M; 4100 m depth). The entire 2 1/4-yr time series of the flow at 600, 50, and 2.5 m above bottom (above, near the top of, and within the benthic boundary layer) were analyzed for mean flow statistics and subtidal and tidal variability. The mean current vectors at each altitude were southward at <1 cm s -1, although not significantly different from zero. Spectral analysis revealed energetic mesoscale and seasonal oscillations in the flow, indicated by peaks in principal axis magnitudes at periods of 50-175 days. Tidal (mainly semidiurnal) and inertial forcing contributed to flow variability and influenced the mean principal axis orientation calculated for each record. The highest flow speeds were recorded at 50 m above bottom (with an average of 3.8 cm s -1; maximum 18.2 cm s -1). An examination of monthly-averaged current vectors at this altitude revealed that flow was to the south during the months of highest flow speed (April 1994 and 1995 and October 1994) and to the north and west during the months of lowest flow speed (July 1994 and August 1995). Profiles of light transmission and potential temperature, collected intermittently during the 2 1/4-yr period, showed that the benthic mixed layer at Sta. M extended on average 40 m above bottom (range 15-80 mab). Evidence for local resuspension of recently deposited detritus came from time-lapse photographs of the sea floor that showed a period of near-bottom turbidity that corresponded to a period of high near-bottom flow. However, rough estimates of friction velocity indicated that the bed stress usually was too low at Sta. M to cause local resuspension of sediments. We hypothesize that the observed benthic mixed layers contained suspended particles advected from more energetic areas to the north of Sta. M.
Beaulieu, Stace; Baldwin, Roberta
Previous research indicates that 5.5-9.6 x 106 mol\\/d (90-150 t\\/d) of methane are emitted from the seafloor into the coastal ocean near Coal Oil Point (COP), Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), California. Methane concentrations and biologically-mediated oxidation rates were quantified at 12 stations in a 198 km2 area down-current from COP during the SEEPS\\
S. Mau; M. Heintz; D. L. Valentine
This Sensor Intercomparison and Merger for Biological and Interdisciplinary Oceanic Studies (SIMBIOS) project contract supports in situ ocean optical observations in the California Current, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean as well as merger of other in situ data sets we have collected on various global cruises supported by separate grants or contracts. The principal goals of our research are to validate standard or experimental products through detailed bio-optical and biogeochemical measurements, and to combine ocean optical observations with advanced radiative transfer modeling to contribute to satellite vicarious radiometric calibration and advanced algorithm development. In collaboration with major oceanographic ship-based observation programs funded by various agencies (CalCOFI, US JGOFS, NOAA AMLR, INDOEX and Japan/East Sea) our SIMBIOS effort has resulted in data from diverse bio-optical provinces. For these global deployments we generate a high-quality, methodologically consistent, data set encompassing a wide-range of oceanic conditions. Global data collected in recent years have been integrated with our on-going CalCOFI database and have been used to evaluate Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) algorithms and to carry out validation studies. The combined database we have assembled now comprises more than 700 stations and includes observations for the clearest oligotrophic waters, highly eutrophic blooms, red-tides and coastal case two conditions. The data has been used to validate water-leaving radiance estimated with SeaWiFS as well as bio optical algorithms for chlorophyll pigments. The comprehensive data is utilized for development of experimental algorithms (e.g., high-low latitude pigment transition, phytoplankton absorption, and cDOM).
Mitchell, B. Greg
The principal goals of our research are to validate standard or experimental products through detailed bio-optical and biogeochemical measurements, and to combine ocean optical observations with advanced radiative transfer modeling to contribute to satellite vicarious radiometric calibration and advanced algorithm development. To achieve our goals requires continued efforts to execute complex field programs globally, as well as development of advanced ocean optical measurement protocols. We completed a comprehensive set of ocean optical observations in the California Current, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean requiring a large commitment to instrument calibration, measurement protocols, data processing and data merger. We augmented separately funded projects of our own, as well as others, to acquire ill situ data sets we have collected on various global cruises supported by separate grants or contracts. In collaboration with major oceanographic ship-based observation programs funded by various agencies (CalCOFI, US JGOFS, NOAA AMLR, INDOEX and Japan/East Sea) our SIMBIOS effort has resulted in data from diverse bio-optical provinces. For these global deployments we generate a high-quality, methodologically consistent, data set encompassing a wide-range of oceanic conditions. Global data collected in recent years have been integrated with our on-going CalCOFI database and have been used to evaluate SeaWiFS algorithms and to carry out validation studies. The combined database we have assembled now comprises more than 700 stations and includes observations for the clearest oligotrophic waters, highly eutrophic blooms, red-tides and coastal case 2 conditions. The data has been used to validate water-leaving radiance estimated with SeaWiFS as well as bio-optical algorithms for chlorophyll pigments. The comprehensive data is utilized for development of experimental algorithms (e.g. high-low latitude pigment transition, phytoplankton absorption, and cDOM). During this period we completed 9 peer-reviewed publications in high quality journals, and presented aspects of our work at more than 10 scientific conferences.
Mitchell, B. Greg; Fargion, Giulietta S. (Technical Monitor)
Mediterranean landscape during the last centuries has been subject to strong anthropogenic disturbances who shifted natural vegetation cover in a cultural landscape. Most of the natural forest were destroyed in order to allow cultivation and grazing activities. In the last century, fast growing conifer plantations were introduced in order to increase timber production replacing slow growing natural forests. In addition, after the Second World War most of the grazing areas were changed in unmanaged mediterranean conifer forest frequently spread by fires. In the last decades radical socio economic changes lead to a dramatic abandonment of the cultural landscape. One of the most relevant result of these human disturbances, and in particular the replacement of deciduous forests with coniferous forests, has been the increasing in the number of forest fires, mainly human caused. The presence of conifers and shrubs, more prone to fire, triggered a feedback mechanism that makes difficult to return to the stage of potential vegetation causing huge economic, social and environmental damages. The aim of this work is to investigate the sustainability of the current landscape. A future landscape scenario has been simulated considering the natural succession in absence of human intervention assuming the current fire regime will be unaltered. To this end, a new model has been defined, implementing an ecological succession model coupled with a simply Forest Fire Model. The ecological succession model simulates the vegetation dynamics using a rule-based approach discrete in space and time. In this model Plant Functional Types (PFTs) are used to describe the landscape. Wildfires are randomly ignited on the landscape, and their propagation is simulated using a stochastic cellular automata model. The results show that the success of the natural succession toward a potential vegetation cover is prevented by the frequency of fire spreading. The actual landscape is then unsustainable because of the high cost of fire fighting activities. The right path to success consists in development of suitable land use planning and forest management to mitigate the consequences of past anthropogenic disturbances.
Biondi, Guido; D'Andrea, Mirko; Fiorucci, Paolo; Franciosi, Chiara; Lima, Marco
The IMECOCAL Program began in 1997, with the objective of sampling plankton systematically in the Mexican region of the California Current. We present results of chlorophyll a concentrations and zooplankton displacement volumes for the eight cruises from September 1997 to October 1999. The abundance of 22 zooplankton groups was also analyzed for the first four cruises. The response of plankton to the 1997-1998 El Niño was atypical. From September 1997 to January 1998, chlorophyll a and zooplankton volume were at typical values (median integrated chlorophyll was 27 mg/m 2 and zooplankton 100 ml/1000 m 3 in 9801/02). After the peak of El Niño, the system shifted to cooler conditions. Integrated chlorophyll gradually increased to a median of 77 mg/m 2 in April 1999. In contrast, zooplankton volumes decreased from October 1998 onward, despite favorable phytoplankton availability in 1999. Zooplankton structure was dominated by copepods and chaetognaths through the ENSO cycle, but interannual changes were evident. In the fall of 1997 there was a higher proportion of copepods, chaetognaths, and other minor groups, while the fall of 1998 zooplankton was richer in salps and ostracods. Historical data from previous Baja California CalCOFI cruises indicated that zooplankton volumes measured during the IMECOCAL cruises were above the long-term mean for the period 1951-1984. This suggests a differential response of plankton to the El Niño of 1997-1998 compared to the El Niño of 1957-1959. Regional differences in zooplankton volumes were also found, with central Baja California having 41% higher biomass than northern Baja California. Volumes from both regions were larger than those recorded by CalCOFI off southern California during 1997-1998, but the situation was reversed in 1999. The higher biomasses in the 1997-1998 El Niño can be attributed to high abundance of salps, which showed an affinity with warm, saline water.
Lavaniegos, B. E.; Jiménez-Pérez, L. C.; Gaxiola-Castro, G.
The California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus), a Federal- and State-listed endangered marsh bird, has a geographic range restricted to one of the most heavily-urbanized estuaries in the world. The rail population has long been in a state of decline, although the exact contribution of each of the many contributing causes remains unclear. The rail is one of the key targets of emerging plans to conserve and restore tidal marshlands. Reduction of tidal marsh habitat, estimated at 85-95%, has been the major historical cause of rail decline. Increased predation intensity may be the more important present problem, because habitat fragmentation and alteration coupled with the invasion of the red fox have made the remaining populations more vulnerable to predators. Population viability analysis shows that adult survivorship is the key demographic variable; reversals in population fate occur over a narrow range of ecologically realistic values. Analysis of habitat requirements and population dynamics of the clapper rail in the San Francisco Estuary shows that decreased within-marsh habitat quality, particularly reduction of tidal flows and alteration of drainage, is an important barrier to population recovery. Management and restoration activities should emphasize the development of well-channelized high tidal marsh, because this is the key requirement of rail habitat. Developing effective restoration programs depends upon having information that field research will not provide. The effect of spatial pattern of reserves requires accurate estimation of the effects of predation and inter-marsh movement, both of which are practically impossible to measure adequately. It will be necessary to develop and use simulation models that can be applied to geographic data to accomplish this task.
Foin, T. C.; Garcia, E. J.; Gill, R. E.; Culberson, S. D.; Collins, J. N.
During spring and summer 2000, two mesoscale mapping cruises surveyed the northern California Current system from 41.9-44.6N and about 150 km offshore. Concurrent with the physical and bio-optical measurements made from a towed undulating vehicle (SeaSoar), a multi-frequency (38, 120, 200, and 420 kHz) towed bio-acoustics instrument collected backscatter data. The bio-acoustics were collected in 12 s ensembles (about 50 m horizontal resolution) and 1 m vertical bins, comparable to the resolution of the SeaSoar measurements, allowing for close evaluation of the physical control of biological distributions on these scales. The acoustics were sea-truthed using nearby MOCNESS samples. Predicted scattering was computed for each net sample using body lengths in a randomly-oriented bent cylinder scattering model, a reasonable approximation for both copepods and euphausiids. Predicted volume backscattering for the MOCNESS samples explained 44% of the variance of the nearby acoustics backscatter, a typical result in this context. A non-negative least squares inverse method is applied in conjunction with the scattering model, yielding estimates of biomass in four size classes over the entire survey region. For the spring 2000 case, we also compare our bio-acoustic results with zooplankton measurements made with an Optical Plankton Counter (OPC) mounted on the SeaSoar vehicle. The overall mean OPC and acoustic zooplankton estimates agree moderately well for the 5-9 mm and 9-17 mm size classes, with biovolumes within factors of two. For the 1-5 mm size class, the mean OPC value is an order of magnitude larger than the acoustic estimate. On the other hand, the 1-5 mm bio-acoustic map reveals some mesoscale spatial structure over a submarine bank which the OPC does not show. The different methods of observing zooplankton will be discussed in more detail. Preliminary bio-acoustic results from other years (2001 and 2002) off the Oregon coast will also be shown.
Pierce, S. D.; Barth, J. A.; Peterson, W. T.; Cowles, T. J.; Zhou, M.
Due to seasonal upwelling, the upper ocean waters of the California Current System (CCS) have a naturally low pH and aragonite saturation state (?arag), making this region particularly prone to the effects of ocean acidification. Here, we use the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) to conduct preindustrial and transient (1995-2050) simulations of ocean biogeochemistry in the CCS. The transient simulations were forced with increasing atmospheric pCO2 and increasing oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations at the lateral boundaries, as projected by the NCAR CSM 1.4 model for the IPCC SRES A2 scenario. Our results show a large seasonal variability in pH (range of ~ 0.14) and ?arag (~ 0.2) for the nearshore areas (50 km from shore). This variability is created by the interplay of physical and biogeochemical processes. Despite this large variability, we find that present-day pH and ?arag have already moved outside of their simulated preindustrial variability envelopes (defined by ±1 temporal standard deviation) due to the rapidly increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2. The nearshore surface pH of the northern and central CCS are simulated to move outside of their present-day variability envelopes by the mid-2040s and late 2030s, respectively. This transition may occur even earlier for nearshore surface ?arag, which is projected to depart from its present-day variability envelope by the early- to mid-2030s. The aragonite saturation horizon of the central CCS is projected to shoal into the upper 75 m within the next 25 yr, causing near-permanent undersaturation in subsurface waters. Due to the model's overestimation of ?arag, this transition may occur even earlier than simulated by the model. Overall, our study shows that the CCS joins the Arctic and Southern oceans as one of only a few known ocean regions presently approaching the dual threshold of widespread and near-permanent undersaturation with respect to aragonite and a departure from its variability envelope. In these regions, organisms may be forced to rapidly adjust to conditions that are both inherently chemically challenging and also substantially different from past conditions.
Hauri, C.; Gruber, N.; Vogt, M.; Doney, S. C.; Feely, R. A.; Lachkar, Z.; Leinweber, A.; McDonnell, A. M. P.; Munnich, M.; Plattner, G.-K.
Due to seasonal upwelling, the upper ocean waters of the California Current System (CCS) have a naturally low pH and aragonite saturation state (?arag), making this region particularly prone to the effects of ocean acidification. Here, we use the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) to conduct preindustrial and transient (1995-2050) simulations of ocean biogeochemistry in the CCS. The transient simulations were forced with increasing atmospheric pCO2 as projected by the NCAR CSM 1.4 model run under either the IPCC SRES A2 or B1 scenarios. Using ROMS, we investigate the timing of transition decades during which pH and ?arag depart from their modeled preindustrial (1750) and present-day (2011) variability envelopes. We report these transition decades by noting the midpoint of the ten-year transition periods. In addition, we also analyze the timing of near permanent aragonite undersaturation in the upper 100 m of the water column. Our results show that an interplay of physical and biogeochemical processes create large seasonal variability in pH (∼ 0.14) and ?arag (∼ 0.2). Despite this large variability, we find that present-day pH and ?arag have already moved out of their preindustrial variability envelopes due to the rapidly increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2. The simulations following the A2 emissions scenario suggest that nearshore surface pH of the northern and central CCS will move out of their present-day variability envelopes by 2045 and 2037, respectively. However, surface ?arag of the northern and central CCS subregions are projected to depart from their present-day variability envelopes sooner, by 2030 and 2035, respectively. By 2025, the aragonite saturation horizon of the central CCS is projected to shoal into the upper 75 m for the duration of the annual cycle, causing near permanent undersaturation in subsurface waters. Overall, our study shows that the CCS joins the Arctic and Southern Oceans as one of only a few known ocean regions presently approaching this dual threshold of undersaturation with respect to aragonite and a departure from its variability envelope. In these regions, organisms may be forced to rapidly adjust to conditions that are both inherently chemically challenging and also substantially different from prior conditions.
Hauri, C.; Gruber, N.; Vogt, M.; Doney, S. C.; Feely, R. A.; Lachkar, Z.; Leinweber, A.; McDonnell, A. M. P.; Munnich, M.; Plattner, G.-K.
A census of marine mammals was conducted off the coast of California (USA) in 19791980. The distribution of seasurface chlorophyll was determined at the same time by onboard fluorometry and by remote sensing using the Coastal Zone Color Scanner on the Nimbus-7 satellite. Comparisons of species and chlorophyll distributions indicate that marine mammals are not randomly distributed with respect to
R. C. Smith; P. Dustan; D. Au; K. S. Baker; E. A. Dunlap
Pigment-specific absorption by total particulates, detritus and phytoplankton was measured throughout the euphotic zone at > 275 stations on three cruises off California in late 1991 and early 1992. A new spectral fluorescence method for assessing photosynthetically active absorption in natural samples was developed and applied. Spatial variability in specific absorption coefficients at the mesoscale was found to be as
Heidi M. Sosik; B. GREG Mitchell
A series of stratified bongo net samples taken over a 2 day period at ca. 18°S, about 20 nm off the coast of Peru, South America, suggest species-specific patterns of diel vertical migration into the Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem (HCE). The OMZ was the most dramatic feature of the water column and seemed to determine the extent of migration: Stylocheiron affine migrated only to the shallow oxycline; whereas Euphausia mucronata, Euphausia eximia, Euphausia distinguenda and Euphausia tenera migrated to the core of the OMZ; and Nematoscelis gracilis to beneath the core of the OMZ. Some differences were also found in the timing and duration of the ascent and descent, and residence times in shallow and deep layers. E. mucronata, N. gracilis and E. distinguenda displayed a normal descent during sunrise, and ascent during sunset. E. eximia and E. tenera also descended during sunrise but seemed to begin their ascent earlier in the afternoon and consequently shortened their deep residence times. S. affine showed the most extended residence times at the shallow layer and the shortest vertical displacement. Day and night vertical stratification and differences in the timing of migration into and out of the OMZ of the HCE suggest a community structure based on habitat partitioning whereby species avoided co-occurrence in time and space. Species-specific patterns of vertical stratification and migratory chronology are examined with regard to body and gill sizes, feeding adaptations of euphausiids, and potential food resources at the OMZ.
An array of seven moorings housing current meters and oceanographic sensors was deployed for 6 months at 5 sites on the Continental Shelf and slope off Newport Beach, California, from July 2011 to January 2012. Full water-column profiles of currents were acquired at all five sites, and a profile of water-column temperature was also acquired at two of the five sites for the duration of the deployment. In conjunction with this deployment, the Orange County Sanitation District deployed four bottom platforms with current meters on the San Pedro Shelf, and these meters provided water-column profiles of currents. The data from this program will provide the basis for an investigation of the interaction between the deep water flow over the slope and the internal tide on the Continental Shelf.
Rosenberger, Kurt; Noble, Marlene A.; Norris, Benjamin K.
Several studies have documented the human benefits of temperature cooling derived from coastal fog such as the reduction in the number of hospital visits/emergency response requests from heat stress-vulnerable population sectors or decreased energy consumption during periods when summer maximum temperatures are lower than normal. In this study we quantify the hourly, daily, monthly and seasonal thermal effect of fog and low clouds (FLC) hours on maximum summer temperatures across a northern California landscape. The FLC data summaries are calculated from the CIRA (Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere) 10 year archive that were derived from hourly night and day images using channels 1 (Visible), 2 (3.6 ?m) and 4 (10.7 ?m) NOAA GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite). The FLC summaries were analyzed with two sets of site based data, meteorological (met) station-based measurements and downscaled interpolated PRISM data for selected point locations spanning a range of coastal to inland geographic conditions and met station locations. In addition to finding a 0.4 degree C per hour of FLC effect, our results suggest variability related to site specific thermal response. For example, sites closest to the coast have less thermal variability between low cloud and sunny days than sites further from the coast suggesting a much stronger influence of ocean temperature than of FLC thermal dynamics. The thermal relief provided by summertime FLC is equivalent in magnitude to the temperature increase projected by the driest and hottest of regional downscaled climate models using the A2 ('worst') IPCC scenario. Extrapolating these thermal calculations can facilitate future quantifications of the ecosystem service provided by summertime low clouds and fog.
Torregrosa, A.; Flint, L. E.; Flint, A. L.; Combs, C.; Peters, J.
Since 1951, the biomass of macrozooplankton in waters off southern California has decreased by 80 percent. During the same period, the surface layer warmed-by more than 1.5^circC in some places-and the temperature difference across the thermocline increased. Increased stratification resulted in less lifting of the thermocline by wind-driven upwelling. A shallower source of upwelled waters provided less inorganic nutrient for
Dean Roemmich; John McGowan
Background Research on ecosystem services has grown exponentially during the last decade. Most of the studies have focused on assessing and mapping terrestrial ecosystem services highlighting a knowledge gap on marine and coastal ecosystem services (MCES) and an urgent need to assess them. Methodology/Principal Findings We reviewed and summarized existing scientific literature related to MCES with the aim of extracting and classifying indicators used to assess and map them. We found 145 papers that specifically assessed marine and coastal ecosystem services from which we extracted 476 indicators. Food provision, in particular fisheries, was the most extensively analyzed MCES while water purification and coastal protection were the most frequently studied regulating and maintenance services. Also recreation and tourism under the cultural services was relatively well assessed. We highlight knowledge gaps regarding the availability of indicators that measure the capacity, flow or benefit derived from each ecosystem service. The majority of the case studies was found in mangroves and coastal wetlands and was mainly concentrated in Europe and North America. Our systematic review highlighted the need of an improved ecosystem service classification for marine and coastal systems, which is herein proposed with definitions and links to previous classifications. Conclusions/Significance This review summarizes the state of available information related to ecosystem services associated with marine and coastal ecosystems. The cataloging of MCES indicators and the integrated classification of MCES provided in this paper establish a background that can facilitate the planning and integration of future assessments. The final goal is to establish a consistent structure and populate it with information able to support the implementation of biodiversity conservation policies.
Liquete, Camino; Piroddi, Chiara; Drakou, Evangelia G.; Gurney, Leigh; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Charef, Aymen; Egoh, Benis
Hake (Merluccius gayi peruanus) predation plays an important role in the dynamics of the Humboldt Current ecosystem (HCE). Changes in the hake trophic habits associated with physical variability are expected to impact prey populations and to propagate through the food web. Time series (1995-2002) of (a) stomach contents of hake, (b) biomass estimations of fish prey species of hake, and (c) depth of the 15°C isotherm was analysed with the aim of exploring the impacts of El Niño 1997-1998 on the diet of hake. Biomass estimations of fish prey species were used to indicate resource availability, and depth of the 15°C isotherm to represent variability associated with the ENSO cycle in the physical environment of hake. The richness of prey species increased during the months when 15°C isotherm reached its deepest position, supporting the hypothesis of increased biodiversity (tropicalization) of the HCE during El Niño events. An increased variability in stomach fullness of hake was detected after 1999 which could indicate high heterogeneity in the food supply as a consequence of impacts of the warm event in the biotic community structure of the HCE, a physiological impairment of hake or an effect of the abrupt reduction in the mean total length of hake, postulated as a compensatory response to fishery pressure. Hake can be characterized as an opportunist predator according to the observed changes in its diet during 1995-2002. Overall, the diet of hake in the northern HCE exhibited transitory (e.g. increased richness of prey species in the stomach contents) and medium term (e.g. increased variability in feeding activity) responses associated with El Niño 1997-1998, which should be incorporated both in population dynamics and food web analyses.
Tam, J.; Purca, S.; Duarte, L. O.; Blaskovic, V.; Espinoza, P.
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Texas A&M University AgriLife, did a surface geophysical investigation at the Pecos River Ecosystem Project study site near Mentone in West Texas intended to determine shallow (to about 14 meters below the water [river] surface) subsurface composition (lithology) in and near treated (eradicated of all saltcedar) and control (untreated) riparian zone sites during June-August 2006. Land-based direct-current resistivity profiling was applied in a 240-meter section of the riverbank at the control site, and waterborne direct-current continuous resistivity profiling (CRP) was applied along a 2.279-kilometer reach of the river adjacent to both sites to collect shallow subsurface resistivity data. Inverse modeling was used to obtain a nonunique estimate of the true subsurface resistivity from apparent resistivity calculated from the field measurements. The land-based survey showed that the sub-surface at the control site generally is of relatively low resis-tivity down to about 4 meters below the water surface. Most of the section from about 4 to 10 meters below the water surface is of relatively high resistivity. The waterborne CRP surveys convey essentially the same electrical representation of the lithology at the control site to 10 meters below the water surface; but the CRP surveys show considerably lower resistivity than the land-based survey in the subsection from about 4 to 10 meters below the water surface. The CRP surveys along the 2.279-kilometer reach of the river adjacent to both the treated and control sites show the same relatively low resistivity zone from the riverbed to about 4 meters below the water surface evident at the control site. A slightly higher resistivity zone is observed from about 4 to 14 meters below the water surface along the upstream approximately one-half of the profile than along the downstream one-half. The variations in resistivity could not be matched to variations in lithology because sufficient rock samples were not available.
Teeple, Andrew P.; McDonald, Alyson K.; Payne, Jason D.; Kress, Wade H.
Water-velocity profiles were collected at the west end of Carquinez Strait, San Francisco Bay, California, from March to November 1988, using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). These data are a series of 10-minute-averaged water velocities collected at 1-meter vertical intervals (bins) in the 16.8-meter water column, beginning 2.1 meters above the estuary bed. To examine the vertical structure of the horizontal water velocities, the data are separated into individual time-series by bin and then used for time-series plots, harmonic analysis, and for input to digital filters. Three-dimensional graphic renditions of the filtered data are also used in the analysis. Harmonic analysis of the time-series data from each bin indicates that the dominant (12.42 hour or M2) partial tidal currents reverse direction near the bottom, on average, 20 minutes sooner than M2 partial tidal currents near the surface. Residual (nontidal) currents derived from the filtered data indicate that currents near the bottom are pre- dominantly up-estuary during the neap tides and down-estuary during the more energetic spring tides.
Burau, J. R.; Simpson, M. R.; Cheng, R. T.
The relationships among ozone, emissions, and meteorology are very complex in central California, and must be well studied and understood in order to facilitate better air quality planning. Factors significantly impacting changes in emissions such as economic and population growth, and adopted emission controls make the matter even more complex. Here we review the history of ozone pollution in central California since the 1970s to plan for the future. Since the 1970s, changes in emissions have been accompanied by likewise dramatic changes in region-to-region differences in air quality. We focus on the coastal San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) and the inland San Joaquin Valley (SJV). In the 1970s, the SFBA population was approaching 5 million people while the considerably larger and more rural SJV population remained below 2 million. The SFBA population was mostly confined to coastal locations. Peak ozone levels occurred mostly around the population centers and especially over the Bay itself. Hourly average ozone levels routinely approached 160 ppb. These high ozone levels promoted regulations under which SFBA emissions were continuously reduced through the present. By the 1990s, SFBA emissions had been reduced considerably despite the region's population growing to around 6 million. Relative to the 1970s, in 1990s the SFBA had lower peak ozone levels that were shifted to inland locations where much of the population growth was occurring. The SFBA still exceeded the federal 1-hour standard. A rapidly changing economic landscape in the 1970s promoted vast changes in the central California population distribution. In the SJV, the OPEC oil crisis promoted significant development of petroleum resources. Meanwhile, family farms were quickly being replaced with commercial-scale farming operations. The SJV population rapidly expanded to around 3 million people by the early 1990s. During this time, SJV emissions increased considerably, largely from increases in mobile source activities. The previously sparsely populated SJV had quickly developed an even more severe ozone problem than previous years. From 1990 to 2010, the SFBA population expanded to inland locations and then even further into the sheltered SJV. SFBA emissions for ROG and NOx were decreased around 40% and 15%, respectively during this period. High ozone levels became rather infrequent for coastal SFBA locations. During the same period, the SJV population continued to expand rapidly while emissions decreased, especially for ROG. Peak ozone levels remained around 100 ppb and shifted to locations downwind of Fresno and Bakersfield. Central California has experienced perhaps the most dramatic population growth and shifts in the United States during the contemporary economic era. These changes in population have led to some of the most difficult air quality management problems faced by regulators in the United States. Lessons learned from central California highlight the potential benefits of acting early and also the necessity for a long-term, flexible approach using sustained regulations to accompany population changes.
Tanrikulu, S.; Beaver, S.; Soong, S.; Tran, C.; Cordova, J.; Palazoglu, A.
In February 1991, an array of six current-meter moorings was deployed for one year across the central California outer shelf and slope. The main line of the array extended 30 km offshore of the shelf break, out to water depths of 1400 m. A more sparsely-instrumented line, displaced 30 km to the northwest, extended 14 km offshore. Though shorter, the northern line spanned similar water depths because the gradient of the topography steepened in the northern region. A poleward flow pattern, typical of the California undercurrent, was seen across both lines in the array over most of the year. The poleward flow was surface intensified. In general, the portion of the undercurrent that crossed the southern line had larger amplitudes and penetrated more deeply into the water column than the portion that crossed the northern line. Transport over the year ranged from 0 to 2.5 Sverdrups (Sv) poleward across the southern line; 0 to 1 Sv poleward across the northern line. We suggest the difference in transport was caused by topographic constraints, which tended to force the poleward flow offshore of the northern measurement sites. The slope of the topography steepened too abruptly to allow the poleward flow to follow isobaths when currents were strong. When current velocities lessened, a more coherent flow pattern was seen across both lines in the array. In general, the poleward flow patterns in the undercurrent were not affected by local winds or by the local alongshore pressure gradient. Nor was a strong seasonal pattern evident. Rather unexpectedly, a small but statistically significant fraction of the current variance over the mid- and outer slope was driven by the surface wind stress. An alongshelf wind stress caused currents to flow along the slope, parallel to the wind field, down to depths of 400 m below the surface and out to distances of 2 Rossby radii past the shelf break. The transfer functions were weak, 3-4 cm/s per dyn cm-2, but comparable to wind-driven current amplitudes of 4-6 cm/s per unit wind stress over the middle shelf. Equatorward, alongshelf winds also caused water from 200-300 m over the slope to upwell onto the shelf as the surface water moved offshore.
Noble, M. A.; Ramp, S. R.
The interactions between waves and currents can be complex, primarily because of the nonlinear relationships between the two. Nevertheless, in computational models it is often desirable to simplify, or even ignore, the coupling between waves and currents ...
N. J. Claasen
Summary form only given. Ocean Beach is a dissipative beach, which is associated with large powerful rip currents. The processes that cause these rip currents on Ocean Beach have not been studied. As well, the general dimension of size, shape and velocity (the 3-dimension seaward distance and vertical distance) of these rip currents are also unknown. This report looks at
F. J. Smith
The El Niño of 199798 was one of the strongest warming events of the past century; among many other effects, it impacted phytoplankton along the Peruvian coast by changing species composition and reducing biomass. While responses of the main fish resources to this natural perturbation are relatively well known, understanding the ecosystem response as a whole requires an ecotrophic multispecies
Jorge Tam; Marc H. Taylor; Verónica Blaskovic; Pepe Espinoza; R. Michael Ballón; Erich Díaz; Claudia Wosnitza-Mendo; Juan Argüelles; Sara Purca; Patricia Ayón; Luis Quipuzcoa; Dimitri Gutiérrez; Elisa Goya; Noemí Ochoa; Matthias Wolff
Six of nine five-needle white pine species native to the U.S. are found in California, and all of these are susceptible to the exotic pathogen, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola). Since entering California, the rust has spread south over the geographic range of sugar pine, but until recently little was known about its impact on the higher elevation pines.
John T. Kliejunas; Joan Dunlap
Internal waves and internal tidal bores have been shown to cause rapid changes in temperature associated with vertical and horizontal displacements of water masses in many settings. Their role in the cross-shore transport of matter and energy implies that internal motions have important biological ramifications, particularly in biogeographic transition zones, such as the Southern California Current. Benthic invertebrates and macroalgae depend greatly on the nearshore pelagic environment for the transport of larvae and nutrients. We present 2 examples of how internal motions may modulate benthic populations in this transition zone by enhancing the transport of larvae or the provision of nutrients from offshore sites to the coast. At two sites along the Baja California peninsula, high-frequency variability in thermal structure and horizontal flows were observed. Physical observations show episodes (lasting about 1 h) of rapid variations (every 1 to 5 min) in horizontal flows and temperature in the nearshore water column. We show that the timing and intensity of larval settlement, as well as the residence of cold nutrient - rich water on the shelf, is related with internal motions just offshore. Variability in the direction from which these perturbations propagate may determine small-scale spatial patterns in demography of benthic populations. We discuss the importance of these events in modulating benthic invertebrate and macroalgal populations and how climate change in this transition zone may have important biological consequences via changes in thermocline depth and its subsequent impact on the occurrence of internal motions.
Ladah, L. B.; Leichter, J. J.; Tapia, F. J.
During the last decade frequent summertime episodes of hypoxic (< 1.43 ml DO/l; DO - dissolved oxygen) waters occupying significant areas of the Oregon coastal shelf have been observed. The spatial extent and severity of low oxygen conditions on the shelf vary interannually and are the cumulative results of both physical and biological processes. Among the most important factors are the amount of total primary production, the retention (or residence) time of water before it is flushed from a local region and DO and nitrate (NO3) concentration of the source waters that are transported onto the shelf. In order to examine the importance of these physical and biological processes as well as their interaction, a 6-component (nitrate, ammonium, phytoplankton, zooplankton, detritus, dissolved oxygen) ecosystem model has been coupled to a ROMS (Regional Ocean Modeling System) circulation model. We analyzed model hindcasts for three years: 2002, with strong hypoxia record; 2006, when hypoxia was severe (even approaching anoxia), spatially extensive and lasted for several months; and 2008, when hypoxic events were shorter and not as widespread on the shelf. The sensitivity analysis of 2002 and 2006 summer hypoxia on the Oregon shelf to variable initial and open boundary NO3 and DO conditions showed that: (i) for accurate forecasting of summer-autumn oxygen on the Oregon shelf, it is crucial to have accurate ecosystem boundary and late-spring initial conditions (especially for NO3 and DO); (ii) initial DO and NO3 conditions formed from climatology fields could substitute for missing in situ observations for initial conditions and reasonably simulate summer hypoxia on the Oregon shelf in most years (2002 was exceptional in having springtime DO and NO3 values that were extreme compared to "climatological" values), and (iii) offshore and especially northern DO and NO3 boundary conditions are important to simulating hypoxia on the Oregon Shelf. Although DO production due to biological processes is large, physical processes, mostly horizontal advection and diffusion of DO and nitrate, are responsible for net DO reduction in spring-summer and bottom hypoxia in summer on the Oregon shelf. We also showed that the physical mechanism most responsible for Oregon shelf hypoxia is the coastal upwelling. In 2006, about two thirds of the April to August decline in DO occurred in April-May during a strong and long-lasting upwelling event.
Koch, Andrey O.; Spitz, Yvette H.; Batchelder, Harold P.
One-year-long currents at the two sills bounding Delfin basin (maximum depth ?900 m), are analyzed. The Delfin (DEL) sill (?400 m depth) has the largest mean velocities near the bottom in an overflow that discharges water into the Delfin Basin (roughly towards the head of the gulf), whereas the Ballenas Channel (BC) sill (?600 m depth) has the largest mean velocities close to the surface which also flow towards the head of the gulf. The energy of the subinertial current fluctuations is also quite different. Most of the energy at the DEL sill is concentrated in the lowest frequencies (periods > 15 days). In the case of the BC sill, the spectra are not red and much of the energy is concentrated at periods ? 15 days except close to the surface, where most the energy is also concentrated in the lowest frequencies associated with the current fluctuations of the mean near-surface current towards the head of the gulf. Near-bottom current fluctuations towards the head of the gulf at the overflow of the DEL sill are well correlated with intermediate and deeper currents towards the mouth of the gulf, as well as with surface currents towards the head of the gulf at the BC sill for periods ? 20 days. Transport of the overflow also has the largest coherences with near-surface currents at the BC sill for periods ? 20 days, but there is also significant coherence with deeper currents at the same low frequencies. The relationship between the overflow and the exchange at the BC sill is also clearly borne out by the first empirical mode of currents at both locations. This is interpreted as part of the exchange of the northern gulf by which fluctuations of the near-bottom flow into the deepest basins are compensated by fluctuations of the near-surface flow out of the same basins. In addition, near-bottom transport and currents at the DEL sill are coherent with deep currents at the CB sill at the shorter periods of 10 and 3.2 days. At these periods, there is also good coherence between currents at the DEL and CB sills, with temperature fluctuations at the latter site. The overflow has a significant fortnightly modulation, which may not be the result of direct forcing by tidal currents but rather, a fortnightly tidal modulation of the currents and transport at the San Esteban sill, which lies about 140 km to the southeast and supplies the water for the overflow at the DEL sill.
Lopez, M.; Candela, J.
Support for this project was used to develop satellite ocean color and temperature indices (SOCTI) for the California Current System (CCS) using the historic record of CZCS West Coast Time Series (WCTS), OCTS, WiFS and AVHRR SST. The ocean color satellite data have been evaluated in relation to CalCOFI data sets for chlorophyll (CZCS) and ocean spectral reflectance and chlorophyll OCTS and SeaWiFS. New algorithms for the three missions have been implemented based on in-water algorithm data sets, or in the case of CZCS, by comparing retrieved pigments with ship-based observations. New algorithms for absorption coefficients, diffuse attenuation coefficients and primary production have also been evaluated. Satellite retrievals are being evaluated based on our large data set of pigments and optics from CalCOFI.
Mitchell, B. Greg; Kahru, Mati; Marra, John (Technical Monitor)
The location and size of euphausiid aggregations (patches) were identified using acoustic volume backscattering strength at 38 and 120 kHz and vertically stratified MOCNESS sampling during a US GLOBEC cruise off southern Oregon and northern California in August 2000. Euphausiid patches were clustered inshore of Heceta Bank (44.0°N) and off Cape Blanco (42.8°N), but were not common elsewhere. The distribution of euphausiid patches throughout the study area was correlated with that of near-surface chlorophyll. We suggest that Heceta Bank and Cape Blanco were zones of plankton retention and concentration along the shelf and slope, and also that large offshore meanders in the equatorward upwelling jet carried upwelled water, chlorophyll, and euphausiids offshore. In particular, the complex interaction of mesoscale physical features, shoaling bottom topography, and diel vertical migration created large patches of euphausiids. These euphausiid patches, probably persisting on timescales of days to weeks, could function as relatively large and persistent resources for euphausiid predators.
Ressler, Patrick H.; Brodeur, Richard D.; Peterson, William T.; Pierce, Stephen D.; Mitchell Vance, P.; Røstad, Anders; Barth, John A.
The US health care system has been slow to adopt Internet, mobile, and video technologies, which have the capability to engage patients in their own care, increase patients' access to providers, and possibly improve the quality of care while reducing costs. Nevertheless, there are some pockets of progress, including Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC). In 2008 KPNC implemented an inpatient and ambulatory care electronic health record system for its 3.4 million members and developed a suite of patient-friendly Internet, mobile, and video tools. KPNC has achieved many successes. For example, the number of virtual "visits" grew from 4.1 million in 2008 to an estimated 10.5 million in 2013. This article describes KPNC's experience with Internet, mobile, and video technologies and the obstacles faced by other health care providers interested in embracing them. The obstacles include the predominant fee-for-service payment model, which does not reimburse for virtual visits; the considerable investment needed to deploy these technologies; and physician buy-in. PMID:24493768
The report contains 60 papers from a symposium on the dynamics of fire-type ecosystems of Mediterranean regions and the development and assessement of management policies. The papers cover the following topics: the nature of the world's Mediterranean ecos...
C. E. Conrad H. A. Mooney
In the first part of the project, we investigated the local response of the coastal ocean ecosystems (changes in chlorophyll, concentration and chlorophyll, fluorescence quantum yield) to physical forcing by developing and deploying Autonomous Drifting Ocean Stations (ADOS) within several mesoscale features along the U.S. west coast. Also, we compared the temporal and spatial variability registered by sensors mounted in the drifters to that registered by the sensors mounted in the satellites in order to assess the scales of variability that are not resolved by the ocean color satellite. The second part of the project used the existing WOCE SVP Surface Lagrangian drifters to track individual water parcels through time. The individual drifter tracks were used to generate multivariate time series by interpolating/extracting the biological and physical data fields retrieved by remote sensors (ocean color, SST, wind speed and direction, wind stress curl, and sea level topography). The individual time series of the physical data (AVHRR, TOPEX, NCEP) were analyzed against the ocean color (SeaWiFS) time-series to determine the time scale of biological response to the physical forcing. The results from this part of the research is being used to compare the decorrelation scales of chlorophyll from a Lagrangian and Eulerian framework. The results from both parts of this research augmented the necessary time series data needed to investigate the interactions between the ocean mesoscale features, wind, and the biogeochemical processes. Using the historical Lagrangian data sets, we have completed a comparison of the decorrelation scales in both the Eulerian and Lagrangian reference frame for the SeaWiFS data set. We are continuing to investigate how these results might be used in objective mapping efforts.
Niiler, Pearn P.; Letelier, Ricardo; Moisan, John R.; Marra, John A. (Technical Monitor)
These proceedings summarize the results of a blending of public perceptions, management, and research presented at a symposium on Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), held in Visalia, California. Twenty-eight papers are included, focusing on six maj...
P. S. Aune
This is the final report for the project ``Modeling the Response of the California Current System to Global Greenhouse Warming,`` supported 1990 and 1991 by NIGEC. The scientists involved are Dr. Richard C.J. Somerville and Alejandro Paries-Sierra of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. A copy of papers submitted to the Journal of Physical Oceanography, and Geofisica Internacional that were supported in part or whole by WEST-GEC, as well as a summary of a talk delivered at the XX General Assembly of the IUGG, Vienna (1991) are appended to this report. The objective of the research was to improve the understanding of the response of the California Current system to the large-scale anomalous forcing thought to be associated with greenhouse warming. The authors viewed this as a necessary initial step in the study of the California climate response to global change.
Pares-Sierra, A.; Somerville, R.C.J.
The terrestrial biosphere plays a prominent role in the global carbon (C) cycle. errestrial ecosystems are currently accumulating C and it appears feasible to manage existing terrestrial (forest, agronomic, desert) ecosystems to maintain or increase C storage. orest ecosystems ca...
Marine and coastal ecosystems and human communities around the world are impacted by local anthropogenic pressures and by climate change, resulting in decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, habitat degradation, economic losses, and health and safety risks as a consequence of the changing and more variable climate. Climatic impacts occur both through altered physical conditions and variability, e.g., seawater temperature and sea level, and through a suite of chemical changes, including ocean acidification and hypoxia. In particular, time series analyses have highlighted declines in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in the ocean over the last several decades. In addition to these global trends of decreasing DO, hypoxic conditions have been documented at several coastal locations within productive upwelling-driven ecosystems, including the California Current region, resulting in high mortality of ecologically and commercially important nearshore marine species and significant economic losses. The capacity of local ecosystems and associated human communities to adapt to these pressures depends on their resilience, that is the ability of ecosystems to absorb disturbance while retaining function and continuing to provide ecosystem services, and the ability of people to adapt to change in their environment by altering their behaviors and interactions. I will present global assessments of the cumulative impacts of climatic and local anthropogenic pressures on marine ecosystems, and results of interdisciplinary research investigating the current impacts of climate change on coastal marine ecosystems and human communities of the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico, and the influences of local and global feedbacks on the resilience and adaptive capacity of these systems.
Declines in ocean productivity and shifts in species assemblages along the West Coast of North America during the second half of the XXth century have been attributed to the concurrent warming of the California Current. This paper addresses changes in the avifauna off southern California between May 1987 and September 1998, in response to shifting water mass distributions over short (<1 year) and long (interannual) temporal scales. More specifically, our research focuses on the relative importance of distinct foraging guilds and species assemblages with an affinity for warm and cold water. Over the long term, the avifauna off southern California shifted from a 'high-productivity' community typical of eastern boundary upwelling systems, to a 'low-productivity' assemblage similar to those inhabiting the subtropical gyres. Overall seabird abundance decreased; the relative importance of cold-water seabirds that dive in pursuit of prey declined; and warm-water species that feed at the surface and plunge to capture prey became more numerous. These community-level changes are consistent with the northward shifts in species ranges and the declining ocean productivity anticipated as a result of global warming. However, the response of individual taxa with an affinity for warm-water and cold-water conditions has been more difficult to predict, due to differences in species-specific responses to ocean warming. The three cold-water species investigated (Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, Cassin's Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus, and Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata) decreased in abundance during this study. On the other hand, only one of the six warm-water species considered (Pink-footed Shearwater, Puffinus creatopus) increased significantly over the long term. Yet, the warm-water Leach's Storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma leucorhoa) increased between 1987 and 1993, and then declined between 1994 and 1998. Moreover, cross-correlations between seasonally adjusted anomalies of bird abundance and ocean temperature revealed that seabirds responded differently to ocean warming over intermediate (1-8 years), and long (8-12 years) time scales. We hypothesize that this nonlinear behavior of seabird populations in response to ocean warming is caused by the juxtaposition of distinct behavioral and demographic responses operating at different temporal scales.
Hyrenbach, K. David; Veit, Richard R.
Spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are vulnerable to climate change because, before spawning in autumn, adults hold in river pools where temperature increases during summer. As these species naturally experience temperatures close to tolerable thresholds, climate-induced flow and temperature changes can increase their vulnerability. Our objective was to assemble an analytical framework to assess temperature and streamflow thresholds that would lead to critical reductions in spring-run Chinook salmon abundance, and to evaluate management adaptations to ameliorate these impacts. The analytical framework coupled climate data with watershed hydrology and salmon population dynamics models. We used WEAP, an integrated watershed hydrology, water management, and temperature model; and SALMOD, a spatially explicit and size/stage structured model that predicts population dynamics of salmon in freshwater systems. The models simulated weekly mean streamflow, temperature, and salmon abundance in Butte Creek, California. We calibrated and validated the models to adequately fit historical data. With the analytical framework built, we used bias-corrected and spatially downscaled climate data from six General Circulation Models and two emission scenarios for the period 2010 - 2099 to run the two linked models, and generated a range of potential future outcomes. WEAP predicted that summer base flows were lower, and water temperatures were higher for climate scenarios vs. historical conditions. SALMOD predicted increased summer thermal mortality of adult salmon; the population was predicted to decline for all climate scenarios and model combinations. We tested management adaptations, including cessation of water diverted for power production, and storage of cold reservoir water upstream for release during hot weather. Some adaptations resulted in cooler temperatures, more adults surviving to spawn, and extended population survival time. The coupled models, together with climate data, constitute a framework able to predict streamflow- and temperature-related mortality of spring-run Chinook salmon, and to evaluate water management adaptations to ameliorate negative climate impacts on fish in current or future scenarios.
Escobar, M.; Mosser, C. M.; Thompson, L. C.; Purkey, D.; Moyle, P. B.
Distributions of iron and nitrate in the central California Current System upwelling regime (cCCS) from 34 to 41°N were determined during cruises in May 2010 and August 2011. High spatial and temporal resolution data for dissolved Fe and NO3- (nitrate+nitrite) in the cCCS from this study greatly expands upon previous studies that were narrower in scope (e.g., focused on just the Monterey Bay region). Shelf sediments from mid-shelf mud belts in this region provide the dominant source of Fe, and there are areas in the cCCS where insufficient Fe is upwelled to accompany elevated levels of other macronutrients (nitrate, phosphate, silicate) to fuel extensive diatom blooms. Surface dissolved Fe concentrations were related to continental shelf width and upwelling strength, and surface Fe concentrations tended to be lower in the late summer than early spring. We present extensive benthic boundary layer (BBL) dissolved and leachable particulate Fe data from both seasons in the mid-shelf region along the central California coast. Leachable particulate Fe concentrations were strongly related to the width of the mid-shelf mud belts (i.e., the continental shelf between the 50 and 90 m isobaths). Dissolved Fe concentrations in the BBL over the mid-shelf were generally highest in wide mud belt areas as well as in areas with very low dissolved oxygen concentrations but did not show a clear seasonal trend. Evidence for probable Fe limitation in upwelled waters was found by using surface dissolved Fe:NO3- ratios and the estimated specific growth rate of coastal diatoms based on either Fe or NO3- concentrations. Several coastal upwelling regions with only moderate to narrow continental shelves (Pt. Arena to Cape Mendocino and the Big Sur Coast) exhibited evidence for Fe limitation in both the spring and summer upwelling seasons.
Biller, Dondra V.; Coale, Tyler H.; Till, Ralph C.; Smith, Geoffrey J.; Bruland, Kenneth W.
Previous research indicates that 5.5-9.6 x 106 mol/d (90-150 t/d) of methane are emitted from the seafloor into the coastal ocean near Coal Oil Point (COP), Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), California. Methane concentrations and biologically-mediated oxidation rates were quantified at 12 stations in a 198 km2 area down-current from COP during the SEEPS"07-Cruise with the R/V Atlantis. A ship-board Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) recorded current velocity patterns simultaneously with water sampling. The observed methane distribution matches the cyclonic gyre which is the normal current flow in this part of the Santa Barbara Channel - pushing water to the shore near the seep field and then broadening the plume while the water turns offshore further from the source. A methane budget was calculated using a box model, with budget terms including methane burden, sea-air flux, oxidative loss, and flux in and out of the 51 km3 box. The results indicate a 0.6% loss via sea-air exchange and a 1.5% loss due to microbial oxidation. The majority of the methane is advected in and out of the box. This data enables a calculation of the amount of dissolved methane emitted from the COP seep field, and when combined with published measurements of bubble flux, allows for a revision of the total methane flux from the COP seeps. Revised estimates for the dissolved methane flux for COP are 5.5 x 106 mol/d, raising the total COP methane release to 7.4-11.5 x 106 mol/d (120-180 t/d). These results represent a snapshot, but serve as a base for the first complete dissolved methane budget of the water column above a seep site in the marine realm.
Mau, S.; Heintz, M.; Valentine, D. L.
The evolving concept of ecosystem management is the focus of much current debate. To clarify discussion and provide a frammork for implementatiotq I trace the histor- ical development of ecosystem management, provide a working definitioq and summarize dominant themes taken from an extensive literature reuiew. The general goal of maintaining ecological integ?Yty is discussed along with five specific goals: maintaining
R. Edward Grumbine
This report examines the occupational mobility of agricultural workers in two California labor markets and the effects of the Immigration Reform and Control Act and individual, job, and labor-market characteristics on such mobility. Interviews were conducted among a randomly selected sample of 162 households, which included 401 workers in southern
Gabbard, Susan; Goldring, Luin
Results of ecosystem studies relating to variations in biomass yields are examined in relation to principle driving forces including climate change, coastal pollution, habitat degradation, and overexploitation of living marine resources. Among the ecosystems compared with regard to the different prime driving forces, affecting sustainability of biomass yields, are the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, Kuroshio Current, California Current, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Mexico, Yellow Sea, Icelandic Shelf, and Northeast US Shelf ecosystems. The designation and management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) is, at present, an evolving scientific and geopolitical process. Sufficient progress has been made to allow for useful comparisons among different processes influencing large-scale changes in the biomass yields of LMEs. The most severely impacted LMEs are off the coasts of the continents.
Sherman, K. (NOAA, NMFS, NEFSC, Narragansett Lab., RI (United States))
The study is one of the ecosystem surveys conducted as part of the Kapiloff Acid Deposition Research and Monitoring Program. Fifty lakes and streams throughout California were sampled during spring and fall 1986. The chemical characterization of surface w...
K. McCleneghan R. H. Imai J. T. King S. J. Boggs
We report here on a major effort to define and quantify metrics of vulnerability to climate change for the west-slope of California's Sierra Nevada. We have defined the vulnerability of flowing surface waters used for human and ecological purposes as a function of exposure and sensitivity to anticipated hydrologic alteration mediated by regional climate warming and as measured by changes
J. H. Viers; S. Null; S. T. Ligare; D. E. Rheinheimer; J. N. Williams
The estimation of mass concentration of suspended solids is one of the properties needed to understand the characteristics of sediment transport in bays and estuaries. However, useful measurements or estimates of this property are often problematic when employing the usual methods of determination from collected water samples or optical sensors. Analysis of water samples tends to undersample the highly variable character of suspended solids, and optical sensors often become useless from biological fouling in highly productive regions. Acoustic sensors, such as acoustic Doppler current profilers that are now routinely used to measure water velocity, have been shown to hold promise as a means of quantitatively estimating suspended solids from acoustic backscatter intensity, a parameter used in velocity measurement. To further evaluate application of this technique using commercially available instruments, profiles of suspended solids concentrations are estimated from acoustic backscatter intensity recorded by 1200- and 2400-kHz broadband acoustic Doppler current profilers located at two sites in San Francisco Bay, California. ADCP backscatter intensity is calibrated using optical backscatterance data from an instrument located at a depth close to the ADCP transducers. In addition to losses from spherical spreading and water absorption, calculations of acoustic transmission losses account for attenuation from suspended sediment and correction for nonspherical spreading in the near field of the acoustic transducer. Acoustic estimates of suspended solids consisting of cohesive and noncohesive sediments are found to agree within about 8-10% (of the total range of concentration) to those values estimated by a second optical backscatterance sensor located at a depth further from the ADCP transducers. The success of this approach using commercially available Doppler profilers provides promise that this technique might be appropriate and useful under certain conditions in spite of some theoretical limitations of the method. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gartner, J. W.
present study uses a suite of coupled physical-biogeochemical model simulations at 1/3°, 1/10°, and 1/30° to assess the impact of horizontal resolution on air-sea CO2 fluxes in the California Current System (CCS), a relevant issue for downscaling between coarser resolution global climate models and higher resolution regional models. The results demonstrate that horizontal resolution is important to reproduce the sharp transition between near-shore outgassing and offshore absorption, as well as to resolve regions of enhanced near-shore outgassing in the lee of capes. The width of the outgassing region is overestimated when horizontal resolution is not eddy resolving (i.e., 1/3°) but becomes more dependent on shelf topography for eddy-resolving simulations (i.e., 1/10° and 1/30°). Enhanced near-shore outgassing is associated with a local increase in wind-driven upwelling in the lee of capes (i.e., expansion fans), meaning that sufficient horizontal resolution is needed both in the ocean circulation model and in the wind field forcing the model. From a global carbon budget perspective, the model indicates that biological production generates sufficient absorption within a few hundred kilometers of the coast to offset near-shore outgassing, which is consistent with the notion that midlatitude eastern boundary current upwelling systems act both as a sink and source for atmospheric CO2. Based on the 1/30° solution, the CCS between 35 and 45 N and out to 600 km offshore is a net carbon sink of approximately 6 TgC yr-1, with the 1/10° solution underestimating this value by less than 10% and the 1/3° solution by a factor of 3.
Fiechter, Jerome; Curchitser, Enrique N.; Edwards, Christopher A.; Chai, Fei; Goebel, Nicole L.; Chavez, Francisco P.
Fifty-year ichthyoplankton and oceanographic time series of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations were used to describe changes in larval fish abundance and associated habitat features in the Southern California Bight region, extending seaward to the limits of the California Current. The ichthyoplankton data set for this analysis was based on single tows taken at all CalCOFI survey stations occupied within the current sampling pattern from 1951 to 2000 and consisted of a total of 11,917 samples from which 1,365,988 fish larvae were identified. The analysis included data on habitat temperature, macrozooplankton volumes, and 14 taxa of larval fishes, some of commercial interest (Pacific sardine, Pacific hake, Pacific and jack mackerel, and rockfishes), and a group of important mesopelagic species that represent specific habitats in the California Current region. Data are presented in a series of graphs showing changes in average abundance, triennial abundance ratios, and normalized quarterly abundance (1988-2000 only). Larval data clearly track the decline and recovery of the Pacific sardine population. Mesopelagic larvae of southern offshore species had the greatest response to the regime shift of 1976-77, increasing markedly in the Southern California Bight region after 1977. Likewise, this group of species showed the greatest response to the 1957-59 El Niño. There was no consistent response in larval abundance of Subarctic-Transitional mesopelagic species and nearshore taxa to the 1976-77 regime shift. Most of the species showed a negative shift in triennial larval abundance ratios in relation to hypothesized 1989-90 and 1998-99 regime shifts. These changes are discussed in relation to changes in temperature and macrozooplankton volumes.
Smith, Paul E.; Moser, H. Geoffrey
The coastal upwelling region near Cape Blanco, Oregon (43°N) off the west coast of the United States was studied using a towed CTD on SeaSoar, a shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), satellite sea surface temperature maps and surface drifters during August 1995. The equatorward upwelling jet was inshore of the shelfbreak north of Cape Blanco, meandered gently offshore around the Cape, and then veered sharply offshore just to the south of the Cape. Analysis of vertical sections of density, velocity and "spiciness" confirmed the separation of an upwelling jet and front; the jet was followed from over the shelfbreak north of the Cape to 100 km offshore downstream of the Cape. The separating jet originates from the coastal upwelling jet leaving the shelf, but is augmented by an offshore branching of the poleward undercurrent. By combining information from ADCP streamfunction maps with analysis of hydrographic data, including distributions of the tracer-like quantity "spiciness", a conceptual model of the three-dimensional circulation near the Cape emerges. A mid-shelf upwelling jet encounters a coastal promontory then turns offshore, stretching and deepening as it crosses the continental margin. The jet then turns back shoreward (cyclonically) where the deepened equatorward flow encounters the top of the poleward undercurrent flowing along the continental slope. This causes a portion of the undercurrent to turn offshore to join and strengthen the equatorward transport in the separated jet. Throughout the separation process the coastal upwelling front and jet are continuous, robust features. Separation of a coastal upwelling jet is an important mechanism for cross-shelf transport from the coast to the deep ocean. Cape Blanco appears to be the northernmost point where an equatorward jet regularly separates from the coast to become an oceanic jet and thus serves as the northern boundary of the region where an intense meandering current, characteristic of the California Current System, is found offshore. Drifters released late in the upwelling season are swept offshore and equatorward near the Cape, interact with the spatially complex circulation associated with the separated jet, and then return to the continental margin with the seasonal reversal in winds and near-surface currents.
Barth, John A.; Pierce, Stephen D.; Smith, Robert L.
The third in a series of articles featuring the urban ecosystem. Discusses the inner workings of an ecosystem and the links that connect its elements, including the link between people and the environment. Graphics illustrate "layers" of the landscape. (LZ)
Moll, Gary; And Others
Provided by FICUS (the Florida Internet Center for Understanding Sustainability) and the University of South Florida, this gem of a site covers Florida's native upland, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Streamlined in organization but solid in content, Florida Ecosystems offers introductory information and photographic images of a dozen ecosystems, ranging from Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairies to Mangrove Swamps and Coral Reefs. For students and educators interested in subtropical ecosystems, this is a nice place to start.
Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbancessuch as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogensand carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.
Fleishman, Erica; Belnap, Jayne; Cobb, Neil; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Ford, Karl; MacDonald, Glen; Pellant, Mike; Schoennagel, Tania; Schmit, Lara M.; Schwartz, Mark; van Drunick, Suzanne; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy; Keyser, Alisa; Lucas, Ryan
If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of
Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn
To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be
Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.
Ecosystem Health in Mineralized Terrane-Data from Podiform Chromite (Chinese Camp Mining District, California), Quartz Alunite (Castle Peak and Masonic Mining Districts, Nevada/California), and Mo/Cu Porphyry (Battle Mountain Mining District, Nevada) Deposits
The myriad definitions of soil/ecosystem quality or health are often driven by ecosystem and management concerns, and they typically focus on the ability of the soil to provide functions relating to biological productivity and/or environmental quality. A variety of attempts have been made to create indices that quantify the complexities of soil quality and provide a means of evaluating the impact of various natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Though not without their limitations, indices can improve our understanding of the controls behind ecosystem processes and allow for the distillation of information to help link scientific and management communities. In terrestrial systems, indices were initially developed and modified for agroecosystems; however, the number of studies implementing such indices in nonagricultural systems is growing. Soil quality indices (SQIs) are typically composed of biological (and sometimes physical and chemical) parameters that attempt to reduce the complexity of a system into a metric of a soil's ability to carry out one or more functions. The indicators utilized in SQIs can be as varied as the studies themselves, reflecting the complexity of the soil and ecosystems in which they function. Regardless, effective soil quality indicators should correlate well with soil or ecosystem processes, integrate those properties and processes, and be relevant to management practices. Commonly applied biological indicators include measures associated with soil microbial activity or function (for example, carbon and nitrogen mineralization, respiration, microbial biomass, enzyme activity. Cost, accessibility, ease of interpretation, and presence of existing data often dictate indicator selection given the number of available measures. We employed a large number of soil biological, chemical, and physical measures, along with measures of vegetation cover, density, and productivity, in order to test the utility and sensitivity of these measures within various mineralized terranes. We were also interested in examining these relations in the context of determining appropriate reference conditions with which to compare reclamation efforts. The purpose of this report is to present the data used to develop indices of soil and ecosystem quality associated with mineralized terranes (areas enriched in metal-bearing minerals), specifically podiform chromite, quartz alunite, and Mo/Cu porphyry systems. Within each of these mineralized terranes, a nearby unmineralized counterpart was chosen for comparison. The data consist of soil biological, chemical, and physical parameters, along with vegetation measurements for each of the sites described below. Synthesis of these data and index development will be the subject of future publications.
Blecker, Steve W.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Amacher, Michael C.; Ippolito, James A. Decrappeo, Nicole M.
This report presents the techniques and findings of direct-current (DC) resistivity profiling at the PREP study site near Mentone, Tex., to determine the shallow subsurface composition of the Pecos Valley aquifer in and near a treated (to eradicate saltce...
A. K. McDonald A. P. Teeple J. D. Payne W. H. Kress
A regional atmosphere model [Weather Research and Forecasting model version 3 (WRF3)] and a land surface model [Community Land Model, version 3.5 (CLM3.5)] were coupled to study the interactions between the atmosphere and possible future California land-cover changes. The impact was evaluated on California's climate of changes in natural vegetation under climate change and of intentional afforestation. The ability of WRF3 to simulate California's climate was assessed by comparing simulations by WRF3-CLM3.5 and WRF3-Noah to observations from 1982 to 1991. Using WRF3-CLM3.5, the authors performed six 13-yr experiments using historical and future large-scale climate boundary conditions from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model version 2.1 (GFDL CM2.1). The land-cover scenarios included historical and future natural vegetation from the Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil System-Century 1 (MC1) dynamic vegetation model, in addition to a future 8-million-ha California afforestation scenario. Natural vegetation changes alone caused summer daily-mean 2-m air temperature changes of -0.7 to +1 C in regions without persistent snow cover, depending on the location and the type of vegetation change. Vegetation temperature changes were much larger than the 2-m air temperature changes because of the finescale spatial heterogeneity of the imposed vegetation change. Up to 30% of the magnitude of the summer daily-mean 2-m air temperature increase and 70% of the magnitude of the 1600 local time (LT) vegetation temperature increase projected under future climate change were attributable to the climate-driven shift in land cover. The authors projected that afforestation could cause local 0.2-1.2 C reductions in summer daily-mean 2-m air temperature and 2.0-3.7 C reductions in 1600 LT vegetation temperature for snow-free regions, primarily because of increased evapotranspiration. Because some of these temperature changes are of comparable magnitude to those projected under climate change this century, projections of climate and vegetation change in this region need to consider these climate-vegetation interactions.
Subin, Z.M.; Riley, W.J.; Kueppers, L.M.; Jin, J.; Christianson, D.S.; Torn, M.S.
A climatic regime shift, an abrupt change from cooling to warming in the Japan/East Sea (JES), particularly in the Tsushima warm current (TWC) region, occurred in the late 1980s. The ecosystem of the JES responded strongly to the changing thermal regime. Many, but not all biological components of the ecosystem, spanning from plankton to predatory fishes, and including both warm-water pelagic and cold-water demersal species responded to this late 1980s climatic regime shift in the JES. Diatom abundance (cell number) in spring from a monitoring line located in the central part of JES showed decadal variations with a step change from positive to negative anomalies in 1991. Zooplankton biomass in spring and autumn was high in the 1970s, declined during the 1980s, and returned to higher, but quite variable levels during the 1990s. Japanese sardine catch increased after 1974 to its peak level in 1989 and then declined dramatically to 1974 levels by 1997 with step changes in 1979 and 1994. Conversely, catches of other small pelagic species such as Japanese anchovy and common squid, and several higher-trophic fishes, such as yellowtail and tunas increased markedly in the 1990s compared to the early-mid 1980s. Step changes were detected in these pelagic species during 1989-1992. Catch of demersal species (crab, pink shrimp, Pacific cod and walleye pollock) were high during most of the 1970-1980s, but declined at various times in the late 1980s to generally low catches in the 1990s. Detailed analysis of the demersal fish assemblage composition, abundance and distribution indicated a shift in the late 1980s with several years lag in the time of change. Cold-water species (e.g., walleye pollock, Pacific cod) decreased in abundance and the regions in which their abundances remained high became greatly reduced in extent. Conversely, warm-water species (e.g., pointhead flounder, shotted halibut) increased in abundance and/or extended their spatial range (as indicated by trawl catch) during the warm 1990s. A principal component analysis for pelagic and demersal fish assemblages, suggested decadal variation patterns with a step change during 1986-1988. Abundance changes were identified not only in the plankton, but also in small pelagic fishes, and in predatory fishes. These changes were reflected in fish community indicators, and suggest an ecosystem regime shift occurred in the TWC region as a result of the late 1980s climatic regime shift. A hypothesis on the ecological response process to the late 1980s climatic regime shift was proposed.
Tian, Yongjun; Kidokoro, Hideaki; Watanabe, Tatsuro; Iguchi, Naoki
In this activity, learners create a freshwater ecosystem in a large plastic bottle. Learners cut and prepare bottles, then fill with water, aquatic plants, snails and fish. Learners observe their mini-ecosystem over time to see what changes--such as the color of the water, the water temperature, plant growth, and behavior and/or population of the snails or fish. The activity serves as a model for larger freshwater ecosystems such as ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, reservoirs and groundwater.
Jersey, New; Center, Liberty S.; Coalition, New J.
Why study coral ecosystems? Having survived millions of years, coral reefs are among the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on earth. Learning about coral ecosystems encompasses many of the 9-12 grade science curriculum standards. Life cycles of organisms, biological structure and function of organisms, and the behaviors and adaptations of organisms to their environment are all topics easily studied through a focus on coral reefs. All populations in this ecosystem are interdependent and part of a global food web. Healthy coral ecosystems are important to the humans, plants, fish, and other organisms that depend on them. However, the increasing impact of climate changes and human activities is endangering the very survival of these ecosystems. Pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and diseases are all threats to the survival of coral ecosystems around the globe. Learning about them- "their fragility and value"- will help students understand what is needed to protect them. This SciGuide highlights outstanding NOAA resources, such as online tutorials and complete, hands-on, inquiry based lesson plans from the National Ocean Services. These resources address three areas. First, students can study the biology of the coral organism, learning about types of coral and where they are found. Next, resources focus on the populations, habitat, and dynamics of coral ecosystems. Finally, teachers and students, through online data sources and activities, learn about conservation of our coral ecosystems. Natural threats, human disturbances, and the benefits of coral protection focus students on the real world importance of science learning.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Debris flows are common erosional processes in steep mountain areas throughout the world, but little is known about the long-term ecological effects of debris flows on stream ecosystems. Based on debris flow histories that were developed for each of ten tributary basins, we classified channels as having experienced recent (1997) or older (pre-1997) debris flows. Of the streams classified as older debris flow streams, three streams experienced debris flows during floods in 1964 or 1974, while two streams showed little or no evidence of debris flow activity in the 20th century. White alder (Alnus rhombifolia) was the dominant pioneer tree species in recent debris flow streams, forming localized dense patches of canopy cover. Maximum temperatures and daily temperature ranges were significantly higher in recent debris flow streams than in older debris flow streams. Debris flows resulted in a shift in food webs from allochthonous to autochthonous energy sources. Primary productivity, as measured by oxygen change during the day, was greater in recent debris flow streams, resulting in increased abundances of grazers such as the armored caddisfly Glossosoma spp. Detritivorous stoneflies were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams because of the lack of year-round, diverse sources of leaf litter. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were abundant in four of the recent debris flow streams. Poor recolonizers, such as the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), and signal crayfish (Pacifistacus leniusculus), were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams. Forest and watershed managers should consider the role of forest disturbances, such as road networks, on debris flow frequency and intensity, and the resulting ecological effects on stream ecosystems.
Cover, M. R.; de La Fuente, J.
Background Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a public and wildlife health concern in California and the western United States. This study explores the spatial characteristics of positive plague samples in California and tests Maxent, a machine-learning method that can be used to develop niche-based models from presence-only data, for mapping the potential distribution of plague foci. Maxent models were constructed using geocoded seroprevalence data from surveillance of California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) as case points and Worldclim bioclimatic data as predictor variables, and compared and validated using area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) statistics. Additionally, model results were compared to locations of positive and negative coyote (Canis latrans) samples, in order to determine the correlation between Maxent model predictions and areas of plague risk as determined via wild carnivore surveillance. Results Models of plague activity in California ground squirrels, based on recent climate conditions, accurately identified case locations (AUC of 0.913 to 0.948) and were significantly correlated with coyote samples. The final models were used to identify potential plague risk areas based on an ensemble of six future climate scenarios. These models suggest that by 2050, climate conditions may reduce plague risk in the southern parts of California and increase risk along the northern coast and Sierras. Conclusion Because different modeling approaches can yield substantially different results, care should be taken when interpreting future model predictions. Nonetheless, niche modeling can be a useful tool for exploring and mapping the potential response of plague activity to climate change. The final models in this study were used to identify potential plague risk areas based on an ensemble of six future climate scenarios, which can help public managers decide where to allocate surveillance resources. In addition, Maxent model results were significantly correlated with coyote samples, indicating that carnivore surveillance programs will continue to be important for tracking the response of plague to future climate conditions.
Holt, Ashley C; Salkeld, Daniel J; Fritz, Curtis L; Tucker, James R; Gong, Peng
Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...
California's education system is not keeping up with the changing demands of the state's economy--soon, California will face a shortage of skilled workers. Projections to 2025 suggest that the economy will continue to need more and more highly educated workers, but that the state will not be able to meet that demand. If current trends persist,
Public Policy Institute of California, 2011
The endolithic environment, the pore space in rocks, is a ubiquitous microbial habitat and an interface between biology and geology. Photosynthesis-based endolithic communities inhabit the outer centimeters of rocks exposed to the surface, and offer model systems for microbial ecology, geobiology, and astrobiology. Endolithic ecosystems are among the simplest microbial ecosystems known and as such provide tractable models for testing ecological hypotheses. Such hypotheses have been difficult to test because microbial ecosystems are extraordinarily diverse. We review here recent culture-independent, ribosomal RNA-based studies that evaluate hypotheses about endolithic ecosystems, and provide insight for understanding general principles in microbial ecology. Comparison of endolithic communities supports the principle that patterns of microbial diversity are governed by similar principles observed in macroecological systems. Recent results also explore geobiological processes that shape the current biosphere and potentially provide clues to life's history on Earth and where to seek life elsewhere in the Solar System. PMID:17506683
Walker, Jeffrey J; Pace, Norman R
Seasonal cohorts of the large-sized copepod Calanoides patagoniensis allowed testing the relative ability of this species to exploit food resources that prevail during winter time in southern upwelling ecosystems of the Humboldt Current. This was achieved by considering a local winter flagellate assemblage (WFA), Thalassiosira rotula isolated from the local spring phytoplankton and a laboratory culture of Prorocentrum minimum, as food offers in consecutive 96 h experiments. Ingestion rates (IR) varied between 7 and 14 ?g C f(-1) d(-1), egg production reached a peak of 70 eggs while egg production rates (EPR) varied between 27 ± 6 and 31 ± 4 eggs f(-1) d(-1). Feeding and reproductive traits were dependent on food offer, and after 72 h both IR and EPR decreased by 28% and 40% respectively, when copepods were steadily fed with the diatom. The relatively high reproductive performance supported by WFA was notable; showing the feeding behavior of this species can couple with food availability in the field with successful reproductive outcomes. Migration strategies allowing remain in upper food-rich coastal waters along with this flexible trophic behavior may better explain why this species is among the most recurrent ones in these variable yet productive upwelling areas. PMID:23290445
Aguilera, Victor M; Escribano, Ruben E
Martin, F. N., Tooley, P. W., and Blomquist, C. 2004. Molecular detection of Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of sudden oak death in Cali- fornia, and two additional species commonly recovered from diseased plant material. Phytopathology 94:621-631. Sudden oak death is a disease currently devastating forest ecosystems in several coastal areas of California. The pathogen causing this is Phy- tophthora
Frank N. Martin; Paul W. Tooley; Cheryl Blomquist
In contrast with its largely lifeless interior, the Antarctic coastal marine environment supports a vibrant and diverse ecosystem. Explore the region's living bounty in this interactive activity adapted from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Foundation, Wgbh E.
The agricultural ecosystem concept promotes a distinctive set of ecological principles that give diversity and stability to the food production process. This system allows people to work more closely with nature and to feel a spiritual connection with the...
Developed as a collaborative project of the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA-Sea Grant Office, and University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, this new Website examines how economists attempt to assign values to ecosystem services. The site is well organized and outlines general and specific topics under the following sections: The Big Picture, Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation, Dollar-based Ecosystem Valuation Methods, Ecosystem Benefit Indicators, and Links. Topics are explained in terms that laypersons will understand (a glossary is also provided) but without compromising the quality of information. Anyone interested in learning more about this controversial but increasingly important area will find this site an excellent starting point.
Conservationists commonly have framed ecological concerns in economic terms to garner political support for conservation and to increase public interest in preserving global biodiversity. Beginning in the early 1980s, conservation biologists adapted neoliberal economics to reframe ecosystem functions and related biodiversity as ecosystem services to humanity. Despite the economic success of programs such as the Catskill/Delaware watershed management plan in the United States and the creation of global carbon exchanges, today's marketplace often fails to adequately protect biodiversity. We used a Marxist critique to explain one reason for this failure and to suggest a possible, if partial, response. Reframing ecosystem functions as economic services does not address the political problem of commodification. Just as it obscures the labor of human workers, commodification obscures the importance of the biota (ecosystem workers) and related abiotic factors that contribute to ecosystem functions. This erasure of work done by ecosystems impedes public understanding of biodiversity. Odum and Odum's radical suggestion to use the language of ecosystems (i.e., emergy or energy memory) to describe economies, rather than using the language of economics (i.e., services) to describe ecosystems, reverses this erasure of the ecosystem worker. Considering the current dominance of economic forces, however, implementing such solutions would require social changes similar in magnitude to those that occurred during the 1960s. Niklas Luhmann argues that such substantive, yet rapid, social change requires synergy among multiple societal function systems (i.e., economy, education, law, politics, religion, science), rather than reliance on a single social sphere, such as the economy. Explicitly presenting ecosystem services as discreet and incomplete aspects of ecosystem functions not only allows potential economic and environmental benefits associated with ecosystem services, but also enables the social and political changes required to ensure valuation of ecosystem functions and related biodiversity in ways beyond their measurement on an economic scale. PMID:19659684
Peterson, Markus J; Hall, Damon M; Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M; Peterson, Tarla Rai
The dominant business model of today's Internet is built upon advertisements; users can access Internet services while the providers show ads to them. Although significant efforts have been made to model and analyze the economic aspects of this ecosystem, the heart of the current status quo, namely privacy, has not received the attention of the research community yet. Accordingly, we
Tuan Anh Trinh; Laszlo Gyarmati
Since ultra-low frequency (ULF) magnetic anomalies were discovered prior to the 1989 Loma Prieta, Ca. M7.0 earthquake, QuakeFinder, a small R&D group based in Palo Alto California has systematically monitored ULF magnetic signals with a network of 3-axis induction magnetometers since 2000 in California. This raw magnetometer data was collected at 20-50 samples per sec., with no preprocessing, in an attempt to collect an accurate time history of electromagnetic waveforms prior to, during, and after large earthquakes within 30 km. of these sensors. Finally in October 2007, the QuakeFinder team observed a series of strange magnetic pulsations at the Alum Rock, California site, 14 days prior to M5.4 earthquake. These magnetic signals observed were relatively short, random pulsations, not continuous waveform signals like Pc1 or Pc3 micropulsations. The magnetic pulses have a characteristic uni-polar shapes and 0.5 sec. to 30 sec. durations, much longer than lightning signals. In May of 2010, very similar pulses were observed at Tacna, Peru, 13 days prior to a M6.2 earthquake, using a QuakeFinder station jointly operated under collaboration with the Catholic University in Lima Peru (PUCP). More examples of these pulsations were sought, and a historical review of older California magnetic data discovered fewer but similar pulsations occurred at the Hollister, Ca. site operated by UC Berkeley (e.g. San Juan Bautista M5.1 earthquake on August 12, 1998). Further analysis of the direction of arrival of the magnetic pulses showed an interesting azimuth clustering observed in both Alum Rock, Ca. and Tacna, Peru data. The complete time series of the Alum Rock data allowed the team to analyze subsequent changes observed in magnetometer filter banks (0.001 Hz to 10 Hz filter bands, similar to those used by Fraser-Smith in 1989), but this time using time-adjusted limits based on time of day, time of year, Kp, and site background noise. These site-customized limits showed similar increases in 30 minute averaged energy excursions, but the 30 minute averages had a disadvantage in that they reduced the signal to noise ratio over the individual pulse counting method. In other electromagnetic monitoring methods, air conductivity instrumentation showed major changes in positive air-borne ions observed near the Alum Rock and Tacna sites, peaking during the 24 hours prior to the earthquake. The use of GOES (geosynchronous) satellite infra red (IR) data showed that an unusual apparent night time heating occurred in an extended area within 40+ km. of the Alum Rock site, and this IR signature peaked around the time of the magnetic pulse count peak. The combination of these 3 indicators (magnetic pulse counts, air conductivity, and IR night time heating) may be the start in determining the time (within 1-2 weeks), location (within 20-40km) and magnitude (within +/- 1 increment of Richter magnitude) of earthquake greater than M5.4
Bleier, T. E.; Dunson, C.; Roth, S.; Heraud, J.; Freund, F. T.; Dahlgren, R.; Bryant, N.; Bambery, R.; Lira, A.
The Modoc National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and partner agencies including Modoc County, California, are cooperating in developing a management strategy and environmental impact statement. The Sage Steppe Ecosystem Restoration Strategy focuses on...
Detailed chemical speciation of the dry residue particles from individual cloud droplets and interstitial aerosol collected during the Marine Stratus Experiment (MASE) was performed using a combination of complementary microanalysis techniques. Techniques include computer controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersed analysis of X rays (CCSEM/EDX), time-of-flight secondary ionization mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (STXM/NEXAFS). Samples were collected at the ground site located in Point Reyes National Seashore, approximately 1 km from the coast. This manuscript focuses on the analysis of individual particles sampled from air masses that originated over the open ocean and then passed through the area of the California current located along the northern California coast. On the basis of composition, morphology, and chemical bonding information, two externally mixed, distinct classes of sulfur containing particles were identified: chemically modified (aged) sea salt particles and secondary formed sulfate particles. The results indicate substantial heterogeneous replacement of chloride by methanesulfonate (CH3SO3-) and non-sea-salt sulfate (nss-SO42-) in sea-salt particles with characteristic ratios of nss-S/Na > 0.10 and CH3SO3-/nss-SO42- > 0.6.
Hopkins, Rebecca J.; Desyaterik, Yury; Tivanski, Alexei V.; Zaveri, Rahul A.; Berkowitz, Carl M.; Tyliszczak, Tolek; Gilles, Mary K.; Laskin, Alexander
Detailed chemical speciation of the dry residue particles from individual cloud droplets and interstitial aerosol collected during the Marine Stratus Experiment (MASE) was performed using a combination of complementary microanalysis techniques. Techniques include computer controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersed analysis of X-rays (CCSEM/EDX), time-of-flight secondary ionization mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (STXM/NEXAFS). Samples were collected at the ground site located in Point Reyes National Seashore, approximately 1 km from the coast. This manuscript focuses on the analysis of individual particles sampled from air masses that originated over the open ocean and then passed through the area of the California current located along the northern California coast. Based on composition, morphology, and chemical bonding information, two externally mixed, distinct classes of sulfur containing particles were identified: chemically modified (aged) sea salt particles and secondary formed sulfate particles. The results indicate substantial heterogeneous replacement of chloride by methanesulfonate (CH3SO3-) and non-sea salt sulfate (nss-SO42-) in sea-salt particles with characteristic ratios of nss-S/Na>0.10 and CH3SO3-/nss-SO42->0.6.
William R. Wiley Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Gilles, Mary K; Hopkins, Rebecca J.; Desyaterik, Yury; Tivanski, Alexei V.; Zaveri, Rahul A.; Berkowitz, Carl M.; Tyliszczak, Tolek; Gilles, Mary K.; Laskin, Alexander
This book reviews some of the basic principles of geology and includes a chapter on the Klamath Mountains. Chapters cover the geologic history of California and the geologic features of the various deserts, mountain ranges, plateaus, basins, and valleys of the state, including offshore geology and the San Andreas fault. The authors discuss exotic and suspect terranes, and current theories concerning California geology.
Norris, R.M.; Webb, R.W.
The South Florida Ecosystem Assessment Project is an innovative, large-scale monitoring and assessment program designed to measure current and changing conditions of ecological resources in South Florida using an integrated holistic approach. Using the United States Environmenta...
The need to understand local effects of global climate change is most urgent in the Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) since marine ecosystem-based management requires information on the LME scale. Reported here is a study of sea surface temperature (SST) change in the World Ocean LMEs in 1957-2006 that revealed strong regional variations in the rate of SST change. The rapid warming in 1982-2006 was confined to the Subarctic Gyre, European Seas, and East Asian Seas. These LMEs warmed at rates 2-4 times the global mean rate. The most rapid warming was observed in the land-locked or semi-enclosed European and East Asian Seas (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Black Sea, Japan Sea/East Sea, and East China Sea) and also over the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf. The Indian Ocean LMEs warming was slow, while two major upwelling areas - California and Humboldt Currents - experienced a slight cooling. The Subarctic Gyre warming was likely caused by natural variability related to the North Atlantic Oscillation. The extremely rapid surface warming in the enclosed and semi-enclosed European and East Asian Seas surrounded by major industrial/population agglomerations may have resulted from the observed terrestrial warming directly affecting the adjacent coastal seas. Regions of freshwater influence in the European and East Asian Seas seem to play a special role in modulating and exacerbating global warming effects on the regional scale.
Belkin, Igor M.
The topography of the Continental Shelf in the central portion of the Southern California Bight has rapid variations over relatively small spatial scales. The width of the shelf off the Palos Verdes peninsula, just northwest of Los Angeles, California, is only 1 to 3 km. About 7 km southeast of the peninsula, the shelf within San Pedro Bay widens to about 20 km. In 2000, the Los Angeles County Sanitation District began deploying a dense array of moorings in this complex region of the central Southern California Bight to monitor local circulation patterns. Moorings were deployed at 13 sites on the Palos Verdes shelf and within the northwestern portion of San Pedro Bay. At each site, a mooring supported a string of thermistors and an adjacent bottom platform housed an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler. These instruments collected vertical profiles of current and temperature data continuously for one to two years. The variable bathymetry in the region causes rapid changes in the amplitudes and spatial structures of barotropic tidal currents, internal tidal currents, and in the associated nonlinear baroclinic currents that occur at approximate tidal frequencies. The largest barotropic tidal constituent is M2, the principal semidiurnal tide. The amplitude of this tidal current changes over fairly short along-shelf length scales. Tidal-current amplitudes are largest in the transition region between the two shelves; they increase from about 5 cm/s over the northern San Pedro shelf to nearly 10 cm/s on the southern portion of the Palos Verdes Shelf. Tidal-current amplitudes are then reduced to less than 2 cm/s over the very narrow section of the northern Palos Verdes shelf that lies just 6 km upcoast of the southern sites. Models suggest that the amplitude of the barotropic M2 tidal currents, which propagate toward the northwest primarily as a Kelvin wave, is adjusting to the short topographic length scales in the region. Semidiurnal sea-level oscillations are, as expected, independent of these topographic variations; they have a uniform amplitude and phase structure over the entire region. Because the cross-shelf angle of the seabed over most of the Palos Verdes shelf is 1 to 3 degrees, which is critical for the local generation and/or enhancement of nonlinear characteristics in semidiurnal internal tides, some internal tidal-current events have strong asymmetric current oscillations that are enhanced near the seabed. Near-bottom currents in these events are directed primarily offshore with amplitudes that exceed 30 cm/s. The spatial patterns in these energetic near-bottom currents have fairly short-length scales. They are largest over the inner shelf and in the transition region between the Palos Verdes and San Pedro shelves. This spatial pattern is similar to that found in the barotropic tidal currents. Because these baroclinic currents have an approximate tidal frequency, an asymmetric vertical structure, and a somewhat stable phase, they can produce a non-zero depth-mean flow for periods of a few months. These baroclinic currents can interact with the barotropic tidal current and cause an apparent increase (or decrease) in the estimated barotropic tidal-current amplitude. The apparent amplitude of the barotropic tidal current may change by 30 to 80 percent or more in a current record that is less than three months long. The currents and surficial sediments in this region are in dynamic equilibrium in that the spatial patterns in bottom stresses generated by near-bed currents from surface tides, internal tides, and internal bores partly control the spatial patterns in the local sediments. Coarser sediments are found in the regions with enhanced bottom stresses (that is, over the inner shelf and in the region between the Palos Verdes and San Pedro shelves). Finer sediments are found over the northwestern portion of the Palos Verdes shelf, where near-bottom currents are relatively weak. The nonlinear asymmetries in the i
Noble, Marlene A.; Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Xu, Jingping; Signell, Richard P.; Steele, Alex
Derived from funds of natural capital, ecosystem services contribute greatly to human welfare, yet are rarely traded in markets. Most supporting (e.g., soil formation) and regulating (e.g., water purification, pest regulation) ecosystem services, and some cultural (e.g., aesthetic enrichment) and provisioning (e.g., capture fisheries, fuel wood) ecosystem services are declining because of a complex social trap, the tragedy of ecosystem services, which results in part from the overconsumption of common-pool resources. Additionally, current economic incentives encourage the development of funds of natural capital on private lands for marketable commodities at the expense of ecosystem services that benefit the public. Such ecosystem services are therefore underprovided. Most critically, property law reinforces these market failures by creating incentives to convert funds of natural capital into marketable goods and by assigning no property rights to ecosystem service benefits. Although there is no one pathway out of this tragedy of ecosystem services, potentially effective remedies lie in the evolution of the common law of property, in the reform of economic incentives, and in the development of ecosystem service districts.
Christopher L. Lant (Southern Illinois University;)
Despite increasing attention to the human dimension of conservation projects, a rigorous, systematic methodology for planning for ecosystem services has not been developed. This is in part because flows of ecosystem services remain poorly characterized at local-to-regional scales, and their protection has not generally been made a priority. We used a spatially explicit conservation planning framework to explore the trade-offs and opportunities for aligning conservation goals for biodiversity with six ecosystem services (carbon storage, flood control, forage production, outdoor recreation, crop pollination, and water provision) in the Central Coast ecoregion of California, United States. We found weak positive and some weak negative associations between the priority areas for biodiversity conservation and the flows of the six ecosystem services across the ecoregion. Excluding the two agriculture-focused servicescrop pollination and forage productioneliminates all negative correlations. We compared the degree to which four contrasting conservation network designs protect biodiversity and the flow of the six services. We found that biodiversity conservation protects substantial collateral flows of services. Targeting ecosystem services directly can meet the multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity goals more efficiently but cannot substitute for targeted biodiversity protection (biodiversity losses of 44% relative to targeting biodiversity alone). Strategically targeting only biodiversity plus the four positively associated services offers much promise (relative biodiversity losses of 7%). Here we present an initial analytical framework for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in conservation planning and illustrate its application. We found that although there are important potential trade-offs between conservation for biodiversity and for ecosystem services, a systematic planning framework offers scope for identifying valuable synergies.
Chan, Kai M. A; Shaw, M. Rebecca; Cameron, David R; Underwood, Emma C; Daily, Gretchen C
The North Sea ecosystem has recently under- gone dramatic changes, observed as altered biomass of indi- vidual species spanning a range of life forms from algae to birds, with evidence for an approximate doubling in the abun- dance of both phytoplankton and benthos as part of a regime shift after 1987. Remarkably, these changes, in part recorded in the Phytoplankton
Philip C. Reid; N. Penny Holliday; Tim J. Smyth
In Earth and space science, there is steady evolution away from isolated and single purpose data 'systems' toward systems of systems, data ecosystems, or data frameworks that provide access to highly heterogeneous data repositories. As a result, common informatics approaches are being sought for the development and implementation of newer architectures. One clear need is a repeatable method for modeling, implementing and evolving the information architectures. A newly funded U.S. initiative is developing and deploying integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) capability for marine ecosystems using an information science and semantic technologies. The intention is to advance the capacity of an IEA to provide the foundation for synthesis and quantitative analysis of natural and socio-economic ecosystem information to support ecosystem-based management. The initiative is creating capacity to assess the impacts of changing climate on two large marine ecosystems: the northeast U.S. and the California Current. These assessments will be essential parts of the science-based decision-support tools used to develop adaptive management measures. Enhanced collaboration is required to achieve these goals: interaction and information sharing within and among diverse data providers, analysis tool developers and user groups that constitute the broader coastal and marine ecosystem science application community. This presentation outlines new component design approaches and sets of information model and semantic encodings for mediation.
Fox, P.; Maffei, A.
Although it is recognized that marine wild-capture fisheries are an important source of food for much of the world, the cost of sustainable capture fisheries to species diversity is uncertain, and it is often questioned whether industrial fisheries can be managed sustainably. We evaluated the trade-off among sustainable food production, profitability, and conservation objectives in the groundfish bottom-trawl fishery off the U.S. West Coast, where depletion (i.e., reduction in abundance) of six rockfish species (Sebastes) is of particular concern. Trade-offs are inherent in this multispecies fishery because there is limited capacity to target species individually. From population models and catch of 34 stocks of bottom fish, we calculated the relation between harvest rate, long-term yield (i.e., total weight of fish caught), profit, and depletion of each species. In our models, annual ecosystem-wide yield from all 34 stocks was maximized with an overall 5.4% harvest rate, but profit was maximized at a 2.8% harvest rate. When we reduced harvest rates to the level (2.2% harvest rate) at which no stocks collapsed (<10% of unfished levels), biomass harvested was 76% of the maximum sustainable yield and profit 89% of maximum. A harvest rate under which no stocks fell below the biomass that produced maximum sustainable yield (1% harvest rate), resulted in 45% of potential yield and 67% of potential profit. Major reductions in catch in the late 1990s led to increase in the biomass of the most depleted stocks, but this rebuilding resulted in the loss of >30% of total sustainable yield, whereas yield lost from stock depletion was 3% of total sustainable yield. There are clear conservation benefits to lower harvest rates, but avoiding overfishing of all stocks in a multispecies fishery carries a substantial cost in terms of lost yield and profit. PMID:22443131
Hilborn, Ray; Stewart, Ian J; Branch, Trevor A; Jensen, Olaf P
The study of air-sea CO2 fluxes (FCO2) in the coastal region is needed to better understand the processes that influence the direction and magnitude of FCO2 and to constrain the global carbon budget. We implemented a 1 year (January through December 2009) paired study to measure FCO2 in the intertidal zone (the coastline to 1.6 km offshore) and the near-shore (3 km offshore) off the north-western coast of Baja California (Mexico); a region influenced by year-round upwelling. FCO2 was determined in the intertidal zone via eddy covariance; while in the near-shore using mooring buoy sensors then calculated with the bulk method. The near-shore region was a weak annual net source of CO2 to the atmosphere (0.043 mol CO2 m-2 y-1); where 91% of the outgassed FCO2 was contributed during the upwelling season. Sea surface temperature (SST) and ?pCO2 (from upwelling) showed the strongest relationship with FCO2 in the near-shore, suggesting the importance of meso-scale processes (upwelling). FCO2 in the intertidal zone were up to four orders of magnitude higher than FCO2 in the near-shore. Wind speed showed the strongest relationship with FCO2 in the intertidal zone, suggesting the relevance of micro-scale processes. Results show that there are substantial spatial and temporal differences in FCO2 between the near-shore and intertidal zone; likely a result of heterogeneity. We suggest that detailed spatial and temporal measurements are needed across the coastal oceans and continental margins to better understand the mechanisms which control FCO2, as well as reduce uncertainties and constrain regional and global ocean carbon balances.
Reimer, Janet J.; Vargas, Rodrigo; Smith, Stephen V.; Lara-Lara, Ruben; Gaxiola-Castro, Gilberto; Martín Hernández-Ayón, J.; Castro, Angel; Escoto-Rodriguez, Martin; Martínez-Osuna, Juan
The size of the wind energy resource for California is estimated by several methods and found to be large relative to the current state electrical consumption. Centralized and dispersed systems for utilizing large amounts of wind energy are compared. (ERA...
J. H. Klems
Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the northern Channel Islands located off the coast of California. It is owned and managed as a conservation reserve by The Nature Conservancy and the Channel Islands National Park. The island is home to nine plant taxa listed in 1997 as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, because of declines related to nearly 150 years of ranching on the island. Feral livestock were removed from the island as a major conservation step, which was part of a program completed in early 2007 with the eradication of pigs and turkeys. For the first time in more than a century, the rare plants of Santa Cruz Island have a chance to recover in the wild. This study provides survey information and living plant materials needed for recovery management of the listed taxa. We developed a database containing information about historical collections of the nine taxa and used it to plan a survey strategy. Our objectives were to relocate as many of the previously known populations as possible, with emphasis on documenting sites not visited in several decades, sites that were poorly documented in the historical record, and sites spanning the range of environmental conditions inhabited by the taxa. From 2003 through 2006, we searched for and found 39 populations of the taxa, indicating that nearly 80 percent of the populations known earlier in the 1900s still existed. Most populations are small and isolated, occupying native-dominated habitat patches in a highly fragmented and invaded landscape; they are still at risk of declining through population losses. Most are not expanding beyond the edges of their habitat patches. However, most taxa appeared to have good seed production and a range of size classes in populations, indicating a good capacity for plant recruitment and population growth in these restricted sites. For these taxa, seed collection and outplanting might be a good strategy to increase numbers of populations for species recovery. Several taxa have particular problems evidenced by lack of fruit set, very small population sizes, or unstable habitats. We collected seeds of all but two taxa for seed banking, and live cuttings of two clonal shrubs for cultivation at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The survey data, seeds and cuttings provide a baseline and a foundation for planning, conducting, and tracking recovery of the nine federally listed plant taxa of Santa Cruz Island.
McEachern, A. Kathryn; Chess, Katherine A.; Niessen, Ken
Published data and analyses from temperate and tropical aquatic systems are used to summarize knowledge about the potential impact of land-use alteration on the nitrogen biogeochemistry of tropical aquatic ecosystems, identify important patterns and recommend key needs for research. The tropical N-cycle is traced from pre-disturbance conditions through the phases of disturbance, highlighting major differences between tropical and temperate systems
J. A. Downing; M. Mcclain; R. Twilley; J. M. Melack; J. Elser; N. N. Rabalais; W. M. Lewis; R. E. Turner; J. Corredor; D. Soto; A. Yanez-Arancibia; J. A. Kopaska; R. W. Howarth
In the wild, small crustaceans known as brine shrimp live in marine habitats such as saltwater lakes. In this activity, learners create a saltwater or marine ecosystem that becomes an experimental brine shrimp hatchery. Learners observe the brine shrimp life cycle and test the effect of salinity (salt content) on brine shrimp eggs and larvae, as well as consider the potential impact of other variables such as water temperature and pollution.
Jersey, New; Center, Liberty S.; Coalition, New J.
The California Current System (CCS) is expected to experience the ecological impacts of ocean acidification (OA) earlier than most other ocean regions because coastal upwelling brings old, CO2-rich water relatively close to the surface ocean. Historical inorganic carbon measurements are scarce, so the progression of OA in the CCS is unknown. We used a multiple linear regression approach to generate empirical models using oxygen (O2), temperature (T), salinity (S), and sigma theta (??) as proxy variables to reconstruct pH, carbonate saturation states, carbonate ion concentration ([CO32-]), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration, and total alkalinity (TA) in the southern CCS. The calibration data included high-quality measurements of carbon, oxygen, and other hydrographic variables, collected during a cruise from British Columbia to Baja California in May-June 2007. All resulting empirical relationships were robust, withr2values >0.92 and low root mean square errors. Estimated and measured carbon chemistry matched very well for independent data sets from the CalCOFI and IMECOCAL programs. Reconstructed CCS pH and saturation states for 2005-2011 reveal a pronounced seasonal cycle and inter-annual variability in the upper water column. Deeper in the water column, conditions are stable throughout the annual cycle, with perennially low pH and saturation states. Over sub-decadal time scales, these empirical models provide a valuable tool for reconstructing carbonate chemistry related to ocean acidification where direct observations are limited. However, progressive increases in anthropogenic CO2 content of southern CCS water masses must be carefully addressed to apply the models over longer time scales.
Alin, Simone R.; Feely, Richard A.; Dickson, Andrew G.; HernáNdez-Ayón, J. MartíN.; Juranek, Lauren W.; Ohman, Mark D.; Goericke, Ralf
The coastal upwelling region near Cape Blanco, Oregon (43°N) off the west coast of the United States was studied using a towed CTD on SeaSoar, a shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), satellite sea surface temperature maps and surface drifters during August 1995. The equatorward upwelling jet was inshore of the shelfbreak north of Cape Blanco, meandered gently offshore around
John A. Barth; Stephen D. Pierce; Robert L. Smith
The ecosystem services value is currently a research hotspot in ecology, ecological economics etc. In this article, 16 ecosystem types are selected as factor variables, and ecosystem services value per unit area in Huangfuchuan basin are used to analyze the principal component and to study the key factors that affect ecosystem services value in Huangfuchuan basin. The research results showed
Te-sheng Sun; Bo Li; Xiao-yuan Song; Ying Hou; Huan-huan Guo
Students will construct a model ecosystem to help explain the interactions between organisms and their environments in this guided inquiry lesson. This inquiry activity was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiological SocietyÃÂs 2004 Frontiers in Physiology Program. The NSES Standards addressed by this activity are current as of the year of development. For more information on the Frontiers in Physiology Program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org.
Ms. Kaci May (North Charleston Elementary @ McNair)
In this paper, we analyzed 3 years of carbon flux data from continuous eddy covariance measurements to investigate how soil moisture, rain pulses, and growth alter the response of ecosystem respiration to temperature. The data were acquired over an annual grassland and from the grass understory of an oak\\/grass savanna ecosystem in California. We observed that ecosystem respiration was an
Liukang Xu; Dennis D. Baldocchi; Jianwu Tang
We have made substantial progress toward our objectives outlined in our BPA supported proposal entitled 'Columbia River Basin Juvenile Salmonids: Survival and Growth in the Columbia River Plume and northern California Current' which we report on herein. During 2008, we were able to successfully conduct 3 mesoscale cruises. We also were able to conduct 7 biweekly predator cruises, along with substantial shore-based visual observations of seabirds. Detailed results of the mesoscale cruises are available in the Cruise Reports and summarized in the next section. We have taken a proactive approach to getting the results of our research to fisheries managers and the general public. We have begun to make annual predictions based on ocean conditions of the relative survival of juvenile coho and Chinook salmon well before they return as adults. This is based on both biological and physical indicators that we measure during our surveys or collect from outside data sources. Examples of our predictions for 2009 and 2010 are available on the following web site: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/a-ecinhome.cfm.
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries; Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies, Oregon State University; OGI School of Science & Engineering, Oregon Health Sciences University.
This report reviews the history of kindergarten in California. It is an interesting story in its own right, one in which several women in California pioneered the kindergarten concept and contributed to a nationwide movement. The report puts current polic...
P. L. de Cos
California's Bay-Delta estuary is a biologically diverse estuarine ecosystem that plays a central role in the distribution of California's water from the state's wetter northern regions to its southern, arid, and populous cities and agricultural areas. In...
The ecosystem service concept provides a powerful framework for conserving species and the environments they depend upon. Describing current distributions of ecosystem services and forecasting their future distributions have therefore become central objectives in many conservati...
Pesticides applied on land are commonly transported by runoff or spray drift to aquatic ecosystems, where they are potentially toxic to fishes and other nontarget organisms. Pesticides add to and interact with other stressors of ecosystem processes, including surface-water diversions, losses of spawning and rearing habitats, nonnative species, and harmful algal blooms. Assessing the cumulative effects of pesticides on species or ecological functions has been difficult for historical, legal, conceptual, and practical reasons. To explore these challenges, we examine current-use (modern) pesticides and their potential connections to the abundances of fishes in the San Francisco Estuary (California). Declines in delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and other species have triggered mandatory and expensive management actions in the urbanizing estuary and agriculturally productive Central Valley. Our inferences are transferable to other situations in which toxics may drive changes in ecological status and trends.
Scholz, Nathaniel L.; Fleishman, Erica; Brown, Larry; Werner, Inge; Johnson, Michael L.; Brooks, Marjorie L.; Mitchelmore, Carys L.; Schlenk, Daniel
In preparation for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) modeling centers from around the world carried out sets of global climate simulations under various emission scenarios with a total of 23 coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. We evaluated the models' 20th century hindcasts of selected variables relevant to several large marine ecosystems and examined 21st century projections by a subset of these models under the A1B (middle range) emission scenario. In general we find that a subset (about half) of the models are able to simulate large-scale aspects of the historical observations reasonably well, which provides some confidence in their application for projections of ocean conditions into the future. Over the North Pacific by the mid-21st century, the warming due to the trend in wintertime sea surface temperature (SST) will be 1°-1.5 °C, which is as large as the amplitude of the major mode of variability, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). For areas northwest of the Hawaiian Islands, these models projected a steady increase of 1.2 °C in summer SST over the period from 2000 to 2050. For the Bering and Barents seas, a subset of models selected on the basis of their ability to simulate sea-ice area in late 20th century yield an average decrease in sea-ice coverage of 43% and 36%, respectively, by the decade centered on 2050 with a reasonable degree of consistency. On the other hand, model simulations of coastal upwelling for the California, Canary and Humboldt Currents, and of bottom temperatures in the Barents Sea, feature a relatively large degree of uncertainty. These results illustrate that 21st century projections for marine ecosystems in certain regions using present-generation climate models require additional analysis.
Wang, Muyin; Overland, James E.; Bond, Nicholas A.
Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.
Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.
This site about ecosystems and biomes contains a map of different ecosystems, and provides rainfall statistics for each biome. There are sections on tropical rainforest, taiga (or boreal forest), savanna, desert, and tundra ecosystems. Each section describes the biome and its origins, where it is found, and how humans impact it. In some cases, sustainable development of the ecosystem is explained.
The carbon budget of a region can be defined as the sum of annual fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane greenhouse gases (GHGs) into and out of the regional surface coverage area. According to the state governments recent inventory, California's carbon budget is presently dominated by fossil fuel emissions of CO2 (at >85% of total annual GHG emissions) to meet energy and transportation requirements. Other notable (non-ecosystem) sources of carbon GHG emissions in 2004 were from cement- and lime-making industries, livestock-based agriculture, and waste treatment activities. The NASA-CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) simulation model based on satellite observations of monthly vegetation cover (including those from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer - MODIS) has been used to estimate net ecosystem fluxes and vegetation biomass production over the period 1990-2004. California's annual NPP for all ecosystems in the early 2000s, estimated by CASA at 120 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE) per year, was roughly equal to its annual fossil fuel emission rates for carbon. However, since natural ecosystems can accumulate only a small fraction of this annual NPP total in long-term storage pools, the net ecosystem sink flux for atmospheric carbon across the state was estimated at a maximum rate of between 15-24 MMTCE per year under favorable precipitation conditions. Under less favorable precipitation conditions, such as those experienced during the early 1990s, ecosystems statewide were estimated to have lost nearly 15 MMTCE per year to the atmosphere. Considering the large amounts of carbon stored in standing biomass of forests, shrublands, and rangelands across the state, the implications of changing climate and land use practices on ecosystems must be factored into the states planning to reduce overall GHG emissions.
Potter, C. S.
RESEARCH TOPICS: Tree Guidelines for California Communities, Benefit-Cost Analyses, Energy and Carbon Dioxide Reduction through Urban Forestry, Air Quality and Parking Lot Shade, Urban Watershed Protection, Urban Forest Inventory and Monitoring, Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Urban Ecosystems
In California, repairing sidewalk damage associated with tree roots exceeds $62 million annuall this study, three types of root barriers were installed and evaluated to determine whether 1) inte (12 in.) of soil. The three barriers tested included 1) a modified production container, partially le intended to prevent circling roots and 3) a commercial product with vertical ribs spaced 12.5
Root Barrier; Extension Pau
Efforts to preserve biological diversity must focus increasingly at the ecosystem level because of the immense number of species, the majority of which are currently unknown. An ecosystem approach is also the only way to conserve processes and habitats (such as forest canopies, belowground habitats, and hyporheic zones) that, with their constituent species, are poorly known. Continued concern with species
JERRY F. FRANKLIN
This document presents an overview of the financial aspects of postsecondary educational institutions in California and suggests some recommendations for the alleviation of financial problems. The study consisted of extensive research of the current literature on financing, gathering key data on the California system, reviewing the pertinent
California State Legislature, Sacramento. Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education.
The recent Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has illustrated that human actions have significantly transformed many of Earths ecosystems. The main findings describe how: humans changed ecosystems dramatically over the past 50 years, changes to ecosystem services may get worse in the next 50 years, global action at all levels can reverse the degradation, and how ecosystem degradation increases risks of sudden changes and reduces benefits for future generations.
ChristiÃÂÃÂ¡n Samper (National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution;)
The current rate of biodiversity loss threatens to disrupt greatly the functioning of ecosystems, with potentially significant consequences for humanity. The magnitude of the loss is generally measured with the use of species extinction rates, an approach that understates the severity of the problem and masks some of its most important consequences. Here, we propose a major expansion of this
Gary W. Luck; Gretchen C. Daily; Paul R. Ehrlich
Burrowing shrimps are regarded as ecosystem engineering species in many coastal ecosystems worldwide, including numerous estuaries of the west coast of North America (Baja California to British Columbia). In estuaries of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two species of large burrowing...
Burrowing shrimps are regarded as ecosystem engineering species in many coastal ecosystems worldwide, including numerous estuaries of the west coast of North America (Baja California to British Columbia). In estuaries of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two species of large burrowing...
The California Current system is a large marine ecosystem with transition gradients between subarctic and tropical biomes containing diverse habitats. Biogeographic species groups must be carefully analyzed in order to detect tendencies shifting the ecosystem toward a more temperate or tropical state. Species composition of hyperiid amphipods was analyzed in July 2002 for evidence of subarctic water intrusion and for signals of the El Niño event developing in the equatorial Pacific. Multivariate analysis showed a dominance of "transition zone" species typical of the California Current. The main evidence of subarctic water intrusion was the extended distribution of Themisto pacifica, which reached as far south as 27°N, with particularly high abundances at 3032°N. The intrusion of subarctic water took place despite evidence that an El Niño event was in progress. The zonal advection due to El Niño intersected the equatorward flow of the subarctic intrusion and probably produced a large cyclonic eddy off Baja California. This eddy maintained a limited El Niño influence at a few offshore stations near its southern boundary. The main environmental variables influencing the amphipod assemblage structure were water temperature and the abundance of salps. T. pacifica, a species with cool water affinity, was more sensitive to temperature, whereas subtropical species, such as Vibilia armata, were strongly correlated with the availability of salps.
Lavaniegos, Bertha E.
Seasonal development of dissolved-oxygen deficits (hypoxia) represents an acute system-level perturbation to ecological dynamics and fishery sustainability in coastal ecosystems around the globe. Whereas anthropogenic nutrient loading has increased the frequency and severity of hypoxia in estuaries and semi-enclosed seas, the occurrence of hypoxia in open-coast upwelling systems reflects ocean conditions that control the delivery of oxygen-poor and nutrient-rich deep water onto continental shelves. Upwelling systems support a large proportion of the world's fisheries, therefore understanding the links between changes in ocean climate, upwelling-driven hypoxia and ecological perturbations is critical. Here we report on the unprecedented development of severe inner-shelf (<70m) hypoxia and resultant mass die-offs of fish and invertebrates within the California Current System. In 2002, cross-shelf transects revealed the development of abnormally low dissolved-oxygen levels as a response to anomalously strong flow of subarctic water into the California Current System. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of inner-shelf ecosystems to variation in ocean conditions, and the potential impacts of climate change on marine communities.
Grantham, Brian A.; Chan, Francis; Nielsen, Karina J.; Fox, David S.; Barth, John A.; Huyer, Adriana; Lubchenco, Jane; Menge, Bruce A.
Seasonal development of dissolved-oxygen deficits (hypoxia) represents an acute system-level perturbation to ecological dynamics and fishery sustainability in coastal ecosystems around the globe. Whereas anthropogenic nutrient loading has increased the frequency and severity of hypoxia in estuaries and semi-enclosed seas, the occurrence of hypoxia in open-coast upwelling systems reflects ocean conditions that control the delivery of oxygen-poor and nutrient-rich deep water onto continental shelves. Upwelling systems support a large proportion of the world's fisheries, therefore understanding the links between changes in ocean climate, upwelling-driven hypoxia and ecological perturbations is critical. Here we report on the unprecedented development of severe inner-shelf (<70 m) hypoxia and resultant mass die-offs of fish and invertebrates within the California Current System. In 2002, cross-shelf transects revealed the development of abnormally low dissolved-oxygen levels as a response to anomalously strong flow of subarctic water into the California Current System. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of inner-shelf ecosystems to variation in ocean conditions, and the potential impacts of climate change on marine communities. PMID:15201908
Grantham, Brian A; Chan, Francis; Nielsen, Karina J; Fox, David S; Barth, John A; Huyer, Adriana; Lubchenco, Jane; Menge, Bruce A
This Science Object is the fourth of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the natural and human causes of ecosystem stress. Human beings live near coral ecosystems and use them in a variety of ways. Increasing amounts of stress is brought on these ecosystems as humans continue to modify the surrounding environment as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening the stability and overall health of many coral reefs. Human activities may also exacerbate the impact of natural disturbances on coral reefs or compromise the ability of the reef to recover from events such as hurricanes, tsunamis, or disease. Learning Outcomes:ï¿½ Describe ways in which human activities directly impact coral reef ecosystems (resource and recreational uses).ï¿½ Describe ways in which human activities indirectly impact coral reef ecosystems (by changing the physical conditions, pollution, changes in the water chemistry, etc.).ï¿½ Explain how human activity may decrease the reefs ability to recover from natural occurrences. ï¿½ Explain the effects of increased predation or disease on a reef ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe the effect of habitat loss on the reef ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe the effects of weather and climate change on a healthy and weakened reef ecosystem.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
California condors are one of the most endangered birds in North America. In the early 1990s, captive-bred condors were reintroduced into the wild in California. As of January 2010, about 190 condors now live in the wild and more reintroductions are being considered. To facilitate this, USGS researc...
article title: Smoke from Station Fire Blankets Southern California ... growth of wildfires throughout southern California. The Station fire began August 26, 2009, in La Canada/Flintridge, not far from ... D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The MISR data were obtained from the NASA ...
The complexity of the current global information infrastructure requires novel means of understanding and exploiting the dynamics of information. One means may be through the concept of an information ecosystem. An information ecosystem is analo gous to a natural ecosystem in which there are flo ws of materials and energy analo gous to information flow between many interacting individuals. This
P. Marrow; M. Koubarakis; R. H. van Lengen; F. Valverde-Albacete; E. Bonsma; J. Cid; A. R. Figueiras-Vidal; A. Gallardo-Antolín; C. Hoile; T. Koutris; H. Molina-Bulla; A. Navia; P. Raftopoulou; N. Skarmeas; C. Tryfonopoulos; F. Wang; C. Xiruhaki
In this article, we focus on the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide. European Union policies, contributing to the conservation and maintenance of ecosystem services in Europe are discussed and their current impacts briefly reviewed in the light of the main challenges that European ecosystems might face in the near future. PMID:23359571
Dunbar, Martha Bonnet; Panagos, Panos; Montanarella, Luca
In the northeastern Pacific Ocean we are developing a long-term oceanographic program (IMECOCAL) to understand the pelagic ecosystem response to the climate variability and climate change. The IMECOCAL program began in October 1997, and we are expecting to continue until at least 2008 year, with the CONACYT (Mexican Council of Science and Technology) and CICESE supports. The IMECOCAL program is quarterly visiting an oceanographic area of the southern California Current region off Baja California, with approximately 80 hydrographic stations. Also, we are planning two continuous sampling sites, one in northern, and another in the south of the Baja California Peninsula. One of our main goals is understand the interannual variability of the physical-biological interactions in the pelagic ecosystem, with the study of major oceanic physical processes, together with temporal changes of temperature and salinity in the water column, and their relationships with plankton fluctuations. Also, we are searching the long term signature of the climate change over the ocean, with sediments analysis collected at San Lazaro Basin, one of the few anoxic basins of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The program will be modeled the effects of climate variability on the structure of the pelagic ecosystem, selecting some planktonic key species. Also, using hydrographic and remote sensed information (SST, Color, and SSH), global models will be feed with local estimated phytoplankton photosynthetic parameters, to realize statistical analyses in order to define spatial and temporal variability of plankton biomass and primary production in this area.
Gaxiola-Castro, G.; Lavaniegos, B.; Durazo, R.; Lara-Lara, R.; Aguirre-Gomez, R.; Gomez-Valdez, J.; Carriquiry, J.; Pares-Sierra, A.
The Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC) is part of the Biological Division of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The mission of PIERC is to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring within the cultural, sociological, and political contexts of the State of Hawaii. The geographical isolation of the Hawaiian Islands has resulted in the evolution of a highly endemic biota, while human colonization has severely impacted native plant and animal populations. The PIERC website provides information and research studies about the Hawaiian Islands ecosystem, as well as staff projects that are currently in progress. Topics include birds, mammals, ecosystem diversity, genetics, wildlife health, plant ecology, and marine biology. There is an education section with outdoor activities, online activities, and a coloring book. Links are provided for further information.
The mouth is a complex natural cavity which constitutes the initial segment of the digestive tract. It is an essential actor of the vital functions as nutrition, language, communication. The whole mouth (teeth, periodontium, mucous membranes, tongue) is constantly hydrated and lubricated by the saliva. At any age, a balance becomes established between the bacterial proliferations, the salivary flow, the adapted tissular answer: it is the oral ecosystem. The regulation of this ecosystem participates in the protection of the oral complex against current inflammatory and infectious pathologies (caries, gingivitis, periodontitis, candidiasis). In elderly, the modification of the salivary flow, the appearance of specific pathologies (root caries, edentulism, periodontitis), the local conditions (removable dentures), the development of general pathologies, the development of general pathologies (diabetes, hypertension, immunosuppression, the insufficient oral care are so many elements which are going to destabilize the oral ecosystem, to favor the formation of the dental plaque and to weaken oral tissues. The preservation of this ecosystem is essential for elderly: it allows to eat in good conditions and so to prevent the risks of undernutrition. The authors describe the oral physiopathology (oral microflora, salivary secretion) and the strategies to be adopted to protect the balance of the oral ecosystem in geriatric population. PMID:23803630
Lacoste-Ferré, Marie-Hélène; Hermabessière, Sophie; Jézéquel, Fabienne; Rolland, Yves
The California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is a consortium of federal, state and academic institutions engaged in earthquake monitoring in California. The CISN represents California as a designated region of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS). The CISN is governed by a Steering Committee representing institutions actively involved in earthquake monitoring in California (currently USGS, CDMG, UCB and Caltech) and
The effect of Governor Jerry Brown on the solar industry in California is reviewed. It is pointed out that currently there are 7000 solar businesses; before Gov. Brown's administration there were virtually none. The effect of Gov. Brown's administration on the use of solar and renewable energy sources, as well as energy conservation are reviewed. Specific topics include: (1) political
The reports of the U.S. Oceans Commission, the Pew Oceans Commission, the Ocean Priorities Plan, and other nationwide reviews highlight the importance of incorporating ecosystem principles in ocean and coastal resource management. An ecosystem approach to...
G. C. Matlock M. Ernst M. J. Fogarty P. S. Levin
Thermodynamically, ecosystem growth and development is the process by which energy throughflow and stored biomass increase. Several proposed hypotheses describe the natural tendencies that occur as an ecosystem matures, and here, we consider five: minimum entropy production, maxi...
Utility load management programs, including direct load control and interruptible load programs, constitute a large installed base of controllable loads that are employed by utilities as system reliability resources. In response to energy supply shortfalls expected during the summer of 2001, the California Public Utilities Commission in spring 2001 authorized new utility load management programs as well as revisions to existing programs. This report provides an independent review of the designs of these new programs for a large utility (Southern California Edison) and suggests possible improvements to enhance the price responsiveness of the customer actions influenced by these programs. The report also proposes a new program to elicit a mass-market demand response to utility price signals.
1-6 . Here we describe a previously unrecognized effect of biodiversity on ecosystem predictability, where predictability is inversely related to temporal and spatial variation in ecosystem properties. By manipulating biodiversity in aquatic microbial communities, we show that one process, ecosystem respiration, becomes more predictable as biodiversity increases. Analysis of similar patterns extracted from other studies 2,3,6 indicates that biodiversity also
Patricia M. Harris; Peter J. Morin
This project initiates an integrated-landscape conservation approach within the Northern Cumberlands Project Area in Tennessee and Kentucky. The mixed mesophytic forests within the Cumberland Plateau and Mountains are among the most diverse in North America; however, these forests have been impacted by and remain threatened from changes in land use across this landscape. The integrated-landscape conservation approach presented in this report outlines a sequence of six conservation steps. This report considers the first three of these steps in two, successive stages. Stage 1 compares desired future conditions (DFCs) and current prevailing conditions (CPCs) at the landscape-scale utilizing remote sensing imagery, remnant forests, and descriptions of historical forest types within the Cumberland Plateau. Subsequently, Stage 2 compares DFCs and CPCs for at-risk forest types identified in Stage 1 utilizing structural, compositional, or functional attributes from USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis data. Ecological indicators will be developed from each stage that express the gaps between these two realizations of the landscape. The results from these first three steps will directly contribute to the final three steps of the integrated-landscape conservation approach by providing guidance for the generation of new conservation strategies in the Northern Cumberland Plateau and Mountains.
Private landowners are often de facto stewards of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In California's Sierra Nevada foothills, ranchers frequently present the only defense against biological invasions in private rangelands. Although ranchers' land management goals (e.g., the desire to control invasive species) can be consistent with ecosystem protection, practical constraints often limit their success. Considerable research on the invasive weed, yellow
Clare E. Aslan; Matthew B. Hufford; Rebecca S. Epanchin-Niell; Jeffrey D. Port; Jason P. Sexton; Timothy M. Waring
Recent interest in improving our understanding of decomposition patterns in arid and semi-arid ecosystems and under potentially drier future conditions has led to a flurry of research related to abiotic degradation processes. Oxidation of organic matter by solar radiation (photodegradation) is one abiotic degradation process that contributes significantly to litter decomposition rates. Our meta-analysis results show that increasing solar radiation exposure corresponds to an average increase of 23% in litter mass loss rate with large variation among studies associated primarily with environmental and litter chemistry characteristics. Laboratory studies demonstrate that photodegradation results in CO2 emissions. Indirect estimates suggest that photodegradation could account for as much as 60% of ecosystem CO2 emissions from dry ecosystems, but these CO2 fluxes have not been measured in intact ecosystems. The current data suggest that photodegradation is important, not only for understanding decomposition patterns, but also for modeling organic matter turnover and ecosystem C cycling. However, the mechanisms by which photodegradation operates, along with their environmental and litter chemistry controls, are still poorly understood. Photodegradation can directly influence decomposition rates and ecosystem CO2 flux via photochemical mineralization. It can also indirectly influence biotic decomposition rates by facilitating microbial degradation through breakdown of more recalcitrant compounds into simpler substrates or by suppressing microbial activity directly. All of these pathways influence the decomposition process, but the relative importance of each is uncertain. Furthermore, a specific suite of controls regulates each of these pathways (e.g., environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity; physical environment such as canopy architecture and contact with soil; and litter chemistry characteristics such as lignin and cellulose content), and these controls have not yet been identified or quantified. To advance our understanding of photodegradation and its role in decomposition and in ecosystem C cycling, we must characterize its mechanisms and their associated controls and incorporate this understanding into biogeochemical models. Our objective is to summarize the current state of understanding of photodegradation and discuss some paths forward to address remaining critical gaps in knowledge about its mechanisms and influence on ecosystem C balance.
King, J. Y.; Lin, Y.; Adair, E. C.; Brandt, L.; Carbone, M. S.
Until the 1980s, Californias biodiverse serpentine grasslands were threatened primarily by development and protected by reserve creation. However, nitrogen (N) fertilization due to increasing fossil fuel emissions in the expanding Bay Area is thought to be contributing to rapid, recent invasion of these ecosystems by exotic annual grasses that are displacing rare and endemic serpentine species. Documenting the cumulative effects of N deposition in this ecosystem can direct policy and management actions to mitigate the role of N deposition in its transformation. Natural abundance stable isotopes of N in vegetation have been increasingly used as bio-indicators of N deposition patterns and subsequent changes to plant N cycling and assimilation. However, the long-term record of atmospheric reactive N enrichment and the resulting changes in ecosystem N dynamics have yet to be adequately reconstructed in many ecosystems. Museum archives of vascular plant tissue are valuable sources of materials to reconstruct temporal and spatial isotopic patterns of N inputs to ecosystems. Here, we present N stable isotope data from archived and current specimens of an endemic California serpentine grassland species, leather oak (Quercus durata), since 1895 across the greater San Francisco Bay region. We measured spatial and temporal trends in stable isotope composition (?15N and ?13C) and concentration (%N and %C) of historical and current samples of leather oak leaves from sites within the Bay Area, impacted by increasing development, and sites northeast of the Bay Area, with significantly lower rates of urbanization and industrialization. Specifically, we sampled dry museum and fresh leaf specimens from serpentine sites within Lake (n=27) and Santa Clara (n=30) counties dating from 1895 to 2010. Leaf ?15N values were stable from 1895 to the 1950s and then decreased strongly throughout the last 50 years as fossil fuel emissions rapidly increased in the Bay Area, indicating that N pollution is being retained in serpentine grassland ecosystems. Leaf ?15N values in the high-deposition region declined at a rate of -0.041 yr-1, while leaf ?15N values in the low-deposition region did not show a strong pattern. In both regions, leaf ?13C values declined through time as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased in response to fossil fuel combustion (the Suess effect). Leaf %N and %C values did not present any clear patterns at sites within or outside of the Bay Area. We conclude that using natural abundance stable isotope values in leaves can indicate variation in N pollution inputs across wide spatial and temporal scales and that archived plant samples can provide valuable baselines against which to assess changes in regional N cycling and subsequent ecological impacts on vegetation.
Vallano, D.; Zavaleta, E. S.
In the framework of climate change, the increase in ocean heat wave frequency is expected to impact marine life. Large-scale positive temperature anomalies already occurred in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea in 1999, 2003 and 2006. These anomalies were associated with mass mortality events of macrobenthic species in coastal areas (0-40 m in depth). The anomalies were particularly severe in 1999 and 2003 when thousands of kilometres of coasts and about 30 species were affected. The aim of this study was to develop a methodology to assess the current risk of mass mortality associated with temperature increase along NW Mediterranean continental coasts. A 3D regional ocean model was used to obtain the temperature conditions for the period 2001-2010, for which the model outputs were validated by comparing them with in situ observations in affected areas. The model was globally satisfactory, although extremes were underestimated and required correction. Combined with information on the thermo-tolerance of a key species (the red gorgonian P. clavata) as well as its spatial distribution, the modelled temperature conditions were then used to assess the risk of mass mortality associated with thermal stress for the first time. Most of the known areas of observed mass mortality were found using the model, although the degree of risk in certain areas was underestimated. Using climatic IPCC scenarios, the methodology could be applied to explore the impacts of expected climate change in the NW Mediterranean. This is a key issue for the development of sound management and conservation plans to protect Mediterranean marine biodiversity in the face of climate change.
Pairaud, Ivane Lilian; Bensoussan, Nathaniel; Garreau, Pierre; Faure, Vincent; Garrabou, Joaquim
The California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) manages over 50,000 miles of California's highway and freeway lanes, provides inter-city rail services, and also works on a host of other transportation initiatives. Visitors can dive right in via the Highlights section, which offers an overview of the California State Rail Plan, information about webinars, and links to long-term transit feasibility studies. Other sections of the site cover Travel, Business, Engineering, News, and Maps. This last area contains the QuickMap, which offers a real-time map of current traffic conditions, along with maps designed for truckers and motor home owners. The Engineering section contains information about ongoing projects, along with financial information and planning documents. Finally, the site includes a separate page about the Bay Bridge and links to press releases and video clips.
The California Academy of Sciences's (CAS) Botany Department hosts this interesting and beautiful site on California's wildflowers. Spectacular color photographs of over 125 species of wildflowers serve as illustrations to this electronic field guide. Users may browse species by flower color (white through brown), common name (Alpine Lily to Yerba Mansa), latin name (Achillea millefolium to Zigadenus fremontii), or family name (Alismataceae through Violaceae). Additionally, floristic regions are provided in a color-coded map of California. For each species, the taxonomic identity (common, Latin, and family names), a description, photographs, and distribution information are provided. Educators and students of botany will find this site particularly useful; others will want to go see California in bloom.
Humanity is increasingly urban, but continues to depend on Nature for its survival. Cities are dependent on the ecosystems beyond the city limits, but also benefit from internal urban ecosystems. The aim of this paper is to analyze the ecosystem services generated by ecosystems within the urban area. Ecosystem services refers to the benefits human populations derive from ecosystems. Seven
Per Bolund; Sven Hunhammar
In 1972, a multi-disciplinary team of ecologists assembled to monitor and analyze some of the ecological consequences of photochemical oxidant air pollutants in California Mixed Conifer Forest ecosystems of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. The purposes included g...
To expand the utility of the Mussel Watch Program, local, regional and state agencies in California partnered with NOAA to design a pilot study that targeted contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Native mussels (Mytilus spp.) from 68 stations, stratified by land use and discharge scenario, were collected in 2009-10 and analyzed for 167 individual pharmaceuticals, industrial and commercial chemicals and current use pesticides. Passive sampling devices (PSDs) and caged Mytilus were co-deployed to expand the list of CECs, and to assess the ability of PSDs to mimic bioaccumulation by Mytilus. A performance-based quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) approach was developed to ensure a high degree of data quality, consistency and comparability. Data management and analysis were streamlined and standardized using automated software tools. This pioneering study will help shape future monitoring efforts in California's coastal ecosystems, while serving as a model for monitoring CECs within the region and across the nation. PMID:23886247
Maruya, Keith A; Dodder, Nathan G; Schaffner, Rebecca A; Weisberg, Stephen B; Gregorio, Dominic; Klosterhaus, Susan; Alvarez, David A; Furlong, Edward T; Kimbrough, Kimani L; Lauenstein, Gunnar G; Christensen, John D
Many challenging natural resource management issues require consideration of a web of interactions among ecosystem components. The spatial and temporal complexity of these ecosystem problems demands an interdisciplinary approach integrating biotic and abiotic processes. The goals of the Ecosystem Dynamics Branch are to provide sound science to aid federal resource managers and use long-term, place-focused research and monitoring on federal lands to advance ecosystem science. Current studies fall into five general areas. Herbivore-Ecosystem Interactions examines the efficacy of multiple controls on selected herbivore populations and cascading effects through predator-herbivore-plant-soil linkages. Riparian Ecology is concerned with interactions among streamflow, fluvial geomorphology, and riparian vegetation. Integrated Fire Science focuses on the effects of fire on plant and animal communities at multiple scales, and on the interactions between post-fire plant, runoff, and erosion processes. Reference Ecosystems comprises long-term, place-based studies of ecosystem biogeochemistry. Finally, Integrated Assessments is investigating how to synthesize multiple ecosystem stressors and responses over complex landscapes in ways that are useful for management and planning.
A conceptual framework is proposed for assessing and managing the ecosystem impacts of climate change. The framework can be used by ecosystem managers to systematically assess the potential adverse impacts of future climate change on ecosystems, and identify best adaptation strategies for alleviating those impacts. The proposed framework: (1) determines the acceptability of the current state of the ecosystem; (2)
This comment presents current and emerging areas of research which the U.S. National Science Foundation believes have special promise for advancing ecosystem science. These areas are: (1) major element cycle interactions; (2) trace element and organic compound controls on ecosystem dynamics; (3) the role of consumers on ecosystem dynamics; (4) ecosystem dynamics in contrasting environments; (5) landscape ecology; and (6)
James R. Gosz
To assess future interactions between the environment and human well-being, spatially explicit ecosystem service models are needed. Currently available models mainly focus on provisioning services and do not distinguish changes in the functioning of the ecosystem (Ecosystem Functions ESFs) and human use of such functions (Ecosystem Services ESSs). This limits the insight on the impact of global change
Catharina J. E. Schulp; Rob Alkemade; Kees Klein Goldewijk; Katalin Petz
A Lagrangian model is used to simulate and quantify in the northern Humboldt upwelling ecosystem the processes of enrichment, concentration and retention, identified by Bakun [Bakun, A., 1996. Patterns in the ocean. Ocean processes and marine population dynamics. University of California Sea Grant, California, USA, in cooperation with Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas de Noroeste, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico,
Christophe Lett; Pierrick Penven; Patricia Ayón; Pierre Fréon
In this lesson students become familiar with several types of tests used to measure the environmental effects of hazardous waste pollution. In the process, they learn that no single assessment procedure is applicable to all ecosystems and no single test is adequate to assess pollution impacts on an entire ecosystem. They also examine a case study of a tidal bay and discuss the limitations of current ecosystem assessment methods for establishing cause-and-effect relationships, especially for mixtures of chemicals in the environment.
The Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack explores the unique and diverse ecosystem of the coral reef. The focus is on Standards and Benchmarks related to populations and ecosystems using coral reefs and their immediate environment as an example. Because the Standards and Benchmarks present the concepts of populations and ecosystems generically, without reference to a specific ecosystem or the organisms in the system, coral reefs are used to provide the context through which concepts in a marine ecosystem are explored.In addition to comprehensive inquiry-based learning materials tied to Science Education Standards and Benchmarks, the SciPack includes the following additional components:ï¿½ Pedagogical Implications section addressing common misconceptions, teaching resources and strand maps linking grade band appropriate content to standards. ï¿½ Access to one-on-one support via e-mail to content "Wizards".ï¿½ Final Assessment which can be used to certify mastery of the concepts.Learning Outcomes:Coral Reef Ecosystems: The Living Reefï¿½ Identify coral polyp structures and describe their functions.ï¿½ Describe photosynthesis in the coral environment.ï¿½ Describe the evolution of a typical reef system.ï¿½ Use the shape of an individual coral to identify its common name, and classify entire coral reef ecosystems based on shape and location. ï¿½ Describe the process of coral polyp reproduction and growth.ï¿½ Identify how the features and/or behavioral strategies of coral reef inhabitants enable them to survive in coral reef environments.Coral Reef Ecosystems: The Abiotic Settingï¿½ Identify the characteristics of an ecosystem, and describe the interdependence between biotic and abiotic features in an ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe how the following abiotic factors provide coral with the energy needed to survive and grow within their ecosystem: sunlight, water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.ï¿½ Describe the optimal environmental conditions for coral reef growth, and explain the process of coral reef development (including the role of available sunlight and calcium).ï¿½ Explain how the following environmental factors might affect coral ecosystems: increase in dissolved CO2, changes in global temperatures, increase in ocean water turbidity through water pollution.Coral Reef Ecosystems: Interdependenceï¿½ Identify and label key components of food chains and food webs in a coral reef ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe key relationships among plants and animals in the coral reef ecosystem: predator and prey relationships, producer and consumer relationships, and symbiotic relationships (mutualism, commensalisms, parasitism).ï¿½ Recognize the direction that energy travels through food chains and food webs.ï¿½ Explain that materials (chemical elements) and natural resources are recycled in coral reef ecosystems and reappear in different forms.ï¿½ Describe the primary ecological succession events within a typical coral reef ecosystem.Coral Reef Ecosystems: Ecosystems in Crisisï¿½ Describe ways in which human activities directly impact coral reef ecosystems (resource and recreational uses).ï¿½ Describe ways in which human activities indirectly impact coral reef ecosystems (by changing the physical conditions, pollution, changes in the water chemistry, etc.).ï¿½ Explain how human activity may decrease the reefs ability to recover from natural occurrences. ï¿½ Explain the effects of increased predation or disease on a reef ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe the effect of habitat loss on the reef ecosystem.ï¿½ Describe the effects of weather and climate change on a healthy and weakened reef ecosystem.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
The Clean Water Act and its subsequent amendments recognize the importance of protecting biological integrity, a concept synonymous with preserving structure and function within lotic ecosystems. This research will improve current taxonomically based risk assessment models,...
The Pacific Northwest Coastal Ecosystems Regional Study (PNCERS) is a joint effort of the Oregon Coastal Management Program, the Washington Sea Grant Program, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), PNCERS conducts research and outreach projects in the nearshore and estuarine ecosystems of the Pacific Coast. The PNCERS homepage includes a brief overview of current projects, metadata from several projects, PNCERS publications, and a selection of useful links.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with support from NatureServe, has modeled the potential distribution of 419 terrestrial ecosystems for the conterminous United States using a comprehensive biophysical stratification approach that identifies distinct biophysical environments and associates them with known vegetation distributions (Sayre and others, 2009). This standardized ecosystem mapping effort used an ecosystems classification developed by NatureServe (Comer and others, 2003). The ecosystem mapping methodology was developed for South America (Sayre and others, 2008) and is now being implemented globally (Sayre and others, 2007). The biophysical stratification approach is based on mapping the major structural components of ecosystems (land surface forms, topographic moisture potential, surficial lithology, isobioclimates and biogeographic regions) and then spatially combining them to produce a set of unique biophysical environments. These physically distinct areas are considered as the fundamental structural units ('building blocks') of ecosystems, and are subsequently aggregated and labeled using the NatureServe classification. The structural footprints were developed from the geospatial union of several base layers including biogeographic regions, isobioclimates (Cress and others, 2009a), land surface forms (Cress and others, 2009b), topographic moisture potential (Cress and others, 2009c), and surficial lithology (Cress and others, in press). Among the 49,168 unique structural footprint classes that resulted from the union, 13,482 classes met a minimum pixel count threshold (20,000 pixels) and were aggregated into 419 NatureServe ecosystems using a semiautomated labeling process based on rule-set formulations for attribution of each ecosystem. The resulting ecosystems are those that are expected to occur based on the combination of the bioclimate, biogeography, and geomorphology. Where land use by humans has not altered land cover, natural vegetation assemblages are expected to occur, and these are described in the ecosystems classification. The map does not show the distribution of urban and agricultural areas - these will be masked out in subsequent analyses to depict the current land cover in addition to the potential distribution of natural ecosystems. This map depicts the smoothed and generalized image of the terrestrial ecosystems dataset. Additional information about this map and any data developed for the ecosystems modeling of the conterminous United States is available online at: http://rmgsc.cr.usgs.gov/ecosystems/.
Sayre, Roger; Comer, Patrick; Cress, Jill; Warner, Harumi
This lesson, provided by Science NetLinks, teaches students the importance of healthy ecosystems by investigating the example of natural water purification. Students will learn how ecosystems remove pollution from the water and how much it costs humans to do this artificially once ecosystems are no longer healthy. The class will then create a "River Newspaper" reporting on the condition of the local environment.
Even as public interest programming on television seems to constitute less and less of the average programming schedule, there remain a few bright spots on the dial. One such program is California Connected, which is a public affairs television show that focuses on issues throughout the state of California. The program is produced through a collaboration of four of the state's PBS stations, along with generous assistance from a number of foundations, including The Annenberg Foundation. Visitors can view each show in its entirety on the site, and they may also want to browse the archives, which date back to 2002. There are a number of compelling programs here, including episodes on the efforts to create a solar-hydrogen fuel system and the state of California's biotech industry. If users of the site wish to search the contents of the archive by keyword or topic, they may do so here as well.
Climate-driven range shifts are ongoing in pelagic marine environments, and ecosystems must respond to combined effects of altered species distributions and environmental drivers. Hypoxic oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in midwater environments are shoaling globally; this can affect distributions of species both geographically and vertically along with predator-prey dynamics. Humboldt (jumbo) squid (Dosidicus gigas) are highly migratory predators adapted to hypoxic conditions that may be deleterious to their competitors and predators. Consequently, OMZ shoaling may preferentially facilitate foraging opportunities for Humboldt squid. With two separate modeling approaches using unique, long-term data based on in situ observations of predator, prey, and environmental variables, our analyses suggest that Humboldt squid are indirectly affected by OMZ shoaling through effects on a primary food source, myctophid fishes. Our results suggest that this indirect linkage between hypoxia and foraging is an important driver of the ongoing range expansion of Humboldt squid in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. PMID:24443361
Stewart, Julia S; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Foley, David G; Gilly, William F; Robison, Bruce H; Field, John C
Artificial selection has been practiced for centuries to shape the properties of individual organisms, providing Darwin with a powerful argument for his theory of natural selection. We show that the properties of whole ecosystems can also be shaped by artificial selection procedures. Ecosystems initiated in the laboratory vary phenotypically and a proportion of the variation is heritable, despite the fact that the ecosystems initially are composed of thousands of species and millions of individuals. Artificial ecosystem selection can be used for practical purposes, illustrates an important role for complex interactions in evolution, and challenges a widespread belief that selection is most effective at lower levels of the biological hierarchy.
Swenson, William; Wilson, David Sloan; Elias, Roberta
This paper presents an assessment of current natural hydro-biological resources in Lijiang River, Guangxi, China. Previous investigations and evaluations in 1974-1976 and 1980- 1982 were compared to determine possible improvement in aquatic ecosystem of the river. The assessment results under current condition of the river demonstrated that natural hydro- biological resources and the diversity of the ecosystem of the main
Xianggui Zhao; Roy R. Gu
The US Environmental Protection Agency presents this comprehensive dataset for northern California as part of a pilot study for its Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). EMAP offers easy-to-use, GIS-based land use and environmental data designed to help resource managers better "understand and assess the status and trends in the condition of our ecological resources and the stressors affecting these systems." The northern California dataset includes detailed maps and information on hydrography, land cover, roads, vegetation, soils, land ownership, and so on -- all of which may be downloaded.
Reserves are often designed to protect rare habitats, or "typical" exemplars of ecoregions and geomorphic provinces. This approach focuses on current patterns of organismal and ecosystem-level biodiversity, but typically ignores the evolutionary processes that control the gain and loss of biodiversity at these and other levels (e.g., genetic, ecological). In order to include evolutionary processes in conservation planning efforts, their spatial components must first be identified and mapped. We describe a GIS-based approach for explicitly mapping patterns of genetic divergence and diversity for multiple species (a "multi-species genetic landscape"). Using this approach, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA datasets from 21 vertebrate and invertebrate species in southern California to identify areas with common phylogeographic breaks and high intrapopulation diversity. The result is an evolutionary framework for southern California within which patterns of genetic diversity can be analyzed in the context of historical processes, future evolutionary potential and current reserve design. Our multi-species genetic landscapes pinpoint six hotspots where interpopulation genetic divergence is consistently high, five evolutionary hotspots within which genetic connectivity is high, and three hotspots where intrapopulation genetic diversity is high. These 14 hotspots can be grouped into eight geographic areas, of which five largely are unprotected at this time. The multi-species genetic landscape approach may provide an avenue to readily incorporate measures of evolutionary process into GIS-based systematic conservation assessment and land-use planning.
Vandergast, A. G.; Bohonak, A. J.; Hathaway, S. A.; Boys, J.; Fisher, R. N.
The hydroelectric power potential of California was examined and the problems related to the development of that potential reviewed. The generating capacity of 173 existing conventional hydro power plants is 8500 MWe. Conventional hydroelectric power development is expected to add between 0.2 and 0.4 quads (20 x 10â¹ to 40 x 10â¹ kWh) per year to the current hydroelectric supply
The effect of Governor Jerry Brown on the solar industry in California is reviewed. It is pointed out that currently there are 7000 solar businesses; before Gov. Brown's administration there were virtually none. The effect of Gov. Brown's administration on the use of solar and renewable energy sources, as well as energy conservation are reviewed. Specific topics include: (1) political action; (2) business sense; (3) increased competition; (4) marketing; and (5) consumer protection. (MJJ)
Nonlinear models of ecosystem dynamics that incorporate positive feedbacks and multiple, internally reinforced states have considerable explanatory power. However, linear models may be adequate, particularly if ecosystem behaviour is primarily controlled by external processes. In lake ecosystems, internal (mainly biotic) processes are thought to have major impacts on system behaviour, whereas in rivers, external (mainly physical) factors have traditionally been emphasized. We consider the hypothesis that models that exhibit multiple states are useful for understanding the behaviour of lake ecosystems, but not as useful for understanding stream ecosystems. Some of the best-known examples of multiple states come from lake ecosystems. We review some of these examples, and we also describe examples of multiple states in rivers. We conclude that the hypothesis is an oversimplification; the importance of physical forcing in rivers does not eliminate the possibility of internal feedbacks that create multiple states, although in rivers these feedbacks are likely to include physical as well as biotic processes. Nonlinear behaviour in aquatic ecosystems may be more common than current theory indicates.
Dent, C Lisa; Cumming, Graeme S; Carpenter, Stephen R
This peer-reviewed article from the November 2007 issue of BioScience examines conservation strategies to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services.Habitat destruction has driven much of the current biodiversity extinction crisis, and it compromises the essential benefits, or ecosystem services, that humans derive from functioning ecosystems. Securing both species and ecosystem services might be accomplished with common solutions. Yet it is unknown whether these two major conservation objectives coincide broadly enough worldwide to enable global strategies for both goals to gain synergy. In this article, we assess the concordance between these two objectives, explore how the concordance varies across different regions, and examine the global potential for safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services simultaneously. We find that published global priority maps for biodiversity conservation harbor a disproportionate share of estimated terrestrial ecosystem service value (ESV). Overlap of biodiversity priorities and ESV varies among regions, and in areas that have high biodiversity priority but low ESV, specialized conservation approaches are necessary. Overall, however, our findings suggest opportunities for safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sensitivity analyses indicate that results are robust to known limitations of available ESV data. Capitalizing on these opportunities will require the identification of synergies at fine scales, and the development of economic and policy tools to exploit them.
Will Turner (University of the Philippines;World Agroforestry Center); Katrina Brandon (University of the Philippines;World Agroforestry Center); Thomas Brooks (University of the Philippines;World Agroforestry Center); Robert Constanza (University of Vermont;Gund Institute for Ecological Economics); Gustavo da Fonseca (Federal University of Minas Gerais;); Rosimeiry Portela (;)
The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project works "to provide technology, methods, and information to decision-makers, resource managers, and the general public to help support effective science-based management of harmful non-native species in Hawaii and the Pacific." Current and past supporters of the HEAR project include the U.S. Geologic Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, University of Hawaii, National Biological Information Infrastructure-Pacific Basin Information Node, and others. The HEAR website links to a plethora of online resources including: full-text articles and reports, an Alien Species in Hawaii Information Index, A Global Compendium of Weeds, literature references, species fact sheets, numerous images, and more. HEAR also hosts electronic mailing lists, and bulletin boards for both job and general announcements including postings for professional meetings, and research grant opportunities.
This paper calculates the optimal gasoline tax for the state of California. According to our analysis, the optimal gasoline tax in California is $1.37\\/gallon, which is over 3 times the current California tax when excluding sales taxes. The Pigovian tax is the largest part of this tax, comprising $0.85\\/gallon. Of this, the congestion externality is taxed the most heavily, at
Y. Cynthia Lin; Lea Prince
Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environment, and the academic library could be considered to be an ecosystem, i.e., a "biological organization" in which multiple species must interact, both with one another and with their environment. The metaphor of the library as ecosystem is flexible enough to be applied not
This site provides information about the six ecosystems on which life on Earth most heavily depends: agricultural, forest, freshwater, grassland, coastal, and urban. It is part of a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) project, which includes a discussion guide. Ecosystems are described as communities of interacting organisms and the physical environment in which they live. The goods and services that ecosystems provide are said to form the foundation of human economies. Ecosystems purify air and water, help to control climate, and produce valuable soil-services. Site users may access a discussion guide to accompany the broadcast of the video/television program, which can be used in colleges, secondary schools, and in community groups. Case studies are taken from the companion book, World Resources 2000-2001: Ecosystems and People: The Fraying Web of Life, and from Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Agroecosystems (World Resources Institute). This online text includes profiles, case studies, and ecosystem assessments with references to ecosystems around the world. A list of additional resources includes links to environmental organizations, books, and periodicals.
Mock, Gregory; Vanasselt, Wendy
Climate-induced changes in ecosystems have been both modeled and documented extensively over the past 15-20 years. Those changes occur in the context of many other stresses and interacting factors, but it is clear that many, if not most, ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate.
Janetos, Anthony C.
This resource explains how energy and pollutants move through an ecosystem, how ecosystems are balanced and how they may be affected by human activities. Concepts described include the roles of organisms, food chains and food webs, pyramids of biomass, biological magnification, and biogeochemical cycles such as water, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles.
The Science Curriculum Improvement Study has developed this teacher's guide to "Ecosystems," the sixth part of a six unit life science curriculum sequence. The six basic units, emphasizing organism-environment interactions, are organisms, life cycles, populations, environments, communities, and ecosystems. They make use of scientific and
California Univ., Berkeley. Science Curriculum Improvement Study.
This article outlines an approach, based on ecosystem services, for assessing the trade-offs inherent in managing humans embedded in ecological systems. Evaluating these trade-offs requires an understanding of the biophysical magnitudes of the changes in ecosystem services that result from human actions, and of the impact of these changes on human welfare. We summarize the state of the art of
STEPHEN FARBER; ROBERT COSTANZA; DANIEL L. CHILDERS; JON ERICKSON; KATHERINE GROSS; MORGAN GROVE; CHARLES S. HOPKINSON; JAMES KAHN; STEPHANIE PINCETL; AUSTIN TROY; PAIGE WARREN; MATTHEW WILSON
Ecosystem management is widely proposed in the popular and professional literature as the modern and preferred way of managing natural resources and ecosystems. Advocates glowingly describe ecosystem management as an approach that will protect the environment, maintain healthy ec...
This report defines ecosystem services as a strategy for the conservation of biodiversity. The production of ecosystem goods as it relates to the generation and maintenance of biodiversity is described. Ecosystem services such as flood and drought mitigation, services supplied by soil, pollination, pest control, and seed dispersal are described. Threats to ecosystem services are discussed, as well as their aesthetic, intellectual, and spiritual values. Issues in Ecology is an ongoing series of reports designed to present major ecological issues in an easy-to-read manner. This Issue summarizes the consensus of a panel of scientific experts based on the information that was current and available at the time of its publication in 1997.
Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures. PMID:24756001
Harfoot, Michael B J; Newbold, Tim; Tittensor, Derek P; Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purves, Drew W
Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures.
Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J.; Scharlemann, Jorn P. W.; Purves, Drew W.
This peer-reviewed article from BioScience is on the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Current assessments of climate-change effects on ecosystems use two key approaches: (1) empirical synthesis and modeling of species range shifts and life-cycle processes that coincide with recent evidence of climate warming, from which scenarios of ecosystem change are inferred; and (2) experiments examining plant-soil interactions under simulated climate warming. Both kinds of assessment offer indisputable evidence that climate change and its effects on ecosystems are ongoing. However, both approaches often provide conservative estimates of the effects of climate change on ecosystems, because they do not consider the interplay and feedback among higher trophic levels in ecosystems, which may have a large effect on plant species composition and on ecosystem services such as productivity. Understanding the impacts of these top-down processes on ecosystems is critical for determining large-scale ecosystem response to climate change. Using examples of links between climate forcing, trophic interactions, and changes in ecosystem state in selected terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems, we show that the ability to understand and accurately forecast future effects of climate change requires an integrated perspective, linking climate and the biotic components of the ecosystem as a whole.
OSWALD J. SCHMITZ, ERIC POST, CATHERINE E. BURNS, and KEVIN M. JOHNSTON (;)
Military installations face increasing competition for important natural resources that provide ecosystem services not captured by current economic methods of valuation. Ecosystems naturally assimilate waste, attenuate noise, form soil, control erosion, r...
E. Keysar W. D. Goran
This new site from the California State Lands Commission offers a nice collection of resources for actual or armchair underwater archaeologists. The core of the site is a database of over 1500 California shipwrecks, searchable by keyword in twelve fields. Search returns include ship's name, type, years built and sunk, cause, owner, captain, length, beam, tonnage, engine, and county. The other major feature at the site is an exhibition on the wreck and recovery of the Brother Jonathan. The exhibit includes the story of the ship and its specifications, a passenger list, a photo exhibit of artifacts and video of the wreck, and some comments on the significance of the archaeological remains. Other sections of the site include brief articles on the sinking of eight ships, video and audio clips, and links to related sites.
The NASA Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) is a modeling framework that integrates satellite observations, meteorological observations, and ancillary data to support monitoring and modeling of ecosystem and land surface conditions in near real-time. TOPS provides spatially continuous gridded estimates of a suite of measurements describing environmental conditions, and these data products are currently being applied to support the development of new models capable of forecasting estimated mosquito abundance and transmission risk for mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus. We present results from the modeling analyses, describe their incorporation into the California Vectorborne Disease Surveillance System, and describe possible implications of projected climate and land use change for patterns in mosquito abundance and transmission risk for West Nile virus in California.
Melton, F.; Barker, C.; Park, B.; Reisen, W.; Michaelis, A.; Wang, W.; Hashimoto, H.; Milesi, C.; Hiatt, S.; Nemani, R.
The National Geographic Education website has a number of sections dedicated to different areas within the natural sciences. This particular section brings together all manner of educational resources related to ecosystems. On the site, visitors can dive in via the Latest Updates for Ecosystems. Here they can learn how to explore the profiled ecosystems via a range of GIS tools. Visitors can use the filters on the site to look over the resources by Type, Grades & Ages, Intended Audience, and Subjects. Visitors shouldn't miss looking over features like the Amazon Gold Mine, Back to the Bottom, and African Savanna.
The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) is in the process of developing drought early warning systems in areas of the U.S. where the coordination of drought information is critically needed. These regional drought early warning systems will become the backbone of a national drought early warning information system. Plans for the first drought early warning system started in the fall of 2008 in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), with an initial focus on the water supply in the head waters region of the Colorado River and the impacts of changes in the water supply on the UCRB. Since the establishment of the UCRB drought early warning system, other regional programs have begun in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, four regions in the state of California, the Southern Plains, and the Four Corners region. (At this time these are considered pilot drought early warning programs, not full-fledged drought early warning systems such as the UCRB.) Activities in each of these regions are tailored to the needs of stakeholders, and all incorporate hydrometeorological predictions. However, in all of these areas NIDIS has not focused on the specific needs of coastal ecosystems during times of drought. Over the past year, NIDIS has started a pilot drought early warning system that addresses drought in the coastal ecosystems of North and South Carolina. This pilot is being developed in partnership with the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), a NOAA Regional Sciences and Assessments program housed at the University of South Carolina. Currently the focus of the Carolinas pilot includes the promotion of enhanced drought impact reporting to better understand the impacts of low flows on coastal ecosystems and the development of a USGS real-time salinity network for a few coastal gage stations in the Carolinas. The roles of the enhanced drought impact assessments in coastal ecosystems and the knowledge gained from a real-time salinity index in drought early warning will be presented.
Darby, L. S.; Dow, K.; Lackstrom, K.; Brennan, A.; Tufford, D. L.; Conrads, P.; Pulwarty, R. S.; Webb, R. S.; Verdin, J. P.; Mcnutt, C. A.; Deheza, V.
This report looks beyond waves and explores the probability that waves, currents, sediments and tides self-organize into a rip current-beach cusp coupled system to create a beach condition which endangers the lives of beach bathers. The coastal geography of Baker Beach is described, and information given on how, why, and where the greatest dangers occur.
Francis James Smith
Eruptive History and Chemical Evolution of the Precaldera and Postcaldera Basalt-Dacite Sequences, Long Valley, California: Implications for Magma Sources, Current Seismic Unrest, and Future Volcanism
The Long Valley Volcanic Field in east-central California straddles the East Sierran frontal fault zone, overlapping the Sierra Nevada and western Basin and Range Provinces. The volcanic field overlies a mature mid-Tertiary erosional surface that truncates a basement composed mainly of Mesozoic plutons and associated roof pendants of Mesozoic metavolcanic and Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks. Long Valley volcanism began about 4 Ma during Pliocene time and has continued intermittently through the Holocene. The volcanism is separable into two basalt-rhyolite episodes: (1) an earlier, precaldera episode related to Long Valley Caldera that climaxed with eruption of the Bishop Tuff and collapse of the caldera; and (2) a later, postcaldera episode structurally related to the north-south-trending Mono-Inyo Craters fissure system, which extends from the vicinity of Mammoth Mountain northward through the west moat of the caldera to Mono Lake. Eruption of the basalt-dacite sequence of the precaldera basalt-rhyolite episode peaked volumetrically between 3.8 and 2.5 Ma; few basalts were erupted during the following 1.8 m.y. (2.5?0.7 Ma). Volcanism during this interval was dominated by eruption of the voluminous rhyolites of Glass Mountain (2.2?0.8 Ma) and formation of the Bishop Tuff magma chamber. Catastrophic rupture of the roof of this magma chamber caused eruption of the Bishop Tuff and collapse of Long Valley Caldera (760 ka), after which rhyolite eruptions resumed on the subsided caldera floor. The earliest postcaldera rhyolite flows (700?500 ka) contain quenched globular basalt enclaves (mafic magmatic inclusions), indicating that basaltic magma had reentered shallow parts of the magmatic system after a 1.8-m.y. hiatus. Later, at about 400 ka, copious basalts, as well as dacites, began erupting from vents mainly in the west moat of the caldera. These later eruptions initiated the postcaldera basalt-rhyolite episode related to the Mono-Inyo Craters fissure system, which has been active through late Pleistocene and Holocene time.
Bailey, Roy A.
A generalized discussion of mathematical simulation used on the Great Lakes is presented for the layman. Illustrations of model utilization are presented and the complexities of ecosystem simulation are noted.
W. R. Swain
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels, stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.
A protocol and methods for monitoring the major physical, chemical, and biological components of stream ecosystems are presented. The monitoring protocol is organized into four stages. At stage 1 information is obtained on a basic set of parameters that d...
J. C. Davis G. W. Minshall C. T. Robinson P. Landres
Describes the materials and laboratory techniques for the study of food chains and food webs, pyramids of numbers and biomass, energy pyramids, and oxygen gradients. Presents a procedure for investigating the effects of various pollutants on an entire ecosystem. (GS)
In this interactive activity adapted from the University of Alberta, identify the living and nonliving things in an ecosystem. Then look further at the living things to identify the producers, the consumers, and examples of mimicry.
Foundation, Wgbh E.
Northeastern lakes provide valuable ecosystem services that benefit residents and visitors and are increasingly important for provisioning of recreational opportunities and amenities. Concurrently, however, population growth threatens lakes by, for instance, increasing nutrient ...
This unit, designed to span two class periods, helps students understand that physical factors, particularly temperature and precipitation, limit the growth of plant ecosystems. The activity begins with a discussion in which students develop their own ideas about the role of temperature, precipitation, and environment on plant growth. They will then examine X-Y graphs of vegetation growth, temperature, and precipitation versus month for four diverse ecosystems to determine which climatic factor is limiting growth. A worksheet and scoring rubric are provided.
In this ecology activity, learners make a model water-based ecosystem called a terraqua column. The column (in a large soda bottle) includes pond water, duckweed, sand or gravel, and small snails. Learners observe what happens in their living model and consider such questions as what happens to animals and plants when humans harm an ecosystem. This activity is aligned to National Science Standards (NS.5-8.3 Life Science).
National 4-H Council
As a means of developing reliable estimates of ecosystem productivity, ecosystem classification needs to be placed within a geographical framework of regions or zones. This paper explains the basis for the regions delineated on the 1976 mapEcoregions of the United States. Four ecological levels are discusseddomain, division, province, and sectionbased on climatic and vegetational criteria. Statistical tests are needed to
Robert G. Bailey; Fort Collins
\\u000a Hypoxia is one of the common effects of eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems and is becoming an increasingly prevalent\\u000a problem worldwide. The causes of hypoxia are associated with excess nutrient inputs from both point and non-point sources,\\u000a although the response of coastal marine ecosystems is strongly modulated by physical processes such as stratification and\\u000a mixing. Changes in climate, particularly temperature,
Daniel J. Conley; Jacob Carstensen; Raquel Vaquer-Sunyer; Carlos M. Duarte
Hypoxia is one of the common effects of eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems and is becoming an increasingly prevalent\\u000a problem worldwide. The causes of hypoxia are associated with excess nutrient inputs from both point and non-point sources,\\u000a although the response of coastal marine ecosystems is strongly modulated by physical processes such as stratification and\\u000a mixing. Changes in climate, particularly temperature,
Daniel J. Conley; Jacob Carstensen; Raquel Vaquer-Sunyer; Carlos M. Duarte
As atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, other resources become even more limiting to plants and the wildland ecosystems they support. Traditionally, California Mediterranean-type ecosystems are limited by water, then N. In these ecosystems, CO2 enrichment causes a minor increase in production associated with enhanced water-use efficiency, but N rapidly becomes the limiting factor to both production and to soil organism dynamics. In urbanizing areas, such as southern California, strong gradients in NOx deposition are also created by vehicular pollution. We have studied the regulation of N uptake by mycorrhizae in Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) using information with natural abundance from the early 1900s, current plants and fungi, and modeling change. Contrasts were made from a high NOx deposition site, a low deposition site, and a site where NOx deposition is rapidly increasing. We examined natural abundance ?15 N of current and past plant material (leaves, wood), mycorrhizal and saprobic fungal fruiting bodies, and soil. We modeled relative N uptake, fractionation, and transport between soil, fungus and plant. Our data show complex interactions between increasing NOx deposition and increasing atmospheric CO2 on mycorrhizal-plant interactions. There is a significant shift in N sources and reduction upon mycorrhizae with NOx deposition. However, the elevated CO2 appears to also have created a greater N demand on the trees, increasing dependence on mycorrhizae and the ability of the fungi to acquire organic N and NH4. The individual fungal species differ among sites, but complex trends between fungal genera and trees can be seen. Projections of increasing atmospheric CO2 and regional NOx deposition suggest strong but complex gradients in fungal-oak interactions with decreasing dependence on mycorrhizae near urbanizing areas, mediated by the rate of increasing CO2 and inorganic NOx deposition, and paradoxically, increasing dependency on mycorrhizae and organic N acquisition in lower N deposition areas.
Hasselquist, N.; Allen, M.
The SBSPRP is an extensive tidal wetland restoration project that is underway at the margin of South San Francisco Bay, California. The Project, which aims to restore former salt ponds to tidal marsh and manage other ponds for water bird support, is taking place in the context of a highly urbanized watershed and an Estuary already impacted by chemical contaminants. There is an intimate relationship between water quality in the watershed, the Bay, and the transitional wetland areas where the Project is located. The Project seeks to restore habitat for endangered and endemic species and to provide recreational opportunities for people. Therefore, water quality and bioaccumulation of contaminants in fish and wildlife is an important concern for the success of the Project. Mercury, PCBs, and PBDEs are the persistent contaminants of greatest concern in the region. All of these contaminants are present at elevated concentrations both in the abiotic environment and in wildlife. Dioxins, pyrethroids, PAHs, and selenium are also problematic. Organochlorine insecticides have historically impacted the Bay, and they remain above thresholds for concern in a small proportion of samples. Emerging contaminants, such as PFCs and non-PBDE flame retardants, are also an important water quality issue. Beyond chemical pollutants, other concerns for water quality in South San Francisco Bay exist, and include biological constituents, especially invasive species, and chemical attributes, such as dissolved oxygen and salinity. Future changes, both from within the Project and from the Bay and watershed, are likely to influence water quality in the region. Project actions to restore wetlands could worsen, improve, or not affect the already impaired water quality in South Bay. Accelerated erosion of buried sediment as a consequence of Project restoration actions is a potentially serious regional threat to South Bay water and sediment quality. Furthermore, the planned restoration of salt ponds to tidal marsh has raised concerns about possible increased net production of methylmercury and its subsequent accumulation in the food web. This concern applies not only to the restored marshes, but also to the South Bay as a whole, which could be affected on a regional scale. The ponds that are converted to tidal marsh will sequester millions of cubic meters of sediment. Sequestration of sediment in marshes could remove contaminated sediment from the active zone of the Bay but could also create marshes with contaminated food webs. Some of the ponds will not be restored to marsh but will be managed for use by water birds. Therefore, the effect of dense avian populations on eutrophication and the introduction of pathogens should be considered. Water quality in the Project also could be affected by external changes, such as human population growth and climate change. To address these many concerns related to water quality, the SBSPRP managers, and others faced with management of wetland restoration at a regional scale, should practice adaptive management and ongoing monitoring for water quality, particularly monitoring bioaccumulation of contaminants in the food web. PMID:20652671
Grenier, J Letitia; Davis, Jay A
The Ecosystem History Project is designed to integrate studies of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems in South Florida. Projects cover Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, and terrestrial ecosystems. Each project gives an introduction, investigation methods, evidence of past ecosystem changes, and modern distribution of flora and fauna. Recent ecosystem history is based on paleontology, palynology, geochemistry, hydrology, and sedimentology as seen in core samples. There are links to open-file reports, salinity maps, a database, poster presentations, and a Kid's Corner.
Hydropower is an important service provided by ecosystems. We surveyed all the hydropower plants in the Zagunao River Basin, Southwest China. Then, we assessed the hydropower service by using the InVEST (The Integrated Value and Tradeoff of Ecosystem Service Tools) model. Finally, we discussed the impact on ecological compensation. The results showed that: 1) hydropower service value of ecosystems in the Zagunao River Basin is 216.29 Euro/hm(2) on the average, of which the high-value area with more than 475.65 Euro/hm(2) is about 750.37 km(2), accounting for 16.12% of the whole watershed, but it provides 53.47% of the whole watershed service value; 2) ecosystem is an ecological reservoir with a great regulation capacity. Dams cannot completely replace the reservoir water conservation function of ecosystems, and has high economic and environmental costs that must be paid as well. Compensation for water conservation services should become an important basis for ecological compensation of hydropower development. 3) In the current PES cases, the standard of compensation is generally low. Cascade development makes the value of upstream ecosystem services become more prominent, reflecting the differential rent value, and the value of ecosystem services should be based on the distribution of differentiated ecological compensation. PMID:24291631
Fu, B; Wang, Y K; Xu, P; Yan, K; Li, M
Understanding the role of insects in forest ecosystems is vital to the development of environmentally and economically sound pest management strategies in forestry Most of the research on forest insects has been confined to phytophagous species associated with economically important tree species The roles of most other insects in forest environments have generally been ignored, including the natural enemies and associates of phytophagous species identified as being important In the past few years several investigations have begun to reevaluate the role of phytophagous species responsible for perturbation in forest ecosystems, and it appears that these species may be playing an important role in the primary productivity of those ecosystems Also, there is an increasing awareness that forest pest managers have been treating the symptoms and not the causes of the problems in the forest Many insect problems are associated with poor sites or sites where trees are growing poorly because of crowding As a result, there is considerable emphasis on the hazard rating of stands of trees for their susceptibility to various phytophagous insects The next step is to manipulate forest stands to make them less susceptible to forest pest complexes A thinning study in California is used as an example and shows that tree mortality in ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa) attributable to the western pine beetle ( Dendroctonus brevicomis) can be reduced by commercial thinning to reduce stocking
Dahlsten, Donald L.; Rowney, David L.
One of the most conspicuous anthropogenic disturbances to estuaries worldwide has been the alteration of freshwater and tidal\\u000a influence through the construction of water control structures (dikes, tide gates, culverts). Few studies have rigorously\\u000a compared the responses of differing groups of organisms that serve as contrasting conservation targets to such anthropogenic\\u000a disturbances in estuarine ecosystems. Elkhorn Slough in central California
Amy F. Ritter; Kerstin Wasson; Steve I. Lonhart; Rikke K. Preisler; Andrea Woolfolk; Katie A. Griffith; Sarah Connors; Kimberly W. Heiman
California has established a Tsunami Policy Working Group of specialists from government and industry, from diverse fields including tsunami, seismic, and flood hazards, local and regional planning, structural engineering, natural hazard policy, and coastal engineering that have come together to facilitate the development of policy recommendations for tsunami hazard mitigation. The group is acting on findings from two major efforts: the USGS SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) Project - Tsunami Scenario, a comprehensive impact analysis of a large credible tsunami originating from a M 9.0 earthquake on the Aleutian Islands striking California's Coastline, and the State's Tsunami Hazard Mitigation and Education Program carried out by the California Emergency Management Agency and the California Geological Survey. The latter program is currently involved with several projects to help coastal communities reduce their tsunami risk, including two pilot projects (Crescent City in Del Norte County and the City of Huntington Beach in Orange County) where tsunami risk is among the highest in California, and a third pilot study focusing on the maritime community. The pilot projects are developing and testing probabilistic tsunami hazard products that will assist land-use and construction decisions for coastal development. The role of the policy group is to identify gaps and issues in current tsunami hazard mitigation, make recommendations that will help eliminate these impediments and to provide advice that will assist in the development and implementation of effective tsunami hazard products that will help coastal communities improve tsunami resiliency.
Real, C. R.; Johnson, L. A.
One of the most important features of biosystems is how they are able to maintain local order (low entropy) within their system boundaries. At the ecosystem scale, this organization can be observed in the thermodynamic parameters that describe it, such that these parameters can be used to track ecosystem growth and development during succession. Thermodynamically, ecosystem growth is the increase of energy throughflow and stored biomass, and ecosystem development is the internal reorganization of these energy mass stores, which affect transfers, transformations, and time lags within the system. Several proposed hypotheses describe thermodynamically the orientation or natural tendency that ecosystems follow during succession, and here, we consider five: minimize specific entropy production, maximize dissipation, maximize exergy storage (includes biomass and information), maximize energy throughflow, and maximize retention time. These thermodynamic orientors were previously all shown to occur to some degree during succession, and here we present a refinement by observing them during different stages of succession. We view ecosystem succession as a series of four growth and development stages: boundary, structural, network, and informational. We demonstrate how each of these ecological thermodynamic orientors behaves during the different growth and development stages, and show that while all apply during some stages only maximizing energy throughflow and maximizing exergy storage are applicable during all four stages. Therefore, we conclude that the movement away from thermodynamic equilibrium, and the subsequent increase in organization during ecosystem growth and development, is a result of system components and configurations that maximize the flux of useful energy and the amount of stored exergy. Empirical data and theoretical models support these conclusions. PMID:15527958
Fath, Brian D; Jørgensen, Sven E; Patten, Bernard C; Straskraba, Milan
Current knowledge concerning decomposer Basidiomycota in Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems is based on two sources: (a) collections and surveys of basidiomata, which have resulted in high-quality catalogues of species, although much of the species distribution and ecology are tentative and (b) isolations from soils and plant litter which typically result in a low incidence of basidiomycetes [Dowding, P., Widden, P.,
Katherine E. Ludley; Clare H. Robinson
This document was developed in response to California Senate Bill No. 885, "The Endangered Species Education Project," that called for a statewide program in which schools adopt a local endangered species, research past and current efforts to preserve the species' habitat, develop and implement an action plan to educate the community about the
California State Dept. of Education, Los Angeles.