Accession Number : ADA322690

Title :   The Ecology of the Soft-Bottom Benthos of San Francisco Bay: A Community Profile.

Descriptive Note : Biological rept.,

Corporate Author : GEOLOGICAL SURVEY MENLO PARK CA WATER RESOURCES DIV

Personal Author(s) : Nichols, Frederic H. ; Pamatmat, Mario M.

PDF Url : ADA322690

Report Date : SEP 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 86

Abstract : Benthic species composition in San Francisco Bay reflects the highly variable environment and the predominance of introduced species. Species abundances vary greatly with season, reflecting both intrinsic (reproduction/mortality) and extrinsic (salinity, sedimentation, wind) factors. Larger year-to-year variations appear associated with climatic patterns and unusual climatic events. Filter feeders predominate, with growth in some species linked to the availability of microalgae. They may prevent the growth of nuisance algal blooms. Benthic invertebrates are, in turn, food for fish, aquatic birds, and humans. Sediments and organisms are contaminated with wastes, but effects at the population level (declines in abundance) or community level (changes in species composition) are not easily distinguished from natural variability. Permanent effects of freshwater diversion or dredging on benthic community structure have not been detected. Shellfish harvesting, once commercially prominent, is restricted to sports digging of two introduced clam species. The renewal of commercial oyster growing, now being considered, requires resolution of contamination issues. The future management of the estuary's benthic resources depends on increased awareness of the need to protect and enhance these resources, on increased commitments to estuarine research, and on improved strategies for overcoming human-induced problems.

Descriptors :   *NATURAL RESOURCES, *RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, *ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, *HABITATS, *AQUATIC ORGANISMS, *ECOLOGY, *BENTHONIC ZONES, COMMUNITIES, HUMANS, WATER, POPULATION, FRESH WATER, CLIMATE, PATTERNS, CONTAMINATION, SALINITY, BIRDS, INVERTEBRATES, FOOD, DREDGING, AWARENESS, SEDIMENTATION, FISHES, ALGAE, SEASONS, GROWTH(PHYSIOLOGY), SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CLAMS, ESTUARIES, OYSTERS.

Subject Categories : Biology
      Ecology
      Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE