Limited information exists on how southern Californian restored estuaries affect fish habitat use. I used the movements of five predatory fishes in two guilds (ambush and roving predators) to assess juvenile habitat use within estuaries and across landscapes at two spatial scales. Translocating fishes between two discrete estuaries located approximately I 0 km apart revealed that connectivity potential between sites differed between foraging guilds. Despite habitat design differences, fishes did not appear to prefer one site over the other. However on a smaller scale (e.g., within a single estuary), differences in microhabitat conditions affected the habitat use by California Halibut (Paralichthys californicus). Individuals selected habitat based on water flow velocity, temperature and eelgrass coverage, but utilized habitat conditions in a size-segregated manner. Since restoration habitat design influences available microhabitat conditions, differences in design likely alters space use within restored estuaries although perhaps not estuary selection itself.
|Advisor:||Lowe, Christopher G.|
|Commitee:||Allen, Bengt J., Whitcraft, Christine R.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Aquatic sciences|
|Keywords:||California, Elasmobranch, Estuary restoration, Fish movements, Foraging connectivity, Paralichthys californicus|
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