Culverts are ubiquitous in urban and natural environments, installed to provide road access and erosion control, but often impact fish movements in freshwater habitats. Effects of culverts on marine and estuarine fish are not well-studied. This study aimed to understand the potential impacts of a culvert, which connects a large tidal bay and a coastal lagoon, on the movements of several species of fish. Habitat characteristics of both sites were analyzed to better understand these movements, including water parameters, sediment characteristics, and zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrate, and small fish communities. The two habitats differed in terms of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, zooplankton abundance, and community composition of zooplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and small fish. The culvert and associated grate limited large fish from moving between the two habitats likely due to body size and other morphological characteristics. Removing this barrier and replacing it with an open channel would increase connectivity between these two habitats which could improve trophic quality in the lagoon habitat and increase functionality overall.
|Advisor:||Whitcraft, Christine R., Lowe, Christopher G.|
|Commitee:||Allen, Bengt J.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Ecology, Conservation biology|
|Keywords:||Coastal wetland, Culverts, Habitat connectivity, Pit tags|
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