We examined effects of inputs from agricultural or wetland dominated watersheds on water quality parameters that benefit food web production in the Cache-Lindsey Slough Complex in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of the San Francisco Estuary, California. We hypothesized that these novel input sources facilitate beneficial ecological processes from winter through spring with lasting food web effects through summer months and that large-scale water withdrawals reduce the ecological benefits of these inputs. Our results indicate that upstream slough sites were highest in conductivity, nutrients, chlorophyll-α, and zooplankton concentrations compared to downstream slough sites. There were distinct water quality and zooplankton signatures observed between the Cache and Lindsey sloughs relative to the timing and origin of seasonal upland flows and summer water withdrawals. Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling and Generalized Linear Models suggest that there are key drivers in phytoplankton and zooplankton production between the complexes - nutrient loading in upper Cache Slough produces considerable blooms while Lindsey Slough is predominately nutrient limited. Our findings imply that water conductivity is a key indicator for identifying regions that support substantial plankton blooms and that inputs from agricultural dominated watersheds may provide beneficial nutrient loading that facilitates food web processes. Enhancing the understanding of the linkages between natural and anthropogenic upland flows and slough water quality will provide valuable guidelines for future restoration projects and management applications.
|Advisor:||Rypel, Andrew L.|
|Commitee:||Durand, John R., Moyle, Peter B.|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Water Resources Management|
|Keywords:||Agricultural landscape, Novel ecosystem, Restoration, Water management, Watershed science, Zooplankton, California, Estuarine wetlands|
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