|Deploying the seine via kayak.|
Today’s late post is delightfully due to my day of field work for a project underway in the CSULB Wetlands Lab. That’s right, I love biology so much that I spend my spring break away from my lab…working with another lab. However, today was a special treat for me as I was able to go out and work in one of the wetland areas that is currently being monitored after restoration. When I go ‘into the field’ for my research, it usually means a quick drive to the greenhouse to check on algae cultures. While my situation is incredibly convenient, it still doesn’t compare to a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to spend the morning and afternoon seining fish.
Seine is pretty much fancy ichthyologist talk for corralling fish into a net and bringing them up to identify, measure, and count. Ichthyologist is pretty much fancy biologist talk for weird (yet, awesome) people who are really into studying fish all the time.
|Gathering up the net very carefully. Don’t want any fish to escape!|
Today’s site, Magnolia Marsh, is owned and managed by the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy as part of an attempt to acquire and restore the remaining coastal wetlands in Huntington Beach. Between 1970 and 1989, 90% of California’s naturally occurring tidal wetlands have been destroyed by human influences (Dahl, 1990). Restoration of this marsh began in April 2009, and restoration of the historical marsh channels and full tidal influence were completed in March 2010.
Monitoring of different species (birds, plants, fish, infauna), in addition to exploring food web structure dynamics is an important part of the restoration project on marsh wetlands. Previous restoration projects can provide insight into the changes you should be able to observe while the effects of the newly restored channels and full tidal influence are occurring. It’s a good way to identify what you’ve done right, and what might need to be done differently in the future.
|An adorable sea slug that has flattened out.|
Other projects by CSULB graduate students in the Huntington Beach Wetlands include:
- examining microbial diversity
- a project exploring the impacts of climate change on restoration
- utilizing a marsh organ to simulate the effects of sea level rise
- fish translocation between restored marshes
- planting strategies in the marshlands
Biologist’s First Sea Slug
Questions of the Day:
What is your favorite marine species?
What sort of field work do you thing astronauts on Mars would do?