Description

Abstract: Southern California's wetlands are drastically declining due to human activities. Increasingly, marsh restoration and creation are being used to mitigate such losses. This study used minnow traps to resample the ichthyofauna of a created marsh (Crown Point Mitigation Site; CPMS) and an adjacent natural marsh (Kendall Frost) in Mission Bay, California, 26 years following the marsh creation. These data were compared to data collected from 1995-1998, immediately after marsh creation. Fishes trapped included Fundulus parvipinnis, Gillichthys mirabilis, Ctenogobius sagittula, Atherinops affinis, and Mugil cephalus. Species richness and dominance measures were higher in the natural relative to the created marsh. The size-structure of F. parvipinnis in the natural marsh was skewed towards larger sizes relative to those in the created marsh. These size differences are the opposite of those noted in the years immediately following marsh creation and appear to arise from differences in creek morphology between the created and natural systems, with the created marsh having become shallower through time. The differences in size-structure and species richness between the created and natural systems suggest that marsh and creek geomorphology may affect the suitability of habitat for resident fishes, and so should be considered when designing marsh restoration projects.

COinS
 

Ichthyofaunal Utilization of a Man-Made Salt Marsh Creek in Mission Bay, California, 25 Years After Creation

Abstract: Southern California's wetlands are drastically declining due to human activities. Increasingly, marsh restoration and creation are being used to mitigate such losses. This study used minnow traps to resample the ichthyofauna of a created marsh (Crown Point Mitigation Site; CPMS) and an adjacent natural marsh (Kendall Frost) in Mission Bay, California, 26 years following the marsh creation. These data were compared to data collected from 1995-1998, immediately after marsh creation. Fishes trapped included Fundulus parvipinnis, Gillichthys mirabilis, Ctenogobius sagittula, Atherinops affinis, and Mugil cephalus. Species richness and dominance measures were higher in the natural relative to the created marsh. The size-structure of F. parvipinnis in the natural marsh was skewed towards larger sizes relative to those in the created marsh. These size differences are the opposite of those noted in the years immediately following marsh creation and appear to arise from differences in creek morphology between the created and natural systems, with the created marsh having become shallower through time. The differences in size-structure and species richness between the created and natural systems suggest that marsh and creek geomorphology may affect the suitability of habitat for resident fishes, and so should be considered when designing marsh restoration projects.

 

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