Benthic Community Dynamics in Coyote Creek and Artesian Slough, Southern San Francisco Bay, California, May 2016 to March 2018
Benthic invertebrate communities are monitored because the composition of those communities can affect and be affected by the water quality of an aquatic system. Benthic communities use and sometimes regulate the cycling of essential elements (for example, carbon). Benthic invertebrate taxa may also indicate acute and chronic stressors in an environment because they accumulate contaminants and can respond – sometimes dramatically - to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions. Benthic communities affect water quality by grazing pelagic food resources and increasing the rate of nutrient regeneration through feeding and bioturbating sediments. South San Francisco Bay is a system dependent on phytoplankton as the base...
Declining phytoplankton biomass and the resulting stress on the food web has been suggested as one contributor to the decline of Delta Smelt and other fish species in the San Francisco Bay (SFB) and the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta. Filter feeding by two species of bivalves, Corbicula fluminea and Potamocorbula amurensis, has been shown to control phytoplankton growth rate in the SFB and Delta and both are thought to be partially responsible for the reduction in food for pelagic species. Phytoplankton growth rate is dependent on spatially and temporally varying nutrient concentrations, light availability, transport time, and pelagic and benthic grazing losses. Bivalve grazing has the potential to limit primary...
Benthic Communities as Mediators of Water Quality in Lower San Francisco Bay, California (2012-2019)
San Francisco Bay and Estuary is largely urbanized and developed, and the southern bay is the most urbanized with many sources of nutrients, many concerns that the system might become eutrophic, and many questions about how South Bay has maintained its relatively good health. The hypotheses for why South Bay is not eutrophic, where other bays have not been so fortunate, include high bivalve grazing that limits net phytoplankton growth and high turbidity which also limits the phytoplankton growth rate. Understanding the bivalve grazing rates in the south bay includes the necessity of understanding temporal and spatial distributions of bivalves. Despite the critical need to understand all controls on eutrophication,...
Priority Ecosystem Science Program: benthic community and bivalve metrics data in Grizzly Bay and San Pablo Bay (2019-20)
Sediments and sediment transport influence the physical habitat and the ecology of the San Francisco Bay estuary. Bed sediments provide habitat for benthic organisms and the transport of sediment transports nutrients and contaminants throughout the San Francisco Bay. As part of the SF Bay-Delta Priority Ecosystems Science Program project: Biophysical Controls on Erosion and Near-Bed Turbulence: Strengthening Sediment Transport Modeling in San Francisco Bay, this data release represents data that can be used to examine the benthic biota influence on bed sediment properties.