Puget Sound Restoration Fund

Bainbridge Island, DC, United States

Puget Sound Restoration Fund

Bainbridge Island, DC, United States

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Baggett L.P.,University of South Alabama | Baggett L.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | Powers S.P.,University of South Alabama | Powers S.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | And 16 more authors.
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2015

Restoration of degraded ecosystems is an important societal goal, yet inadequate monitoring and the absence of clear performance metrics are common criticisms of many habitat restoration projects. Funding limitations can prevent adequate monitoring, but we suggest that the lack of accepted metrics to address the diversity of restoration objectives also presents a serious challenge to the monitoring of restoration projects. A working group with experience in designing and monitoring oyster reef projects was used to develop standardized monitoring metrics, units, and performance criteria that would allow for comparison among restoration sites and projects of various construction types. A set of four universal metrics (reef areal dimensions, reef height, oyster density, and oyster size-frequency distribution) and a set of three universal environmental variables (water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen) are recommended to be monitored for all oyster habitat restoration projects regardless of their goal(s). In addition, restoration goal-based metrics specific to four commonly cited ecosystem service-based restoration goals are recommended, along with an optional set of seven supplemental ancillary metrics that could provide information useful to the interpretation of prerestoration and postrestoration monitoring data. Widespread adoption of a common set of metrics with standardized techniques and units to assess well-defined goals not only allows practitioners to gauge the performance of their own projects but also allows for comparison among projects, which is both essential to the advancement of the field of oyster restoration and can provide new knowledge about the structure and ecological function of oyster reef ecosystems. © 2015 Society for Ecological Restoration.


Rogers-Bennett L.,University of California at Davis | Allen B.L.,Puget Sound Restoration Fund | Rothaus D.P.,16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2011

Northern abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana kamtschatkana) is a federally listed species of concern. The status of northern abalone and the characteristics of the habitats they associate with were determined showing that northern abalone have declined dramatically in Washington State with present day abundances <10% of those found in 1979. Northern abalone inhabited kelp beds (Nereocystis luetkeana), more than red sea urchin beds (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) (X 2=16, d.f. = 1, P<0.01) or habitats with both kelp and sea urchins (X 2=13.2, d.f. = 1, P<0.01). Sites with Nereocystis kelp canopy had twice the percentage cover of encrusting coralline algae compared with sea urchin sites. No juvenile abalone (<75mm) were found in any of the habitat types raising concerns about recruitment failure. Abalone co-occurred with other molluscs including limpets and scallops. Kelp holdfast microhabitats had significantly higher species richness (t=2.2, d.f. = 6, P<0.05), twice the effective number of species and 5x more individuals than sea urchin spine microhabitats. In laboratory choice experiments, juvenile abalone (20mm) preferred coralline rocks to kelp holdfasts or sea urchin spine canopy. The small snail, Amphissa spp. (5-15mm) was more abundant inside kelp holdfasts than under sea urchins or in rock cobble, suggesting this may be an important microhabitat. It is recommended that kelp beds with abundant coralline substrate be used for restoration including stocking juveniles and adult aggregations as this biogenic habitat may enhance northern abalone restoration actions. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Hale J.R.,University of Washington | Bouma J.V.,Puget Sound Restoration Fund | Vadopalas B.,University of Washington | Friedman C.S.,University of Washington
Journal of Shellfish Research | Year: 2012

Since 1969, abalone populations have declined globally more than 50%, with many species now recognized as threatened, endangered, or species of concern. As monitoring progresses and restoration efforts evolve to include population supplementation, a reliable and robust method of tagging individual abalone is needed. Current abalone tagging methods are unsatisfactory, particularly for long-term studies as a result of tag loss, shell erosion, and encrustation. Observing tag numbers of cryptically positioned abalone can be difficult. To obviate these issues, we evaluated passive integrated transponders (PITs) as tags for pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana kamtschatkana). We applied 9-mm PITs with cyanoacrylate glue to the dorsal exterior of the shell and to the ventral anterior of the shell, and by injection into the foot muscle of small adults (trial 1), and applied PITs to the ventral anterior of the shell of juveniles (trial 2). We subsequently tracked growth, survival, and tag retention over 15 mo in trial 1 and 6 mo in trial 2 in captivity. Among small adults (trial 1), differences in relative growth rate and survival were not significant. PIT retention by adhesion to the ventral anterior and dorsal exterior was significantly greater than injection into the foot in trial 1. Between controls and tagged animals in trial 2, differences in survival were not significant. There was no significant difference in ventral anterior tag retention between trial 1 and trial 2. Gluing PITs on the ventral anterior of the shell is a promising method because abalone quickly formed nacre over the tags, incorporating them into the shell, which does not appear to affect tag detection by the PIT reader. Trials are underway to characterize PIT retention in natural habitats, to determine tag longevity, and to use PITs to track adults reintroduced to aggregations.


Kroeker K.J.,University of California | Kordas R.L.,University of British Columbia | Crim R.,Puget Sound Restoration Fund | Hendriks I.E.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | And 7 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

Ocean acidification represents a threat to marine species worldwide, and forecasting the ecological impacts of acidification is a high priority for science, management, and policy. As research on the topic expands at an exponential rate, a comprehensive understanding of the variability in organisms' responses and corresponding levels of certainty is necessary to forecast the ecological effects. Here, we perform the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date by synthesizing the results of 228 studies examining biological responses to ocean acidification. The results reveal decreased survival, calcification, growth, development and abundance in response to acidification when the broad range of marine organisms is pooled together. However, the magnitude of these responses varies among taxonomic groups, suggesting there is some predictable trait-based variation in sensitivity, despite the investigation of approximately 100 new species in recent research. The results also reveal an enhanced sensitivity of mollusk larvae, but suggest that an enhanced sensitivity of early life history stages is not universal across all taxonomic groups. In addition, the variability in species' responses is enhanced when they are exposed to acidification in multi-species assemblages, suggesting that it is important to consider indirect effects and exercise caution when forecasting abundance patterns from single-species laboratory experiments. Furthermore, the results suggest that other factors, such as nutritional status or source population, could cause substantial variation in organisms' responses. Last, the results highlight a trend towards enhanced sensitivity to acidification when taxa are concurrently exposed to elevated seawater temperature. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Baggett L.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | Powers S.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | Brumbaugh R.D.,The Nature Conservancy Big Pine Key | Coen L.D.,Florida Atlantic University | And 14 more authors.
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2015

Restoration of degraded ecosystems is an important societal goal, yet inadequate monitoring and the absence of clear performance metrics are common criticisms of many habitat restoration projects. Funding limitations can prevent adequate monitoring, but we suggest that the lack of accepted metrics to address the diversity of restoration objectives also presents a serious challenge to the monitoring of restoration projects. A working group with experience in designing and monitoring oyster reef projects was used to develop standardized monitoring metrics, units, and performance criteria that would allow for comparison among restoration sites and projects of various construction types. A set of four universal metrics (reef areal dimensions, reef height, oyster density, and oyster size-frequency distribution) and a set of three universal environmental variables (water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen) are recommended to be monitored for all oyster habitat restoration projects regardless of their goal(s). In addition, restoration goal-based metrics specific to four commonly cited ecosystem service-based restoration goals are recommended, along with an optional set of seven supplemental ancillary metrics that could provide information useful to the interpretation of prerestoration and postrestoration monitoring data. Widespread adoption of a common set of metrics with standardized techniques and units to assess well-defined goals not only allows practitioners to gauge the performance of their own projects but also allows for comparison among projects, which is both essential to the advancement of the field of oyster restoration and can provide new knowledge about the structure and ecological function of oyster reef ecosystems. © 2015 Society for Ecological Restoration.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

During long summer days, kelp forests in high-latitude waters could create little safe zones for sea creatures in acidifying oceans, new research shows. Sunlight stretching on for most or all of a day keeps kelps and other big algae working overtime, trapping solar energy through photosynthesis. In the Arctic, kelps pulled enough carbon dioxide from the surrounding seawater to nudge the local pH upward, monitoring showed. Seawater is generally alkaline instead of acidic, but in midsummer, kelp patches pushed the pH average even farther above acidity. In 10 days, average pH in an Arctic kelp patch in Greenland rose from 8.09 to 8.24, an international team of researchers reports December 14 in Science Advances. Follow-up lab tests of kelps suggest that 21 hours or more of sunlight per day should produce that refuge effect. That local summertime bump bucks the general planetary trend of ocean surface water shifting closer to acidity. Carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere isn’t just warming the planet; the notorious greenhouse gas dissolves in oceans, causing chemical reactions that drive seawater closer to becoming an actual acid. “It’s a big concern,” says coauthor Dorte Krause-Jensen of Aarhus University in Denmark. Before the industrial revolution, the pH of seawater was about 8.2 but has now dropped to around 8.1. Even changes that look small on the pH scale can alter the ease of biochemical processes of life in the oceans. Biologists are just beginning to grasp the complexities of these processes. But the shift in pH may make it harder for such organisms as snails, crabs and shrimps to draw calcium-building materials needed to form their shells out of seawater. Summertime might be a particularly important time for such species to get some relief, Krause-Jensen speculates. Those long days are often when new generations sheltering in the algae face heavy shell-building demands. Sheltering forests of kelp and other hefty algae cluster here and there along coasts worldwide, but coastal studies of the effects of water acidity are a relatively new thing. The first wave of studies on biological consequences of ocean acidification focused on the open ocean, Krause-Jensen says. Near-shore environments can be more complex than open water. There, photosynthesizing plants or algae take CO₂ out of water, so sea grass meadows and kelp forests cause daily rises and nightly falls in water acidity. This is the first study of pH in kelp forests in the Arctic, she says. Krause-Jensen and colleagues monitored acidity in a stretch of Greenland’s Disko Bay where the wide, curvy, somewhat lettucelike leaves of kelps wave in the constant midsummer sunlight. There, the sun does not set between May 25 and July 17. The pH zigged and zagged during a 24-hour cycle, but overall the average rose. In comparison measurements farther south in the fall, when the sun shone for 15 hours, pH fluctuated but its overall average remained at 8.1. To roughly mimic the coastal conditions in the lab, the researchers transplanted kelp species into small but realistically dense clusters in aquariums with different light regimens and baseline acidities. Acidity fluctuations showed up there, too, but overall the tests confirmed that the kelps can make their own trends in local seawater. The notion that kelps might provide refuges or some kind of local relief from acidification is under widespread discussion. In Washington, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund is testing the idea with plantings of two kelp species. “It’s too early to tell whether kelp aquaculture will have a meaningful effect” in the sound, says marine ecologist Terrie Klinger of the University of Washington in Seattle. Climate change might mean that kelps will find it easier to thrive in the Arctic, says Jarrett Byrnes of the University of Massachusetts Boston. While some predicted changes may increase risks, such as increasing runoff of smothering sediment from the coasts, dwindling sea ice may give kelps more sunshine. And that could provide more chances to create refuges for their neighbors.

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