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Sandy beach surf zones : what is their role in the early life history of Chinook salmon?

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dc.contributor.advisor Miller, Jessica
dc.creator Marin Jarrin, Jose R., 1980-
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-10T23:37:19Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-10T23:37:19Z
dc.date.copyright 2012-10-05
dc.date.issued 2012-10-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/35597
dc.description Graduation date: 2013 en_US
dc.description.abstract Early life stages of many marine and diadromous fish species use sandy beach surf zones, which occur along >50% of the world's marine coastlines. This extensive habitat can provide juvenile fishes with an abundant supply of potential prey and the ability to hide from predators in its shallow turbid waters. Chinook salmon is an anadromous species that migrates to the ocean during their first (subyearlings) or second (yearlings) year of life. The majority of subyearlings reside in estuaries during their first summer season; however, a small number of juveniles also use surf zones. Early marine residence is considered a critical period for Chinook salmon due to high mortality rates; however the role of surf zones in Chinook salmon life history is unclear. Therefore, I determined the distribution of juvenile Chinook salmon on beaches of the eastern North Pacific, compared the migration and growth patterns observed in surf zones and estuaries, identified the factors that accounted for variation in juvenile surf zone catch, explored the factors that influence growth rate variation in surf zones and estuaries, and modeled how growth rates in these coastal habitats may vary in the near future with predicted changes in climate. The majority (94%) of juveniles were caught in surf zones adjacent to estuaries with trough areas, which are beach sections where sand moved by currents and waves produce a trench-like shape. Surf zone fish were collected in significantly lower numbers than estuarine juveniles but entered brackish/ocean waters at similar sizes. Juveniles in surf zones consumed similar organisms (gammarid amphipods, crustacean larvae and insects) as in estuaries. Furthermore, stomach fullness indices (average = 2% of body weight) and growth rates (average = 0.4 mm day⁻¹) were similar in surf zones and estuaries. At one surf zone, juvenile catch was positively correlated to short-term specific growth rates (14 days prior to capture). A bioenergetics modeling approach indicated that given current conditions, consumption rates accounted for more of the variation in growth than prey energetic content and temperature. Climate models predict future increases in fresh water temperature (1.5 to 5.8°C), sea surface temperature (1.2°C) and wave height (0.75 m) that could influence estuarine and surf zone use. Therefore, I developed a local mixing model based on these predictions to estimate future surf zone and estuarine water temperatures in two of the watersheds studied. Based on these temperature projections and the bioenergetics model, I predicted how juvenile specific growth rates would vary in both habitats. I determined that increases in water temperature in both habitats would reduce specific growth rates by 9 to 40% in surf zones and estuaries if diet composition and consumption rates remain similar to present conditions. To compensate for the decline in growth, juveniles may increase their consumption rates or consume more energetically rich prey, if available. If they are not able to compensate, their size at the end of the season may be reduced, which could reduce their overall survival. These results confirm that a small number of suyearling Chinook salmon use sandy beach surf zones, mostly adjacent to estuary mouths, where they experience growth conditions comparable to estuaries. My findings indicate that, in certain situations, juvenile Chinook salmon surf zone use can be influenced by surf zone growth conditions, while variation in growth rates are themselves most strongly influenced by variation in consumption rates in surf zones and estuaries. Predicted changes in coastal western North American climate will likely modify juvenile growth conditions in the next 50 years, and potentially reduce overall survival. Additional insights into the potential impacts of climate change on juvenile salmon will require estimates of changes in the composition, energetic quality and abundance of prey communities inhabiting coastal environments. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation North Coast Explorer en_US
dc.subject Sandy beach surf zones en_US
dc.subject Chinook salmon en_US
dc.subject Pacific Northwest en_US
dc.subject Habitat use en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chinook salmon -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chinook salmon -- Habitat -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chinook salmon -- Ecology -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chinook salmon -- Climatic factors -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Estuarine ecology -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Intertidal ecology -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast en_US
dc.title Sandy beach surf zones : what is their role in the early life history of Chinook salmon? en_US
dc.type Thesis/Dissertation en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Fisheries Science en_US
dc.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.degree.discipline Agricultural Sciences en_US
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Noakes, David
dc.contributor.committeemember Emmett, Robert
dc.contributor.committeemember Bottom, Dan
dc.contributor.committeemember Loehr, Christiane
dc.description.peerreview no en_us


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