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This Month at WFRC

Release Date:

This page contains WFRC "Highlights" for the month of December, 2018



Interactive tool explores fish use of eelgrass in Puget Sound

The degree to which eelgrass on river deltas provides critical habitat for estuarine fishes, especially out‐migrating juvenile salmon, is an important scientific and management issue in the Puget Sound. In a journal article published in Marine and Coastal Fisheries, USGS scientists report on spatiotemporal variation in abundance and body size of juvenile Chinook Salmon and three forage fish species in relation to eelgrass on a large river delta in Puget Sound and consider how diking and river channelization potentially influenced eelgrass use by these fish. Now, in collaboration with scientist Sachin Shah of the USGS Texas Water Science Center, a data visualization tool has been developed to allow users to interactively explore fish abundance and body size including selecting any desired combination of location and time period. The tool takes into account environmental effects on the distribution and abundance of these species, the application also includes temperature, salinity, depth and supporting data layers that allow end-users to consider how diking and river channelization potentially influenced eelgrass use by these fish. Shah is part of a team (https://webapps.usgs.gov/) focused on Geospatial Science and Cyber Innovation that intersects science and technology using interdisciplinary expertise.

The tool is available at https://webapps.usgs.gov/pugetsound/eelgrass.

Contact: Sachin Shah, 509-538-2919, dshah@usgs.gov. or Steve Rubin, Seattle, WA, 206-526-2533, srubin@usgs.gov.


New Publications

New publication examines migratory coupling between predator and prey

Animal migrations are undertaken by some of the world’s most endangered taxa. Predators often exploit migrant prey, but the movements taken by these consumers are rarely studied or understood. In a review article of Nature Ecology and Evolution, scientists from University of New Hampshire, University of British Columbia, Oregon State University, and USGS Western Fisheries Research Center examine movements where migrant prey induce large-scale movements of predators (migrant coupling) and the ecological consequences for the participating prey, predators, and community they traverse across the landscape. The paper also provides a framework for interactions caused by migratory coupling and the potential community-level impacts.

Contact: Dave Beauchamp, 206-526-6596, fadave@usgs.gov.

Furey, N.B., J.B. Armstrong, D. Beauchamp, and S.G. Hinch. 2018. Migratory coupling between predators and prey. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2: 1846-1853. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0711-3.