Potential effects of sea level rise on nearshore habitat availability for surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) and eelgrass (Zostera marina), Puget Sound, Washington
In this study we examine the potential effects of three predicted sea level rise (SLR) scenarios on the nearshore eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) spawning habitats along a beach on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Baseline bathymetric, geomorphological, and biological surveys were conducted to determine the existing conditions at the study site. The results of these surveys were coupled with a predictive model that estimates SLR-induced changes to coastal ecosystems based upon local topography and land-cover data. This model simulates the changes in nearshore habitat through time. The model inputs for SLR are probable values reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and by user-defined values. The predicted effects of SLR are presented as (1) habitat type change and (2) the graphic response of developed dry land depicting the influence of shoreline armoring. This report describes the geophysical and biological characteristics at the Bainbridge Island study site, the modeling methods used to produce depictions of habitat changes, and a possible decrease in surf smelt spawning and an increase in eelgrass habitat availability in response to increases in sea level.
|Potential effects of sea level rise on nearshore habitat availability for surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) and eelgrass (Zostera marina), Puget Sound, Washington
|Collin D. Smith, Theresa L. Liedtke
|USGS Numbered Series
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Western Fisheries Research Center