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Dock fouling creatures disappearing in SF Bay as salinity hits new lows

Note to iNat dock-foulers: Due to heavy rains, salinity in the SF Bay is presently at record lows, the lowest numbers since 1986 (I think).

Today I was in Redwood City, where salinity has dropped to just 13 psu (Practical Salinity Units). For comparison, the SF Bay is normally around 20-25 psu during the winter, and the coastal ocean is around 33 psu. At the Marine Science Institute (Redwood City) dock, there was almost none of the normal 'mobile life' (mollusks, polychaetes, crustaceans, fish) -- these were the only three species for an hour of looking. The sessile creatures (tunicates, hydroids, bivalves) looked awful as well. And of course everything was covered in silty gunk. One MSI staffer mentioned increased numbers of dead leopard sharks washed ashore (and distressed sharks circling aimlessly). For their own aquariums, MSI has temporarily stopped collecting on the outer coast and is attempting to slowly acclimate their existing creatures to lower salinity levels ...more ↓

Posted on February 15, 2017 11:05 PM by anudibranchmom anudibranchmom | 3 comments | Leave a comment
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The purpose of this project is to document the incredible diversity and ever-changing species compositions of marine organisms in the dock fouling community for harbor or boat ramps throughout California. This is a dynamic ecosystem, due to the constant introduction of new species from boats and those species that drift in as plankton or attached to kelp and then attach themselves to the hard ...more ↓

Mini dpom created this project on September 28, 2014

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