2004 Progress Report: Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Ecosystem Indicators Component

EPA Grant Number: R828676C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828676
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium
Center Director: Anderson, Susan L.
Title: Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Ecosystem Indicators Component
Investigators: Morgan, Steven , Bennett, Bill , Hollibaugh, James T. , Nisbet, Roger M.
Current Investigators: Morgan, Steven , Bennett, Bill , Cherr, Gary N. , Green, Peter , Grosholz, Edwin , Judah, Linda , Kuivila, Katherine , Nelson, Douglas , Nisbet, Roger M. , Smalling, Kelly , Spilseth, Sarah , Vines, Carol , Visinitainer, Tammie
Institution: University of California - Davis , University of California - Santa Barbara , University of Georgia
Current Institution: University of California - Davis , U.S. Geological Survey , University of California - Santa Barbara
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: March 1, 2001 through February 28, 2005
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 1, 2003 through February 28, 2004
RFA: Environmental Indicators in the Estuarine Environment Research Program (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Ecosystems

Objective:

The overarching goal of this research project is to develop a suite of ecological indicators to rapidly assess the integrity and sustainability of wetlands in West Coast estuaries. We propose to develop an integrated suite of indicators to evaluate impacts of stressors across levels of biological organization, trophic structure, life stage, time, and space.

Progress Summary:

Four approaches were used by teams of investigators from the University of California - Davis (UC-Davis) and University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) to determine the impacts of stress from nutrient loading, pollution, and exotic species on wetlands from northern and southern California: (1) physiochemical monitoring, (2) biological monitoring, (3) toxicity biomarkers, and (4) statistical analysis and modeling. Research was conducted in concert with the Biogeochemistry and Bioavailability (BBC) component (subproject R828676C003) to characterize the physicochemical environment, including temperature, salinity, oxygen, submergence times, sediment grain size, nutrient inputs, and toxic contaminant loads; the Biochemical Response to Contaminants (BRC) component (subproject R828676C002) to conduct toxicity biomarker assays in the field; and the Remote Sensing Component (RSC) team to ground-truth measurements taken at the ecosystem level.

During the first 3 years of the research project we: (1) censused the full spectrum of wetland communities, including microbes, plants, invertebrates, fishes, birds, and parasites; (2) characterized sites for nutrient and toxic contaminants in collaboration with the BRC and BBC teams; and (3) developed modeling approaches that will enable us to determine whether our indicators responded significantly to measured stressors, the ability of indicators to distinguish between reference and impacted sites, and the effects of contaminants on individuals, populations, and ecosystems across space and time. Specifically, indicators are being developed by contrasting conditions at previously characterized reference and impacted sites following nutrient gradients at the five primary study sites in northern and southern California (Walker Creek and Toms Point in Tomales Bay, Stege Marsh and China Camp in San Francisco Bay, and Carpinteria Marsh) and toxic contaminant gradients at two sites (Stege and Carpinteria). Sites span biogeographic boundaries and the estuaries vary morphologically, which provides a good test of the reliability of the indicators to assess wetland integrity across diverse environments. In addition, we determined the bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants to populations and communities along contamination gradients at the two most impacted sites that entailed expanding the number of sampling stations in these marshes. A fully integrated sampling scheme was developed and deployed at multiple stations within each of the five sites.

The development of indicators critically depends on: (1) the initial establishment of an overarching sampling design that fully integrates the research of each of the five components of the project; (2) the vertical integration of investigations into the effects of contaminants on the wetland ecosystems, beginning with their bioavailability and working up the levels of biological organization from the subcellular to the landscape level; and (3) the development of sophisticated statistical approaches and new models that integrate and make sense of the enormous and diverse array of information that will be obtained during this multifaceted, four-year project. Because ecosystems subsume lower levels of biological organization, our component has taken the lead, together with the Administrative and Integration component (R828676), to ensure that these three essential criteria are met. We made sure that representatives from all of the research components participated in field sampling and then spent a great deal of time discussing the best way to fully integrate our project based on our initial results and experience.

This year we continued processing samples and analyzing data from previous years of surveying the study sites. The main focus of this year’s work, however, was to finalize four integrative indicator models that we had been developing over the years: fish, crabs, clams and plants. Because these integrative models subsume multiple levels of biological organization, most of the components of the grant could present these data. Indeed, the fish indicator species is being presented in the section prepared by the BRC, and the plant indicator species is being presented by the RSC. Here, we summarize the highlights of the crab indicator species and briefly touch on the clam indicator species. Each of these aggregate indicator models has particular strengths, and they collectively provide a good initial suite of indicators to assess wetland condition.

Crab Indicator Species

Crabs are especially valuable as an indicator of reproductive condition, because embryos are carried externally by females and readily assessed using a hand lens in the field. They also are the largest, most conspicuous invertebrate in marshes and are valuable especially because they are sedentary. The lined shore crab, Pachygrapsus crassipes, was chosen as our indicator species because it is the larger of the two native crab species, and it spans the range of saltmarsh habitats, unlike Hemigrapsus oregonensis. Just how sedentary these crabs actually are was unknown, but it was known that they did not dig their own burrows, providing the potential for movement from one area to the next. One of first steps, therefore, was to determine the movement of these crabs, which is important in knowing how effective they would be in reflecting a contaminant gradient within a marsh.

Two approaches were used to determine spatial and temporal variation in movement of the lined shore crab and its utility as an indicator of small-scale variation in habitat condition. Mark-recapture studies provided direct measurements over small spatial scales in two salt marshes that were located in northern ( Walker Creek) and southern (Carpinteria) California, and a stable isotope study was conducted along a nutrient gradient at one of the marshes (Carpinteria) to provide an indirect measurement of movement across the marsh.

Tagging is an important tool in tracking movement, monitoring mortality, and estimating population size, all of which are critical to understanding population dynamics of ecologically and commercially important species. Tagging crustaceans is problematic because they shed their exoskeletons during molting, and therefore, the first step in initiating the mark-recapture study was to validate the utility of internal tags that would not be lost when crabs molted. A laboratory experiment was conducted to examine the utility of visible implant elastomer (VIE) tags for marking crabs internally (Spilseth and Morgan, in review, 2005). Twenty-five crabs received one of the following three treatments: (1) VIE and external tag (7 crabs); (2) VIE only (14 crabs); and (3) no tag (4 crabs). Each crab tagged with VIE was tagged ventrally in the coxa-basis joint of the second pereopod on the left side of the carapace and the fourth pereiopod on the right side of the carapace. All crabs were maintained in the laboratory for four months to assess their survival and tag retention. At the end of the experiment, tags were scored on a scale from 0-3 (not visible-clearly visible) to determine retention success. Eleven of the 25 crabs molted once over 4 months (all < 32 mm), and the other crabs did not molt. Survival of crabs tagged with VIE (91.5%) and tag retention (94.5%) were both high 4 months after tagging. Visibility did not differ greatly with color of the VIE (orange, yellow, or green) or limb tagged. Tag detection also did not differ much between crabs that molted during the experiment and those that did not molt. The use of VIE injected into the coxa-basis joint is an effective and inexpensive alternative for tagging small crabs over an extended time-period, especially in cool temperature waters where molting frequency is low.

In the mark-recapture study, a total of 1,158 crabs were captured from the creek bank of channels and the vegetated marsh and were tagged with both external and internal tags. Recapture rates were high at both marshes (22.2% and 13.8%). The density of crabs at the study sites was estimated to be between 2.24 and 3.64 individuals/m 2. Most crabs were recaptured in the same trap where they were originally tagged, and on average, they traveled less than 5 m from the spot of original capture because of long excursions undertaken by a few individuals. The mean distance traveled did not increase substantially with the time between captures. A high percentage of crabs (62.1%) tagged near the creek bank remained there; a smaller percentage of tagged crabs (18.2%) moved between the creek bank and the marsh plain or remained on the marsh plain (12.6%). Crabs traveled the shortest distances along creek banks and farthest when they crossed creeks, although only a small percentage did so (6.2%). During spring tides, crabs moved away from tidal creeks farthest onto the marsh plain and returned to creek banks during neap tides.

With this knowledge in hand, we determined the effects of contaminants and the introduced green crab (Carcinus maenas) on the distributions and abundances of the two native species of grapsid crabs that inhabit west coast marshes (P. crassipes and H. oregenonensis). Spatial and temporal patterns of resource use by native crab assemblages in five marshes along the west coast of the United States were compared with natural environmental variation and anthropogenic impacts to determine the extent of niche overlap and the potential impacts of the invasive green crab and contaminants on populations (Morgan, et al., in review). Crab assemblages were censused among marshes, across habitats within marshes, and within burrow complexes during the reproductive seasons of the two native species using traps and burrow excavations to determine species composition, abundance, size, sex ratio, and reproduction while quantifying contaminants and natural environmental variation. These closely related species rarely occupied the same burrow complex, their abundances generally were inversely related, and temporal and spatial differences in distribution and activity were evident relative to sediment grain size, vertical distribution, tidal amplitude cycle, and spawning season. Green crabs were abundant at the two sites in Tomales Bay, in lower abundance at the two sites in San Francisco Bay where they were first introduced to the west coast, and uncommon at the site in southern California. Fewer and smaller P. crassipes occurred where green crabs were most abundant relative to a neighboring site in Tomales Bay. Contaminants did not appear to have a large impact on distributions of native crabs although two of the study sites were U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites (Figure 1). P. crassipes were abundant and large at the site in San Francisco Bay where organic and heavy metal contaminants were high, and they were absent from a second site in San Francisco Bay (China Camp) where contaminants were low. H. oregonensis was most abundant at China Camp where contaminants were low and soils were high in clay content. Crabs are hardy and demographics may be a less sensitive indicator of contaminant exposure than biomarkers in determining the condition of wetland organisms.

Figure 1. Partial Least Squares Analysis of the Distributions of Two Native Species of Crabs Relative to the Invasive Green Crab, Metals, and Organics.

O ur vertically integrated interdisciplinary approach used a suite of traditional and novel measures to address the challenging problem of evaluating the effect of multiple stressors on the reproductive impairment of the lined shore crab. Chemists documented the concentrations of various contaminants at our study sites and in P. crassipes in the three northern marshes where this species occurred (Stege, Walker, Toms), toxicologists detected damage to cells and vital organs, and ecologists determined survival and reproductive performance of individuals and are linking all of these indicators.

The vertically integrated approach revealed that contaminant exposure and bioavailability may be related to diminished reproductive performance, including reduced clutch sizes, increased abnormalities of developing embryos, reduced weight and size of embryos, reduced hatching, and reduced larval survival but not reduced population densities and size of adults. The existence of a vertical linkage between exposure to different types of contaminants across levels of biological organization and life stages promises to provide a reliable set of indicators that can identify the individual and combined effects of multiple contaminants on wetland condition. The indicators can be applied quickly, easily, and inexpensively across broad stretches of our coastlines by resource managers who are charged with evaluating the state of our wetlands.

Clam Indicator Species

Clams (Macoma petalum, Macoma secta) are another valuable aggregate indicator of wetland condition, because they: (1) are surface deposit feeders and are likely to accumulate contaminants from the surrounding sediment; (2) lay down daily growth rings that serve as a record of growth rates; and (3) are abundant in marshes along the west coast. As with the other three model organisms, the goal was to link contaminants with biomarker responses with fitness parameters. In this case, growth of clams exposed to sediments at field locations at our five study sites (Walker, Toms, Stege, China Camp, and Carpinteria) was related to stress proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp60) and lysosomal membrane damage.

Stress proteins are involved in cellular protein homeostasis and repair, and their increased production is generally indicative of cellular stress. Lysosomes are important membrane-bound subcellular organelles, and a decrease in lysosomal membrane stability can lead to cell death and tissue and organ damage.

Clams were outplanted at field sites using leached cages (3-4 clams per cage) in three blocks consisting of eight cages in 2003 and 2004. Samples were retrieved from each block after 2, 4, and 11 weeks and snap-frozen. Significantly increased Hsp levels were detected in clams outplanted at sites in Tomales Bay and Carpinteria Marsh. Increased Hsp levels were linked to decreased stability of lysosomal membranes and reduced shell growth. Thus, careful calibration of endpoints at different levels of organization can lead to the establishment of a tool-kit for environmental monitoring, where cellular stress indicators can be linked to growth. These biomarkers can potentially foretell subtle and possibly long-term consequences of exposure to sediment-bound toxic compounds, especially when they can be linked to higher-level effects such as growth, and linkages with chemicals measured in clam tissues and sediments are in progress.

Traditional Benthic Surveys to Link Contaminants with Wetland Condition.

Abundance and diversity of infauna did not appear to be effective indicators of toxic exposure. Multivariate analyses of infaunal core samples were conducted in collaboration with the integration component. This research has been completed and is being prepared for publication.

 

Linking Plant Stress of Individuals to the Landscape Level

To determine whether physiological stress of plants can be detected at the landscape level using remote sensing, we calibrated plant physiological performance against known levels of contaminants as a first step to scaling up to the landscape level. Chlorophyll fluorescence and spectroradiometry provide measures of plant physiological performance and health and can be applied to the landscape level as well as to individual plants.

Diuron Effects on Spartina foliosa Photosynthetic Physiology. We determined that diuron exposure significantly reduced photosynthetic performance of S. foliosa. Carbon dioxide assimilation was decreased as plants exhibited diuron exposure-related stress as increased fluorescence and a reduced Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Fluorescence provides a dose-sensitive indicator while CO 2 uptake and NDVI are plus and minus effect indicators. We expect to submit a manuscript to Ecological Applications this summer.

Fluorescence and Individual Spectroradiometry as Indicators of Salt Marsh Plant Health. We are analyzing data from nondestructive field measurements of photosynthetic performance of Salicornia virginica and S. foliosa using fluorescence and spectroradiometry. Both techniques can be used at the landscape level for vegetation structure, but they have been used little (fluorescence) and not at all (spectroradiometry) to assay plant health. Although we are still analyzing data, we found gross differences in both indicators across contaminant gradients. We also determined that for spectroradiometry to be useful in linking plant health to landscape vegetation patterns, corrections for silt loading must be developed and applied at the canopy level. The remote sending studies funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have provided further information on the linkage between vegetation structure and canopy-level NDVI using remote sensing across marsh landscapes.

Decomposition of S. virginica as a Salt Marsh Ecosystem Function Indicator

The rate of decomposition of plant detritus is an important salt marsh ecosystem function, related to the initial step in early diagenesis of organic matter in marsh sediments, as well as providing trophic support. We determined the link between detrital breakdown and levels of contaminants to test the hypothesis that the decomposition rate and abundance of invertebrate decomposers would be reduced at contaminated sites, thereby slowing decomposition of plant litter. We determined that the decomposition rate of Salicornia detritus is apparently robust to contaminants found in Stege Marsh. Furthermore, the invertebrate decomposers that potentially facilitated plant decomposition also were not noticeably related to contaminant exposure. These data still are being analyzed, but we expect any contaminant effects to be minor.

Nutrient Cycling

The overall research objective of this component of Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research Consortium (PEEIR) is to investigate relationships between the N and C isotopic composition of three common salt marsh taxa as an “indicator” of terrestrial N and freshwater inputs into the small Mediterranean coastal wetlands of central and southern California. Specifically, we are: (1) exploring spatial and temporal variation in the stable N and C isotopic values of representatives of three trophic groups (the macroalga, Enteromorpha; the herbivorous snail, Cerithidea californica; and the omnivorous crab, Pachygrapsus crassipes) at stations within and across salt marshes that differ in source and amount of anthropogenic nitrogen inputs and (2) examining relationships between the isotopic composition of these taxa and inorganic N concentrations and salinity.

We selected three wetlands for study that differ in land use in the adjoining watershed and in freshwater and anthropogenic nutrient inputs: Mugu Lagoon, Carpinteria Salt Marsh and Morro Bay. Of the three wetlands, Carpinteria occurs downstream and in closest proximity to the most intensive agricultural and urban development in the adjoining coastal plain.

To examine variability in the isotope values of marsh biota and relationships to environmental measures, the macroalga, snail, and crab were sampled at stations along a “gradient” of presumed freshwater and nutrient inputs within a single tidal creek in each wetland and at additional stations in other spatially separated creeks throughout the wetlands. Stable N and C values of the sampled taxa were measured at the UCSB Marine Science Institute Analytical Laboratory or at the Stable Isotope Facility at UC-Davis.

To provide a comparative measure of exposure of marsh species to freshwater runoff and nutrient inputs, we measured salinity and dissolved inorganic N concentrations at the stations and times that macroalgal and animal samples were collected for isotopic analysis. Data discussed here are from samples taken in June 2002 and 2003.

The following summarizes the nutrient cycle: (1) Nitrogen isotope values of crabs, snails, and macroalgae vary within and among the study marshes. (2) Elevated nitrogen isotope values of crabs and snails at stations more influenced by freshwater runoff suggested the incorporation of land derived N into the marsh food web. (3) C isotope values can be useful in combination with N values in identifying runoff derived sources of N. In terms of a “bioindicator,” the snail appeared to best reflect gradients in N inputs and salinity; it is abundant, has a wide distribution across estuarine gradients, and is present year round. The crab also is potentially useful as a bioindicator of N and freshwater inputs. The macroalga, however, was patchy in occurrence and may be less useful in routine monitoring. We are completing the data analysis and are preparing a manuscript for publication.

Microbial Communities

Bacterial diversity differed between polluted and reference sites and is a promising indicator of wetland health. The following results were found:

  • Nutrient affected bacterial diversity.
  • Elevation affected community composition.
  • Metals affected bacterial diversity at Stege Marsh.
  • Organic pollutants affected bacterial diversity at Carpinteria Marsh.

Total coliform concentration was correlated with bacterial community composition and urbanization in the Santa Barbara area. Methods that are being developed appeared to accurately detect sources of contamination in laboratory-created blind samples. Dog, gull, and human sources appear to contain different bacterial communities, and the bacterial community in blind trials appeared to be human in origin. Specifically, bacterial communities varied by host source, diversity increased with size of source, and there appeared to be source specific peaks. These promising results indicated that terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (TRFLP) could be a tool in microbial source tracking, but we still need to identify source-specific peaks. This study was coordinated by the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), and forges an important collaboration between SCCWRP and PEEIR.

We are determining whether the microfauna in mudsucker digestive tracts collected from contaminant and reference sites differ. The objective is to determine whether the differences are related to diet (which might reflect a pollutant impact) or stress or other physiological disruption more directly related to the effects of pollutants. This work is still underway. Additional research on microbial communities is described in the report by the BBC component (subproject R828676C003).

Fishes

Information from the EIC component of the research project is described below.

Censuses of Population Size. Censuses combined with mark-recapture studies are providing valuable estimates of population size and mortality rates among Walker Creek, Toms Point, and Stege Marsh sites. Preliminary mortality estimates developed by Masami Fujiwara (UCSB) indicate poor monthly survival of about 25 percent at each site. Because these estimates were based on a low number of recaptures and have very wide confidence intervals, however, the field study is continuing into summer 2005.

Growth and Otolith Validation. Work to accurately describe the growth histories of Gillichthys mirabilis is nearly complete. Growth trajectories from fish collected in 2003 are finished and efforts are underway to use this information in population models. Validations of daily growth patterns will continue into summer 2005 as part of the mark-recapture study.

Data Analyses and Integration. Integration of morphometric and biomarker information for individual fish is underway using a variety of statistical analyses. Novel methods for estimating unmeasured parameters for the population models were developed with the Nisbet team (Fujiwara et al., in press, 2005) and integration of growth information into population models is currently underway.

Parasites & Birds

Additional work conducted last year further demonstrated that trematode parasite richness varies with bird richness and that it is an effective indicator of community diversity. Trematode richness was greatest at the most contaminated southern site (Mugu), intermediate at Carpinteria, and least in Morro Bay. This indicator is limited to the south of San Francisco Bay, where horn snail hosts occur. Trematode frequency and richness are associated with general habitat quality when restoration sites were compared with natural marshes. This is an exciting new indicator and many of these results have been published.

Conclusions

We concluded that our field sites are appropriate, working at them is feasible, and our target species are sufficiently abundant. We detected significant differences in microbial populations between these sites. We have determined that a combination of a gradient design nested within reference and impacted sites are the most powerful design to detect the effects of contaminants on wetland ecosystems. We also concluded that contaminants likely are concentrated most in channels and along the margins of tidal creek, and we are targeting these areas. Additional stations within sites have been incorporated to put the gradient in the context of the larger ecosystem. Further discussions of scaling up indicators of plant stress to the level of the landscape using remote sensing revealed that the approach still looks promising. We are developing and validating this indicator in collaboration with the RSC and BBC.

Future Activities:

During Year 5 of the project, we will complete the five primary goals remaining before us. Our first objective is to complete the statistical analysis and models of linkages between body burdens of contaminants and the fitness parameters of our aggregate indicator organisms (crabs, fish, clams, and plants). This task will be accomplished as soon as the BRC and BBC components complete a few remaining analyses of body burdens and biomarkers. Our second objective is to complete multivariate analyses of our extensive survey data at our study sites for plants and fishes, which is needed to relate traditional ecosystem indicators (e.g., population densities and species richness) to contaminant levels. Third, most of our effort will be expended on preparing manuscripts for publication. Fourth, we will continue to present our results at scientific meetings and increase the level of outreach to potential user groups regarding the applicability of individual and aggregate indicators to their programs in concert with the integration component. Finally, we will work diligently with the integration team to succinctly describe and incorporate key indicators into the portfolios we envision for each indicator species.


Journal Articles on this Report : 7 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 32 publications 14 publications in selected types All 13 journal articles
Other center views: All 139 publications 42 publications in selected types All 40 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Fujiwara M, Kendall BE, Nisbet RM, Bennett WA. Analysis of size trajectory data using an energetic-based growth model. Ecology 2005;86(6):1441-1451. R828676 (Final)
R828676C001 (2004)
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  • Journal Article Hechinger RF, Lafferty KD. Host diversity begets parasite diversity: bird final hosts and trematodes in snail intermediate hosts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B–Biological Sciences 2005;272(1567):1059-1066. R828676 (Final)
    R828676C001 (2004)
    R828676C003 (Final)
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  • Abstract: Royal Society Publishing-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Lafferty KD, Hechinger RF, Lorda J, Soler L. Trematodes associated with mangrove habitat in Puerto Rican salt marshes. Journal of Parasitology 2005;91(3):697-699. R828676C001 (2004)
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  • Journal Article Lafferty KD, Dunham EJ. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes. Journal of Parasitology 2005;91(2):474-476. R828676C001 (2004)
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    Journal Article Magalhaes C, Bano N, Wiebe WJ, Hollibaugh JT, et al. Comparison of ammonium oxidizing bacterial phylotypes and function between biofilms and sediments of the Douro River Estuary, Portugal. Environmental Microbiology (in review, 2005). R828676C001 (2004)
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    Journal Article Shaw JC, Aguirre-Macedo L, Lafferty KD. An efficient strategy to estimate intensity and prevalence: sampling metacercariae in fishes. Journal of Parasitology 2005;91(3):515-521. R828676C001 (2004)
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  • Journal Article Spilseth SA, Morgan SG. Evaluation of internal elastomer tags for small, mature crabs. Crustaceana 2005;78(11):1383-1388. R828676 (Final)
    R828676C001 (2004)
    R828676C001 (Final)
    R825689C028 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    indicators, ecology, estuaries, wetlands, health, toxics, nutrients, exotic species, watersheds, ecological effects, ecosystem indicators, integrated assessment, estuarine research, aquatic ecology, environmental indicators, ecosystem assessment,, RFA, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Water, ECOSYSTEMS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, estuarine research, exploratory research environmental biology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems, Terrestrial Ecosystems, Ecological Monitoring, Ecological Indicators, Risk Assessment, anthropogenic stress, anthropogenic stresses, wetlands, aquatic ecosystem, bioindicator, ecological risk assessment, estuaries, ecosystem assessment, wetland ecosystem, nutrients, bioavailability, trophic effects, ecosystem indicators, coastal ecosystems, environmental indicators, ecosystem restoration, aquatic ecology

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.bml.ucdavis.edu/peeir exit EPA

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2001
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828676    Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828676C000 Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Administration and Integration Component
    R828676C001 Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Ecosystem Indicators Component
    R828676C002 Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Biological Responses to Contaminants Component: Biomarkers of Exposure, Effect, and Reproductive Impairment
    R828676C003 Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research (PEEIR) Consortium: Biogeochemistry and Bioavailability Component