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Influence of Hydrologic Processes on Reproduction of the Introduced Bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis in Northern San Francisco Bay, California

From: Pacific Science
Volume 56, Number 3, July 2002
pp. 329-345 | 10.1353/psc.2002.0027

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30 psu) (Carlton et al. 1990). The spatial success of P. amurensis is acutely relevant in this estuary because P. amurensis is an efficient filter feeder, able to filter food ranging in size from bacteria to copepod larvae (Werner and Hollibaugh 1993, Kimmerer et al. 1994). Several authors (Cloern 1982, Nichols 1985) have suggested mechanisms by which the filterfeeding benthos, primarily bivalves, can control phytoplankton biomass in both South and North San Francisco Bay, and Alpine and Cloern (1992) hypothesized that P. amurensis 1 Support for this project was provided by the San Francisco Bay Toxic Substances Hydrology Program and the San Francisco Bay Place-Based Ecosystem Program. Manuscript accepted 28 November 2001. 2 U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Menlo Park, California 94025. Pacific Science (2002), vol. 56, no. 3:329–345 : 2002 by University of Hawai‘i Press All rights reserved 329 is responsible for the disappearance of the annual phytoplankton bloom in the northern bay. The continuing dominance of P. amurensis in San Francisco Bay has also resulted in changes in the San Francisco Bay ecosystem by altering both benthic community structure and interspecific dynamics (Nichols et al. 1990). An important component in the spatially extensive success of P. amurensis is its ability to reproduce and recruit into established benthic communities under highly variable conditions characteristic of the estuarine environment. In this study, we examined connections between patterns of change in the estuary’s hydrologic regime and the reproductive patterns of P. amurensis during a 9-yr period at four sites along the salinity gradient in northern San Francisco Bay. We show that P. amurensis successfully reproduces in northern San Francisco Bay...



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