CSULB Wetlands Ecology Lab

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Latest Projects

As you probably have read by now, we are interested in documenting how human activities impact the structure and functioning of wetlands - specifically brackish and coastal wetlands. You can read about our past and present projects on this site and on the current lab member page.

Fish and bird use of an urban wetlands

Development around coastal wetlands often leads to changes in nursery and foraging functions. We have several projects (with the Shark Lab at CSULB) looking at fish use using acoustic and PIT tagging and at bird nesting success.

Monitoring the impacts of sediment augmentation

Sea level rise (SLR) threatens many of our coastal wetlands. One strategy to deal with SLR is thin layer sediment augmentation. As part of a team, we are monitoring the impacts of augmentation at Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.

Restoration trajectory and success

A significant portion of CA wetlands have been lost or degraded. One strategy for dealing with this loss is restoration. Several projects (SD salt ponds, Huntington Beach Wetlands, Colorado Lagoon, Upper Newport Bay) evaluate best restoration techniques, metrics, analytical techniques and functional equivalence.

Impacts of non-native plants and animals

Non-native species are moved around the world by human activities, and once established often have negative impacts of local ecosystems (invasive species). Among many species, we are evaluating the impacts of tamarisk, perennial pepperweed, yellow flag iris, marsh lavender, and an isopod.

Impacts of sea level rise (SLR) and climate change

SLR and climate change (increasing temperature, altered precipitation) are predicted to have dramatic impacts on coastal ecosystems. We have several manipulative experiments quantifying the impacts to structure and function of decomposer communities and decomposition rates.

Restoration of oysters and eelgrass

Native Olympia oysters were historically present in southern California, but their numbers dropped due to habitat loss and exploitation. With CSU Fullerton and Orange County Coastkeeper, we are evaluating restoration techniques to restore native oysters in conjunction with restoring eelgrass habitat.

Monitoring framework for estuarine Marine Protected Areas (EMPAs)

Protecting our valuable estuarine habitats is a key priority for coastal regions. Yet, we often lack a unified framework for exactly how to monitor the condition of these systems. As part of a collaborative team, we have been monitoring 5 southern CA wetlands for a variety of parameters (plants, invertebrates, fish, abiotic conditions).