Extensive restoration is planned for the upper San Francisco Bay Estuary and Delta; however, little is known about how restoring tidal marshes will affect energy flow, prey availability, and associated food web structure for native fishes. This knowledge gap will be addressed by comparing the relative contributions of pelagic, benthic, and terrestrial habitats to native fish in relic and breached wetlands that differ in restoration age. To accomplish this goal, funding for this Project will be used to monitor physical habitat characteristics and the main components of the food web will be sampled at six study sites that include two relic marshes, two breached wetlands, and two pre-restoration sites. Pelagic and demersal fish, invertebrate prey, and basal resources will be collected, identified, and processed for diet and stable isotope analyses. This data will be used to quantify the functional capacity of target habitat types, informing future restoration and management strategies in the San Francisco Bay Estuary and Delta.
State Water Contractors
1. Compare the quantity, quality, and physical drivers of pelagic, benthic and terrestrial prey among relic and breached wetlands;
2. Quantify allochthonous and autochthonous energy pathways among relic and breached wetlands; and
3. Assess diet for pelagic and demersal fish captured in relic and breached wetlands.
Monitoring, Research/Planning (including Science)
Project Benefits a Disadvantaged Community (or SDAC):