San Diego State University Department of Biology
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Predation by fishes and trophic ecology in eelgrass beds (funded by the Port of San Diego; PADI Foundation; Southern California Academy of Sciences; SDSU Master's Program in Ecology)


Levi Lewis's thesis project -- 

Predators strongly influence community structure and the functioning of ecosystems.  The strength of such top-down effects have been investigated in several marine ecosystems. For his research, Levi Lewis explored the effects of microcarnivorous fishes on lower trophic levels in eelgrass ecosystems within San Diego Bay.  Specifically, Levi manipulated the abundance fishes as predators in determining their effects on their invertebrate prey and in turn, their indirect effects on epiphytic algae and eelgrass (Zostera marina) performance.  Levi's results suggest that fishes have a positive effect on seagrass growth by removing invertebrates that may reduce the photosynthetic potential of eelgrass, opposite the prediction of fishes having a deleterious effect on seagrasses based on previous research in other ecosystems. 

This page was last modified on May 10, 2012.  

SDSU Fish Ecology Lab

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