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Molecular Ecology of Benthic Fisheries in Baja California

 Principal Investigator:   Dr. Lydia B. Ladah

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          In Baja California, benthic fisheries such as giant kelp, urchin, and abalone, are ecologically and economically important.  However, there are few studies on the recruitment of these species and on their recuperation after disturbances such as hurricanes, contamination, ENSO events, or oceanic warming.  Using new genetic markers, we can elucidate dispersal patterns, study post-disturbance recruitment, and explore the relative importance of local versus long-distance recruitment.  These processes are important to understand in local fisheries due to the important role of dispersal and recruitment in the maintenance of fished populations, and due to the large socioeconomic dependance of the Baja California zone on these fisheries.   This project will combine molecular biology techniques with ecological, demographic, and oceanographic approaches to approach the following questions:    1) Where do larvae and spores come from whe an area is repopulated after disturbance, and  2)  How do oceanographic conditions at both the small and large scale affect recruitment processes of benthic commercial species?  In the short term, genetic methods for algae and invertebrates of comercial importance will be developed.  Then, samples from the field will be colected and analyzed to infer dispersal ad gene flow in populations.   The long term goal is to integrate molecular ecology with management of benthic species of important commercial and social value for the Pacific coast of Baja California.  



I.C.E. Team Members   Funded Projects
I.C.E. Team Publications Field Trips
Upcoming seminars and presentations Women in Science Seminar Series
Experimental Design Course, Dr. Underwood (tentative Sept 2003) New ROCKY SHORE ECOLOGY CLASS