Observations, causes, and potential consequences of small-scale temperature and dissolved oxygen variability in a kelp forest system

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Coastal hypoxia represents an important environmental change that has the potential to impact a wide range of species and communities in shallow subtidal habitats. While eutrophication-driven hypoxia has long been of concern in sheltered water bodies such as bays and estuaries, recently hypoxic events caused by advection of deep oceanic oxygen minimum zone waters into shallow shelf areas, have been observed. While a large component of this process is naturally occurring. Strong evidence exists which suggests that these events are also increasing due to climate change, through global deoxygenation and increases in coastal advective processes. While advective processes are commonly thought of as spatially uniform at the regional scale, this dissertation presents evidence throughout which, in fact, suggests that coastal advective processes (especially nearshore internal waves) are highly complex spatially, mostly due to their interactions with shallow topographic features such as rocky reefs. This observation is novel in two important ways. First, this small-scale spatial interaction between internal waves and rocky reefs represents novel complex habitat layer to the fluid environment, which has not been previously observed, nor considered for nearshore subtidal ecological studies. Secondly, when nearshore internal waves contain hypoxic water, the resulting small-scale spatial variability in the dissolved oxygen landscape may span super-saturated and severely hypoxic oxygen concentrations on the scale of meters within the reef. Together, the results from this dissertation suggest that small scale spatial variability in the fluid environment arising from internal wave/reef interactions, is a crucial, but poorly understood, component of nearshore habitats, which can complicate and extend hypoxic events. The results here also suggest variability at this scale may feasibly impact local organisms, especially through alterations to behavior. These dynamics are complicated, and much more work should be conducted in the future to better understand the whole impacts to shallow subtidal communities.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2017
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Leary, Paul R
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Biology.
Primary advisor Denny, Mark W, 1951-
Primary advisor Micheli, Fiorenza
Thesis advisor Denny, Mark W, 1951-
Thesis advisor Micheli, Fiorenza
Thesis advisor Carr, Mark
Thesis advisor Goldbogen, Jeremy
Thesis advisor Monismith, Stephen Gene
Thesis advisor Woodson, Brock
Advisor Carr, Mark
Advisor Goldbogen, Jeremy
Advisor Monismith, Stephen Gene
Advisor Woodson, Brock


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Paul R. Leary.
Note Submitted to the Department of Biology.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2017.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2017 by Paul Robert Leary
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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