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Session 5, Abstract 29

EFFORTS IN STUDYING INVASIVE INVERTEBRATES OF TOMALES BAY

Laura Givens* (Ron Coleman), California State University, Sacramento, Dept. of Biology. 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819.

Tomales Bay, an estuary of significant ecological importance, is situated on the northern edge of Point Reyes National Seashore. There are many non-native species that have established themselves in the bay area, and my purpose was to determine their prevalence and spread in a national park. I aimed to identify and compare the non-native marine species in Point Reyes National Seashore against the privately-owned Inverness Yacht Club to determine the effectiveness of the national park at controlling species introduction. This was done through shallow-water snorkeling and surveying individual piers. The vast majority of non-native species that I surveyed was tunicate. Tunicates are problematic to native species because they have no local predators, will compete for resources and can foul invertebrate filtration systems by building masses on top of them. Preliminary observations of non-native species prevalence in each location and their impact on the intertidal habitat are discussed here.