Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Biology

Committee Chair Name

Sean Craig

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Emanuela Di Martino

Second Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Third Committee Member Name

Lee Hsiang Liow

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Fourth Committee Member Name

Allison Bronson

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fifth Committee Member Name

John Reiss

Fifth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Abstract

The phylum Bryozoa is one of the most diverse groups of marine invertebrates, with a global distribution that spans marine and fresh waters. This study analyzes the Bryozoa in infralittoral communities on rocky surfaces from northern California (Point Saint George) to central California (Estero Bay), spanning 940 kilometers and encompassing 12 rocky intertidal sites. Although recent studies on bryozoan taxonomy and phylogeny have increased due to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high throughput sequencing, there is still a lack of studies on species found in shallow waters at intertidal depths, particularly in the northeastern Pacific. This study aims to expand taxonomic sampling and assess the community diversity of bryozoans along the California coastline, using SEM to identify bryozoans to species level and examine species abundance and dispersal range along the outer rocky outer coast of California. Bryozoan community structure and diversity measurements were analyzed using NMDS ordinations with environmental and Pearson correlations. I also describe two Microporella species that are novel to the area of bryozoology. Environmental factors, including latitude and sea surface temperatures, correlate with bryozoan community structure changes. These findings indicate that the California coastline still has much to offer in terms of exploration. More species will likely be discovered there that have not yet been described or discovered but should be studied more thoroughly to examine more environmental variables in order to understand their distribution.

Citation Style

APA

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