Graduation Date

Fall 2017

Document Type



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

Timothy Mulligan

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Paul Bourdeau

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fourth Committee Member Name

Helen Mulligan

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



A network of marine protected areas (MPAs) was established to protect northern California coastal habitats in December 2012. Populations of two indicator species, Amphistichus rhodoterus (redtail surfperch) and Emerita analoga (pacific mole crabs) were characterized within MPAs and reference sites to provide baseline ecological information for this region. Data were gathered using a series of simple field surveys (hook and line fishing surveys for A. rhodoterus along with core and transect surveys for E. analoga). Relative abundance, lengths, and sex ratios of A. rhodoterus did not differ between MPAs and their respective reference sites, whereas condition (overall health) increased in a north to south trend. Although based on a limited number of tag returns, movement of A. rhodoterus within northern California appears to be relatively local. Relative swash zone abundance of E. analoga did not differ between the MPA studied and its respective reference sites. Abundance and biomass of small-sized (<10 >mm) E. analoga greatly increased during the summer months, likely due to recruitment to northern California beaches. A similar trend occurred for medium and large-sized crabs during spring months, likely due to the timing of reproduction in this region. Both species serve as good indicator species for the northern California region. However, future monitoring for E. analoga should be based on timing of reproduction and recruitment.

Citation Style


Doc Dec 4, 2017 at 11-19 PM.pdf (486 kB)
IACUC approval page