Publication Date

Spring 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Moss Landing Marine Laboratories


Ivano Aiello


benthic infaunal communities, restoration, tidally restricted wetland, water control structures

Subject Areas

Ecology; Biogeochemistry; Aquatic sciences


North Azevedo Pond in Elkhorn Slough, CA is a partially tidally restricted wetland that underwent an experimental ponding manipulation which increased inundation and tidal mixing within the system. This wetland has two spatially significant infaunal microsystems, south and north. Benthic cores taken before and after the manipulation showed that both the south and north infaunal communities remained dominated by the same major taxa, respectively. Both systems, however, experienced species shifts following the ponding manipulation. In the South, the non-native bivalve, Gemma gemma, declined from an average of 19,103 to 385 individuals (m2)-1 whereas the native clam, Nutricola tantilla, increased from an average of 128 to 26,154 individuals (m2)-1. In the north, Capitella teleta declined from an average of 15,256 to 1,667 individuals (m2)-1, while Pseudopolydora kempi, increased from a mean of 7,436 to 38,077 individuals (m2)-1. Overall, the hydrographic manipulations were successful in improving water quality by increasing ponding and creating more complex infaunal communities than those present prior to the ponding manipulation.