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Marine Biology Graduate Student Association

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Edwin Leung

Edwin Leung

Nearshore Marine Fish Research Program
Department of Biology
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8303


B.S. Marine Biology: California State University, Northridge, 2010

M.S. Thesis

Influence of environmental variation on year-class strength in white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) of Southern California

Studies have shown that species of fish can thrive in warmer sea surface temperatures or decline from a decrease in food availability though lower primary productivity. Otoliths are the calcium carbonate ear stones found in fish. Climate events such as El Niño Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation can greatly influence the formation of an otolith, where distinct bands in the structure formed during development can represent annual and seasonal variation at a point in time.

White seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) was a prominent commercial and recreational fishery species in Southern California during the middle of the last century, but had decline substantially by 1982, largely attributed to overfishing. Recent studies have shown signs that the native population is in recovery and may benefit from El Niño events through increased growth rates. The purpose of my study is to determine if year-class strength in white seabass differs dramatically between climate events. The results from my study will provide insight into the influences on year-class strength of the species and ultimately improve recovery and management recommendations during periods of environmental change.

fish otolith