This version of the Puget Sound Science Update provides an initial evaluation of food web indicators, but is not intended to be comprehensive. Highlights include the evaluation of individual species or species complexes as food web indicators due to their key functional roles (e.g., forage fish, jellyfish), and the identification of existing data sources for assessing food web structure and function at Washington State agencies and via satellite.
Find content specifically related to invertebrates of the Puget Sound and Salish Sea ecosystems. For checklists and descriptive accounts of individual species, visit our species library.
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Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) photo by Hans Hillewaert. Courtesy of U.S.G.S.
Photo by Dan Boone. Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Photo courtesy of Dave Cowles, Walla Walla University.
Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas). Photo by Don Rothaus. Courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Tim Essington1, Terrie Klinger2, Tish Conway-Cranos1,2, Joe Buchanan3, Andy James4, Jessi Kershner1, Ilon Logan2, and Jim West3
Browse a collection of shellfish photos provided by the Swinomish Tribe.
With funding from the EPA (EPA Interagency Agreement DW-13-923276-01), scientists at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington used a field and quantitative modeling ‘source-transport-fate’ assessment approach to classify the vulnerability of shellfish growing areas to closures caused by watershed and marine-derived pathogens. Based on the historical prevalence of nutrient pollution, shellfish closures, and phytoplankton blooms in commercial and recreational shellfish growing area, the project focused on three nearshore sites--the Hamma Hamma (WRIA 16), Dosewallips (WRIA 16) and Samish (WRIA 3).
This is the executive summary from a technical report produced for the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership on Valued Ecosystem Components (VEC). The entire document is included as a PDF with this summary.
The following is an alphabetical list of marine invertebrates occurring in Puget Sound and adjacent regions. It is taken from the book Keys to the Marine Invertebrates of Puget Sound, the San Juan Archipelago, and Adjacent Regions by Eugene N. Kozloff. This list is provided with permission of the author and will soon be linked to species accounts from NatureServe and the Encyclopedia of Life as part of our species library.
The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound species library now includes a list of species of concern in the Salish Sea watershed. The list was created by Joe Gaydos and Nicholas Brown of the SeaDoc Society, and was released as a paper presented as part of the Proceedings of the 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC.
Recent worldwide increases in the abundance of some jellyfish have been associated with human-caused disturbances to the environment such as eutrophication, overfishing and climate warming.
Dungeness crabs are an important resource in Puget Sound for recreational, commercial, and tribal fisheries. They utilize a variety of habitats over the course of their lives, and are vulnerable to shifts in ocean temperature and water quality.
Pinto abalone are the only abalone species found in Washington State.
Many types of bivalves, both native and non-native, flourish in Puget Sound. These species are a crucial part of the Puget Sound ecosystem and are also important for commercial fisheries.
GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS (Enteroctopus dofleini) is the largest species of octopus in the world. It is found in the northern Pacific Ocean from the northwest coast of the continental United States to Japan, including Puget Sound.
Puget Sound Stream Benthos is a data management project which monitors benthic invertebrates in streams and rivers in the Puget Sound region. The system is maintained and operated by King County, and was the result of a joint effort between King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.
Puget Sound hosts more than 100 species of seabirds, 200 species of fish, 15 marine mammal species, hundreds of plant species, and thousands of invertebrate species. These species do not exist in isolation, but rather interact with each other in a variety of ways: they eat and are eaten by each other; they serve as vectors of disease or toxins; they are parasitic; and they compete with each other for food, habitat, and other resources.
Many consumer organisms in Puget Sound are both herbivores and detritivores. Zooplankton and benthic invertebrates that are scavengers, herbivores, or detritivores are considered jointly in this article. Some of these organisms can be predatory as well. Hundreds of invertebrates and fish species have a planktonic larval stage that eats plants and occupies the nearshore and offshore pelagic waters of Puget Sound.
A variety of animals, including invertebrates, fish, mammals, and birds, consume the suspension-feeders, filter-feeders, grazers, and detritivores that serve as a link between the primary producers and detrital pathways and the upper levels of the food web.