A Gammarid Amphipod as a potential indcator of estuarine change owing to deglaciation

One of the important aspects of climate change in coastal BC is the melting of glaciers owing to global warming. Since stream runoff is directly related to glacier melt there are implications for estuarine conditions because warmer temperatures can result from low runoff conditions. In turn, biota may change.

In this 2013 talk given to the Pacific Estuarine Research Society meeting in Brackendale, I presented the idea of using a cold-water adapted estuarine crustacean, the amphipod Gammarus setosus, as a potential indicator of temperature change. The species is found in BC’s most southerly glacial-fed estuary, the Squamish River estuary. Routine synoptic monitoring to detect changes in abundance of the amphipod might provide an index of change in the estuarine ecosystem. Indirect effects could propagate to juvenile salmon which feed on the crustaceans. Converted from a ppt.

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