UW Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Quantitative Seminar

Caroline Paulsen

UW Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Using Information Theoretic Approaches for Impact Assessment: A Case Study of Hypoxia in Hood Canal, Puget Sound


The primary goal of my Masters research is to evaluate the effects of hypoxia on abundance and distribution of marine organisms at both the species-level and the community-level. With the data collected through a two-part bottom trawling research cruise in summer 2007, communities were assessed both before and during the low DO typical of late summer in southern Hood Canal. Impact assessment will be conducted to evaluate the role of hypoxia (presence or absence) in predicting the similarities and differences observed between the control and impact sites during the low DO period in late summer. Using both univariate and multivariate statistical techniques, the study attempts to 1) examine the variation in species abundance and composition at each location and at each sampling period, 2) assess potential differences between periods and locations, with a focus on differences between the impact site and the 3 control sites, 3) identify the major species contributing to similarity measures, and 4) assess the effect of low DO by examining the relationship between the environmental data and the community data.

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