, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 80–93 | Cite as

Responses of fish and macrobenthic assemblages to hydrologic disturbances in Tijuana Estuary and Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, California

  • Christopher S. Nordby
  • Joy B. Zedler


Changes in the assemblages of fishes and benthic macro-invertebrates were evaluated in relation to wastewater inflows at Tijuana Estuary and impounded streamflows and mouth closure at Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Freshwater from sewage spills or winter rains lowered water salinities and had major impacts on the channel organisms of both southern California coastal wetlands. Benthic infaunal assemblages responded more rapidly to reduced salinity than did fishes, with continued salinity reduction leading to the extirpation of most species. Both the fish and benthic invertebrate assemblages became dominated by species with early ages of maturity and protracted spawning seasons. Between-system comparisons showed that good tidal flushing reduced negative impacts on both the fish and benthic assemblages.


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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Nordby
    • 1
  • Joy B. Zedler
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentSan Diego State UniversitySan Diego

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