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Elkhorn Slough Elasmobranch Project
How do Elasmobranchs Interact With the Slough?

The interactions between elasmobranchs and the slough environment can be separated into three distinct, but highly related categories:
  • Foraging behavior
  • Reproductive behavior
  • Migratory behavior
Feeding Behavior: The slough as a prey rich environment How are elasmobranchs feeding in the slough?
  1. What types of prey are being eaten overall? - infaunal -epifaunal - nektic
  2. Who is eating specific prey species?
  3. How are prey being acquired by each species? - burrowing - active pursuit - ambush?
Reproductive Behavior: The slough as an important area for breeding How do elasmobranchs utilize the slough for reproductive purposes? Which species use the slough for reproduction and how?
  1. Mating - Lekking - Mate selection site
  2. Incubation of embryos - Gravid females may not necessarily go to the slough to pup, but to help incubate their young.
  3. Pupping - Is the Elkhorn slough an important nursery for elasmobranchs?
Migratory Behavior: How elasmobranchs move throughout the slough
  1. How do elasmobranchs move either within the slough or between the slough and the Monterey Bay?
    • Monthly
    • Daily
    • Seasonal
  2. What factors affect movement?
    • Temperature
    • Salinity
    • Turbidity
    • Tide
    • Response to predators or prey
    • Competition: within one species or between different species
    • Age and size

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