Marginal effects for each habitat type based on the best-fitting model identified in Table 2. Each point signifies the mean expected White Sturgeon count per setline and the whiskers represent the 95% confidence interval for each habitat.

Marginal effects for each habitat type based on the best-fitting model identified in Table 2. Each point signifies the mean expected White Sturgeon count per setline and the whiskers represent the 95% confidence interval for each habitat.

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White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), a species of concern in the San Francisco Estuary, is in relatively low abundance due to a variety of factors. Patton et al. sought identify the estuarine habitat used by White Sturgeon to aid in the conservation and management of the species locally and across its range. By seasonally sampled sub-adult and...

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... In contrast, the extent of marine habitat use by white sturgeon is not known (Hildebrand et al., 2016). Aggregations of white sturgeon do occur in estuarine environments (Patton et al., 2020), but the species can complete its entire life cycle within a single river basin (Hildebrand et al., 2016). Adult green sturgeon are opportunistic consumers of benthic intertidal fauna (e.g., Neotrypaea californiensis), as well as subtidal crustaceans, bivalves, and fish (Dumbauld et al., 2008). ...
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Understanding the habitats people were fishing in the past is central to evaluating the relationship between coastal environmental change and human behavior. Researchers often use zooarchaeological identification of fishes and modern ecological data to infer the habitats people fished in the past. However, these inferences assume stable environmental conditions through time and can be hindered by precision issues in identification of archaeological specimens (species vs. genus or family). Here, we integrate genetic and bulk tissue stable isotope data to investigate a late Holocene sturgeon fishery in northern Oregon. Ancient DNA analysis indicated that people were fishing for both green and white sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris and Acipenser transmontanus) in comparable numbers. Stable isotope analyses of these same bones documented distinct isotope values for each species, correlating with species-specific habitat preferences. These findings highlight the value of paired isotope and genetic data to elucidate human fishing strategies and environmental change and provide baseline ecological data for modern fisheries.
... We quantified life-long variation in exposure to salinity concentrations in White Sturgeon to reconstruct movements and habitat use in the SFE using fin ray Sr isotope ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) geochemistry. Although previous studies have described habitat use of White Sturgeon in the SFE using baited hooks, telemetry, and mark recapture techniques (Nelson et al., 2013;Miller et al., 2020;Patton et al., 2020), our study is the first to employ a natural geochemical tracer to examine the ontogenetic movements and habitat use patterns of over 100 individual White Sturgeon over their lifespan prior to capture. Our results largely corroborated prior observations of amphidromous migratory behaviors (Bemis and Kynard, 1997;Patton et al., 2020) with prolonged periods of estuarine residence (DeVore et al., 1999;Miller et al., 2020). ...
... Although previous studies have described habitat use of White Sturgeon in the SFE using baited hooks, telemetry, and mark recapture techniques (Nelson et al., 2013;Miller et al., 2020;Patton et al., 2020), our study is the first to employ a natural geochemical tracer to examine the ontogenetic movements and habitat use patterns of over 100 individual White Sturgeon over their lifespan prior to capture. Our results largely corroborated prior observations of amphidromous migratory behaviors (Bemis and Kynard, 1997;Patton et al., 2020) with prolonged periods of estuarine residence (DeVore et al., 1999;Miller et al., 2020). However, we also observed broad variation among individual fish. ...
... For example, sturgeon inhabiting primarily freshwater habitats may be more exposed to summer high temperatures or poor water quality due to agricultural runoff and entrainment (Grimaldo et al., 2009;Mussen et al., 2014). Conversely, sturgeon inhabiting higher salinity waters may be disproportionately exposed to shipping channel impacts including boat strikes and channel dredging, particularly with their preference of deep, open water habitats (Demetras et al., 2020;Patton et al., 2020). Because these risks vary across annual or seasonal time scales and are influenced by anthropogenic activities and climate change, some behavioral types may be more resilient than others. ...
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Understanding life-history diversity in a population is imperative to developing effective fisheries management and conservation practices, particularly in degraded environments with high environmental variability. Here, we examined variation in habitat use and migration patterns of White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), a long-lived migratory fish that is native to the San Francisco Estuary, CA, United States. Annual increment profiles were combined with respective geochemical (87Sr/86Sr) profiles in sturgeon fin rays to reconstruct annual salinity chronologies for 112 individuals from 5 to 30 years old. Results indicated a complex and diverse amphidromous life history across individuals, characterized largely by estuarine residence, a general ontogenetic trend toward higher-salinity brackish habitats, and high variability in habitat use across all age groups. Hierarchical clustering based on fin ray geochemistry during the first 10 years of life, prior to sexual maturation, indicated at least four distinct migratory phenotypes which differed largely in the timing and duration of juvenile to subadult movements between fresh- and brackish-water habitats. This study provides information regarding habitat use and migration in sub-adult fish that was previously lacking. Different migratory phenotypes vary in exposure to stressors across time and space and populations. Understanding White Sturgeon habitat distributions through space and time at different life stages can help identify areas where habitat restoration would be most effective and develop management actions to reduce stressors associated with specific areas where White Sturgeon are present.