Katharyn E Boyer

Katharyn E Boyer
San Francisco State University | SFSU · Department of Biology

PhD

About

61
Publications
9,102
Reads
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1,732
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - present
San Francisco State University
Position
  • Professor
September 2009 - August 2014
San Francisco State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Intense herbivory can alter habitat characteristics, and grazing on reproductive structures can reduce plant fitness and long-term population stability. Herbivory on seagrasses is often limited to epiphytes; however, direct grazing has been observed recently in several systems. In San Francisco Bay, California, we documented extensive damage to lea...
Article
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The influence of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning has been the focus of much recent research, but the role of environmental context and the mechanisms by which it may influence diversity effects on production and stability remain poorly understood. We assembled marine macroalgal communities in two mesocosm experiments that varied nutrient supp...
Article
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Distribution of Earth’s biomes is structured by the match between climate and plant traits, which in turn shape associated communities and ecosystem processes and services. However, that climate–trait match can be disrupted by historical events, with lasting ecosystem impacts. As Earth’s environment changes faster than at any time in human history,...
Article
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Biological invasions can pose a severe threat to coastal ecosystems, but are difficult to track due to inaccurate species identifications and cryptic diversity. Here, we clarified the cryptic diversity and introduction history of the marine amphipod Ampithoe valida by sequencing a mtDNA locus from 683 individuals and genotyping 10,295 single-nucleo...
Article
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While considerable evidence exists of biogeographic patterns in the intensity of species interactions, the influence of these patterns on variation in community structure is less clear. Studying how the distributions of traits in communities vary along global gradients can inform how variation in interactions and other factors contribute to the pro...
Article
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Humans are changing the Earth's surface at an accelerating pace, with significant consequences for ecosystems and their biodiversity. Landscape transformation has far-reaching implications including reduced net primary production (NPP) available to support ecosystems, reduced energy supplies to consumers, and disruption of ecosystem services such a...
Article
Aim Studies on latitudinal patterns in plant defence have traditionally overlooked the potential effect that resource availability may have in shaping plant defence. Likewise, latitudinal patterns of tolerance traits have rarely been studied, yet they can be a critical component of plant defence. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine latit...
Article
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Multi-trophic conservation and management strategies may be necessary if reciprocal linkages between primary producers and their consumers are strong. While herbivory on aquatic plants is well-studied, direct top-down control of seagrass populations has received comparatively little attention, particularly in temperate regions. Herein, we used qual...
Article
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Latitudinal gradients in species interactions are widely cited as potential causes or consequences of global patterns of biodiversity. However, mechanistic studies documenting changes in interactions across broad geographic ranges are limited. We surveyed predation intensity on common prey (live amphipods and gastropods) in communities of eelgrass...
Chapter
Full-text available
Living Shorelines: The Science and Management of Nature-based Coastal Protection compiles, synthesizes and interprets the current state of the knowledge on the science and practice of nature-based shoreline protection. This book will serve as a valuable reference to guide scientists, students, managers, planners, regulators, environmental and engin...
Article
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To evaluate the role of restoration in the recovery of the Delta ecosystem, we need to have clear targets and performance measures that directly assess ecosystem function. Primary production is a crucial ecosystem process, which directly limits the quality and quantity of food available for secondary consumers such as invertebrates and fish. The De...
Article
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Both abiotic and biotic factors govern distributions of estuarine vegetation, and experiments can reveal effects of these drivers under current and future conditions. In upper San Francisco Estuary (SFE), increased salinity could result from sea level rise, levee failure, or water management. We used mesocosms to test salinity effects on, as well a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seagrasses provide valuable habitat for fish and invertebrates and ecosystem services such as sediment stabilization and carbon sequestration. These marine plants are declining worldwide, thus restoration is planned or underway in many regions, including San Francisco Bay. The San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines: Nearshore Linkages Project is worki...
Article
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Understanding the individual and interactive roles of consumer species is more than academic when the host plant is a subject of intense conservation interest. In a mesocosm experiment, we compared effects of common invertebrate grazers in San Francisco Bay seagrass (Zostera marina, eelgrass) beds, finding that some species (a native opisthobranch,...
Article
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Herbivores can have highly variable effects across their ranges, sometimes with unanticipated effects on trophic dynamics that in turn affect management and conservation programs. In seagrass beds, small invertebrate grazers (mesograzers) are expected to benefit the habitat-forming plants by removing competing algae; however, harm by mesograzers ha...
Article
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We investigated the potential for an invasive sea lavender, Limonium ramosissimum subsp. provinciale (Algerian sea lavender; LIRA) to spread in San Francisco Estuary (SFE) tidal marshes by testing how two determinants of tidal marsh plant distribution, salinity and inundation, affect LIRA dispersal, germination, growth, and reproduction. Simulating...
Article
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Non-native sea lavenders (Limonium spp.) are invasive in salt marshes of southern California and were first documented in the San Francisco Estuary (the estuary) in 2007. In this study, we mapped distributions of L. ramosissimum subsp. provinciale (LIRA) and L. duriusculum within the estuary and investigated how the invasion potential of the more c...
Article
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Eelgrass (Zostera marina) forms the foundation of an important shallow coastal community in protected estuaries and bays. Widespread population declines have stimulated restoration efforts, but these have often overlooked the importance of maintaining the evolutionary potential of restored populations by minimizing the reduction in genetic diversit...
Conference Paper
Having recently discovered 1100 acres of native Stuckenia spp. (pondweeds) in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay (San Francisco Estuary), we conducted a survey to document patterns in plant and invertebrate assemblages at 8 sites along a salinity gradient from brackish to fresh. We collected quarterly samples for 1 year of all plants a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods Ecosystem processes are mediated by interactions between resource supply, consumer pressure, and community composition, with the balance shifting along environmental gradients. A frontier in basic and applied ecology is understanding how these multifarious processes interact, and organizing the complexity into predicti...
Article
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Restoration of the San Francisco estuary's tidal marshes has been focused on large-scale engineering solutions, while community composition and related ecological functions have received little attention in most projects. We evaluated plant-species richness and composition across twenty-one natural and restored marshes in the estuary, documenting f...
Article
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Aims Human alterations of the environment are combining in unprecedented ways, making predictions of alterations to natural communities a difficult and pressing challenge. Estuarine systems have been subject to a high degree of modification, including increased nitrogen (N) inputs and altered salinity, factors important in shaping estuarine plant c...
Article
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The seagrass Zostera marina is widely distributed in coastal regions throughout much of the northern hemisphere, forms the foundation of an important ecological habitat, and is suffering population declines. Studies in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans indicate that the degree of population genetic differentiation is location dependent. San Francisco...
Article
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Epifaunal invertebrate species, such as amphipods and isopods, have been shown to play key but varying roles in the functioning of seagrass habitats. In this study, we characterized patterns in the poorly known epifaunal communities in eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds in San Francisco Bay as a first step in understanding the individual and collective...
Article
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Several management techniques are effective in controlling Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) in rangelands and hay meadows; however, this invader’s rapid spread into sensitive aquatic habitats throughout the western US calls for alternative control strategies. To evaluate control methods for use in tidal marshes of San Francisco Estuary, w...
Article
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Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) is recognized as a threat to wetland habitats throughout much of the western United States, but its role in tidal marshes has not been explored. Over three seasons in three regions of San Francisco Estuary (Suisun, San Pablo, and South San Francisco bays), we characterized locations in tidal marshes where...
Article
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The interactive effects of changing biodiversity of consumers and their prey are poorly understood but are likely to be important under realistic scenarios of biodiversity loss and gain. We performed two factorial manipulations of macroalgal group (greens, reds, and browns) and herbivore species (amphipods, sea urchin, and fish) composition and ric...
Article
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Observations of increasing red macroalgal (Gracilariopsis sp.) abundance in Tomales Bay, California (USA) prompted a field survey and an in situ experiment testing algal mat effects on eelgrass (Zostera marina) growth. At the conclusion of a 3 mo macroalgal enclosure/exclosure study, experimental plots containing high macroalgal loads (1700 g m(-2)...
Article
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Through bioassay techniques and field collections of red macroalgae (Gracilariopsis sp.) and eelgrass (Zostera marina), we evaluated growth, tissue %Nitrogen (N) and N stable isotopic signatures as bioindicators of potential changes in N supply to Tomales Bay, CA (USA). Gracilariopsis sp. collected, cultured, and outplanted across a spatial gradien...
Article
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Establishing species-rich plant communities is a common goal of habitat restoration efforts, but not all species within a target assemblage have the same capacity for recruitment and survival in created habitats. We investigated the development of a tidal salt marsh plant community in the presence of a rapidly colonizing dominant species, Salicorni...
Article
Plant biodiversity can enhance primary production in terrestrial ecosystems, but biodiversity effects are largely unstudied in the ocean. We conducted a series of field and mesocosm experiments to measure the relative effects of macroalgal identity and richness on primary productivity (net photosynthetic rate) and biomass accumulation in hard subst...
Article
In many temperate estuaries, mats of opportunistic macroalgae accumulate on intertidal flats and in lower elevations of salt marshes, perhaps playing a role in linking water column nitrogen (N) supply to these benthic habitats. Using a flow-through seawater system and tidal simulator, we varied densities (equivalent to 0, 1, 2, or 3 kg m−2 wet mass...
Article
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The roles of co-occurring herbivores that modify habitat structure and ecosystem processes have seldom been examined in manipulative experiments or explored in early successional communities. In a created marsh in southern California (USA), we tested the individual and combined effects of two epibenthic invertebrates on nutrient and biomass pools,...
Article
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We explored the role of food quality in herbivore preference for macroalgae by comparing consumption of Acanthophora spicifera with and without elevated tissue nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Algal enrichment effects on herbivory were examined in coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats along a sparsely populated Honduran island protected fro...
Article
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We conducted a 3-factor nutrient-enrichment experiment (factors: N, P, initial tissue-nutrient status) on common species of macroalgae collected from 2 sites along SW Puerto Rico. Our objective was to determine the relative importance of N- or P-limitation among species and sites and to investigate the role of tissue-nutrient status in the response...
Article
Previous attempts to reverse the degradation of a coastal wetland and restore nesting habitat for an endangered bird showed that adding nitrogen could temporarily increase the height of Spartina foliosa, but not produce self-sustaining tall canopies. We asked if increased effort (up to five years of N fertilization) would shift canopy attributes ac...
Article
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To investigate whether tissue N and P content of morphologically distinct macroalgae reflect different processes controlling nutrient availability, we measured water column nutrients and collected 5 species of algae for tissue N and P analysis from 18 stations along the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Nutrient content of sediments was also deter...
Article
Salicornia virginica (common pickleweed) is the dominant vascular plant of many saline marshes of the US west coast, yet little is known about seasonal patterns or abiotic factors controlling it. In a southern California salt marsh, quarterly sampling revealed strong seasonal trends, with 2x greater S. virginica biomass in summer than in winter. Ti...
Article
Full-text available
Salicornia virginica (common pickleweed) is the dominant vascular plant of many saline marshes of the US west coast, yet little is known about seasonal patterns or abiotic factors controlling it. In a southern California salt marsh, quarterly sampling revealed strong seasonal trends, with 2x greater S. virginica biomass in summer than in winter. Ti...
Article
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We report the first data on belowground tissue mass and nitrogen (N) concentration forSpartina foliosa in southern California, assessing one natural and two constructed marshes on San Diego Bay. Biomass at the natural marsh was low compared to that of otherSpartina spp., but higher than values reported forS. foliosa in northern California. In sandy...
Article
At a salt marsh restoration site, fertilizer trials to im-prove height growth of Spartina foliosa (a C 4 peren-nial grass that can reach 140 cm) appeared to favor Salicornia bigelovii (an annual C 3 succulent under 40 cm tall) where the two species co-occurred on the marsh plain. This observation prompted a field exper-iment to examine the potentia...
Article
We explored the use of an opportunistic green alga, Enteromorpha intestinalis (L. Link), as an indicator of N enrichment in a southern California salt marsh. In conjunction with N additions to cordgrass (Spartina foliosa, Trin) in April, June and August 1995, mesh bags containing N-starved algal tissue were placed within cordgrass patches, at their...
Article
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Because tall vegetation can enhance habitat quality in intertidal wetlands, we examined the effects of N fertilization on the height growth of a constructed cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) marsh in San Diego Bay, where plants are short and soil N low. We varied the duration (therefore also the quantity; 30 g N/m 2 every month for 1, 2, 4, or 6 mo) and...
Article
Differential tolerance of low salinity, competition for nitrogen (N), and facilitation by altering N supply all may act to determine the pattern of seasonal succession of Enteromorpha intestinalis (L.) Link and Ulva expansa (Setch) S. and G. in estuaries and lagoons of southern California. Low salinity negatively affected both of these algae. Howev...
Article
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Because tall cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) is needed for nesting by the endangered light-footed, clapper rail, managers of constructed salt marshes in southern California are proposing large-scale nitrogen fertilization to improve cordgrass growth. How this might affect an existing infestation of scale insects (Haliaspis spartina) and the degree of...
Article
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The performance of two intertidal wetland mitigation projects constructed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (SMNWR) in San Diego Bay was evaluated over 5 years. Most of the Sweetwater wetland complex has been altered this century, including diking (with subsequent subsidence),...

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