Nekton communities were sampled from 38 Hawaiian coastal wetlands from 2007 to 2009 using lift nets, seines, and throw nets in an attempt to increase our understanding of the nekton assemblages that utilize these poorly studied ecosystems. Nekton were dominated by exotic species, primarily poeciliids (Gambusia affinis, Poecilia spp.) and tilapia. These fish were present in 50-85% of wetlands sampled; densities were up to 15 times greater than native species. High densities of exotic fish were generally found in isolated wetlands with no connection to the ocean, were often the only nekton present, were positively correlated with surface water total dissolved nitrogen, and were negatively correlated with native species richness. Native species were present in wetlands with complete or partial connection to the ocean. Additional studies are needed to document exotic fish impacts on native fish and bird habitat and whether native fish communities can contribute to invasion resistance of coastal wetlands. Future wetland restoration should include exotic fish eradication, maintenance of hydrological connection to the ocean, or programs to prevent future introductions in order to create wetlands that support native-dominated nekton communities.
Estuaries & Coasts is the journal of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Begun in 1977 as Chesapeake Science, the journal has gradually expanded its scope and circulation. Today, the journal publishes manuscripts covering aspects of research on physical, chemical, geological or biological systems, as well as management of those systems, at the interface between the land and the sea. The interface is broadly defined to include areas within estuaries, lagoons, wetlands, tidal rivers, watersheds that include estuaries, and near-shore coastal waters. The journal publishes original research findings, reviews, techniques, and comments.
The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit non partisan organization. The Federation was created in 1971, when the members of two older, regionally-based estuarine research societies (AERS and NEERS) decided that a national organization was needed to address estuarine and coastal issues more broadly. The regionally based Affiliate Societies now number seven and encompass all of the coastal regions that border the United States, Canada and Mexico.