Diana Kohtio

Many different aspects of an ecosystem can be affected by non-native species. Both direct and indirect effects of introduced species can lead to a decrease in biodiversity causing considerable economic and ecosystem impacts.

Undaria pinnatifida, and annual species of kelp endemic to Russia, Korea, Japan and China has spread up the coast of California in the last three year, and is now established in harbors including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and most recently Monterey. Considering this brown alga can grow up to 21mm/day in optimal conditions and because it is known to form dense stands in its native ecosystem, it has the potential to compete with native species of kelp. Shifts in community and trophic food webs can result when dominant macroalgae are replaced by exotic species.

Accurately predicting the spreading capabilities of U. pinnatifida and implementing plans for remediation requires a thorough understanding of U. pinnatifida biology. I am interested in how biological mechanisms and environmental conditions regulate recruitment, growth rate, propagule production, survivorship and population dynamics in U. pinnatifida. Elucidating these life history parameters and how they are influenced by environmental signals will assist in predicting the spreading capabilities and persistence of U. pinnatifida both in Monterey Harbor and other regions of California.

More broadly, I am interested in using appropriate technologies for practical purposes, such as sustainable aquaculture.

Contact info:

Diana Kohtio
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
8272 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039-9647
Phone #: 831-771-4421
Fax #: 831-632-4403
e-mail: dkohtio@mlml.calstate.edu