The Nearshore Rocky-Reef and Kelp Bed Fishes of Southern California

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The Vantuna Research Group has been studying the nearshore rocky-reef and kelp bed fishes of Southern California since the early 1970?s. Our most recent publication (Pondella et al., in press) was the first quantitative biogeographical assessment of the fishes of the Baja and Southern California Islands. The rocky reef fish assemblages of all islands in the survey were found to be significantly distinctive from each other. Their interrelatedness is independent of the distance between them. Therefore, sites should be considered independently from each other. This information is important when evaluating the effectiveness of newly established marine reserves and fish population management. The purpose of the current project is to assess annual and spatial variability of community structure, to identify the role of variation of habitat variables in explaining fish patterns, and to establish how spatio-temporal variability might be driven by oceanographic features and conditions, and altered by anthropogenic actions. Additionally this project will help establish a standardized statewide monitoring program of reef habitat. Data will be collected using quantitative scuba surveys. An overall greater understanding of nearshore fish distributions will allow the assessment of newly established marine reserves in our region.


D. Pondella II




Occidental College Undergraduate Research Center

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