Science activity

Science activity #53771, updated 26 February 2024

Revealing the invisible contributors to the diets of larval longfin smelt and striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary.

Description / purpose

To better understand why the longfn smelt is threatened, the project compared the diet of larval longfn smelt to a thriving fsh with overlapping natal habitat and of similar size and morphology— the Pacifc herring. Using new genetic analysis methods, the project aimed to elucidate species composition of fsh diets in greater detail than has been done before and to measure diferences in composition and frequency of prey across habitats. In particular, the project aimed to identify prey items that were not previously seen using traditional diet analysis methods and assess whether any prey are indicative of natal habitats
  • Microscope image of mixed larval fishes from a water sample.
  • Microscope image showing a subsample of the zooplankton present in the water, possible prey available to the larval fishes.
  • In the end it all comes down to DNA in a tube. The liquid in this tube was processed with DNA sequencing technology to recover millions of DNA sequences that can be traced back to the diets of the larval fishes in this study. - M. Jungbluth

Activity status

  • 1 Awarded / Initiating (2017)
  • 2 In progress / Ongoing (2 - 2)
  • 3 Complete

Funding summary

Total allocated funding: $0


Delta regions

Geographic tags

None specified

Products and outputs

None provided

Type and context

Lead implementing organization

Partner implementing organizations

None specified

Funding organizations

None specified

Funding programs

None specified

Funding sources

None specified