Habitat Function in Alaska Nearshore Marine Ecosystems

Jodi L. Pirtle
Postdoctoral Candidate

School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, 3:00pm
Chase 130

Part I:  This research examines how habitat structures subtidal communities along the fjord coast of southeast Alaska. Patterns of marine community structure at shallow subtidal depths between inner coast and outer coast regions of southeast Alaska are described by species distribution linked to regional gradients in temperature and salinity, and to local seafloor substrate.

Part II:  An in-depth investigation of red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus early life stage ecology and nursery habitat was conducted to identify factors that contribute to early life stage success. Availability of complex habitat structure, cryptic behavior, and direct defense improve survival of early juvenile stage crabs in laboratory and field experiments.


Jodi Pirtle is a Fisheries Ecologist, having completed her Ph.D. in the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Jodi holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from Washington State University. Her research focuses on the role of habitat to support marine species, particularly harvested groundfish and crabs. Jodi’s research background includes red king crab nursery habitat function; subtidal marine community structure linked to environmental variability in an Alaska fjord system; and Essential Fish Habitat for groundfish at deep, rocky banks along the U.S. West Coast.