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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

The Effects of Microalgal Primary Production on the Recolonization of Macrofauna iInto Saltmarsh-Pond Mesocosms

EPA Grant Number: U914949
Title: The Effects of Microalgal Primary Production on the Recolonization of Macrofauna iInto Saltmarsh-Pond Mesocosms
Investigators: Stocks, Karen I.
Institution: Rutgers SUNJ
EPA Project Officer: Manty, Dale
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996)
Research Category: Fellowship - Oceanography , Aquatic Ecosystems , Academic Fellowships



The objective of this research project is to determine the effect of microalgal primary production on the rate and species composition of macrobenthic recolonization into saltmarsh ponds.


Replicated mesocosms mimicking natural ponds (1.5 m diameter, 0.6 m deep) were dug into an intertidal saltmarsh in New Jersey, and were filled with 10 cm of natural sediments in which all macrofauna had been killed. One-half of the ponds were shaded to inhibit photosynthesis. In addition, half way through the experiment, the shading treatment was crossed with an oxygenation treatment in which ponds were bubbled to keep dissolved oxygen levels high. Because oxygen levels in marsh ponds can periodically decrease to levels stressful or fatal to benthic fauna, and because photosynthesis increases oxygen, decreasing microalgal production could affect the benthic animals both by decreasing a food source and by increasing oxygen stress. The oxygenation treatment was designed to differentiate these two effects. The ponds were sampled with cores over two months during the summer, and all colonizing macrofauna were identified and counted.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, microalgal primary production, rate and species composition, dissolved oxygen, macrofauna, salt marsh-pond mesocosms., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, State, Oceanography, algal blooms, Ecology and Ecosystems, saltmarsh ponds, bloom dynamics, dissolved oxygen, causative organisms, New Jersey (NJ), marsh ecosystems, macroalgal populations, mesocosm experiments

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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