EPA Science Inventory

Estuarine Food Webs

Citation:

HAGY, J. D. AND W. KEMP. Estuarine Food Webs. 2ndChapter 16, JW Day, WM Kemp, and A Yanez-Arancibia (ed.), Estuarine Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, , 417-441, (2013).

Description:

Estuaries provide habitat for abundant plants, animals and micro-organisms, ranging from microscopic plankton (bacteria, yeasts, algae, protozoa) to larger benthic and pelagic organisms (seagrass, clams, crabs, sea trout, pelicans and dolphins). Estuarine biota can be characterized in a variety of ways including by taxonomy (e.g., algae, crustaceans, flounder), ecological function (e.g., primary producers, decomposers), and habitat and/or "niche" (e.g., benthic suspension feeders). Whereas these groupings are often the subject of distinct disciplines within estuarine ecology, food web ecology examines their arrangements and interactions as a whole. Feeding habits are an integrative way to organize interactions among a diverse spectrum of organisms and functional groups, creating food webs. Like many areas of estuarine ecology, food web ecology developed first elsewhere and was later applied to estuaries. Important early studies in the field, such as Lindeman's (e.g., 1942), focused on lakes. Early studies also examined planktonic food webs in the open ocean and interactions involving ocean fisheries (Ryther 1969; Pomeroy 1974). In this chapter, we examine some of the terminology, concepts, theory and models that are used in the study of food webs in general and in food webs of estuaries in particular.

Purpose/Objective:

This is a textbook chapter to be included in the upcoming second edition of the textbook "Estuarine Ecology". The chapter explains basic concepts, quantitative methods for analysis of estuarine food webs, and applications in estuarine science and management.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Start Date: 01/01/2013
Completion Date: 01/01/2013
Record Last Revised: 02/05/2013
Record Created: 09/26/2011
Record Released: 09/26/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 238449

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS AND EFFECTS BRANCH