Science Inventory

Ecological periodic tables for benthic macrofaunal usage of estuarine habitats in the US Pacific Northwest

Citation:

Ferraro, S. P. AND F. A. COLE. Ecological periodic tables for benthic macrofaunal usage of estuarine habitats in the US Pacific Northwest. ESTUARINE, COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 94:36-47, (2011).

Impact/Purpose:

Estuary-wide benthic macrofauna─habitat associations were determined for 9 habitats (intertidal eelgrass [Zostera marina], dwarf eelgrass [Zostera japonica], oyster [Crassostrea gigas], mud shrimp [Upogebia pugettensis], ghost shrimp [Neotrypaea californiensis], shell, sand, mud, and subtidal) in Grays Harbor, Washington, United States.

Description:

Estuary-wide benthic macrofauna─habitat associations were determined for 9 habitats (intertidal eelgrass [Zostera marina], dwarf eelgrass [Zostera japonica], oyster [Crassostrea gigas], mud shrimp [Upogebia pugettensis], ghost shrimp [Neotrypaea californiensis], shell, sand, mud, and subtidal) in Grays Harbor, Washington, United States. Benthic macrofaunal Bray─Curtis similarity was significantly different among all the habitats except eelgrass and oyster. There were significant differences among habitats on the following ecological indicators of benthic macrofaunal community condition: mean number of species (S), total abundance (A), total biomass (B), abundance of deposit (AD), suspension (AS), and facultative (AF) feeders, Swartz’s (SI) and Brillouin’s (H) indices, proportion of deposit, suspension, and facultative feeders, and jackknife estimates of estuary-wide habitat species richness (HSR). The rank order of habitats on ecological indicators associated with high diversity and productivity at the sample unit (0.01 m2 × 5-cm deep) scale (high mean S, A, B, and H) was eelgrass ≈ dwarf eelgrass ≈ oyster ≥ mud ≈ mud shrimp ≈ shell ≥ ghost shrimp ≈ subtidal ≈ sand. Results of within-habitat regressions of benthic macrofaunal condition indicators on eelgrass, dwarf eelgrass, mud shrimp, ghost shrimp, and oyster density and sediment % silt + clay and total organic carbon indicated that subdividing the habitats into ≥2 classes on those environmental variables, for example, low (<50% cover) and high (≥50% cover) eelgrass density, was generally not warranted. The rank order of 5 habitats on benthic macrofauna mean S, A, B, AD, AS, AF, SI, and H was the same (eelgrass ≈ oyster > mud shrimp > ghost shrimp ≈ subtidal) in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, Washington, suggesting macrofauna─habitat associations may be generally applicable over a wider geographic area and range of environmental conditions. The benthic macrofauna─habitat associations identified in this study contribute to our understanding of the benthic macrofaunal geographical ecology and have applications in environmental science and conservation, preservation, and restoration ecology.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 07/01/2011
Record Last Revised: 06/15/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 199928

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

PACIFIC COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH