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Fishery Resources and Threatened Coastal Habitats in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Abstract)
Jordan, S J., D D. Dantin, W S. Fisher, AND J T. Winstead. Fishery Resources and Threatened Coastal Habitats in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Abstract). Presented at American Fisheries Society, Madison, WI, August 21 - 26, 2004.
We have explored relationships between selected fishery species of the northern Gulf of Mexico and important features of their habitats. The principal goal of our research is to predict the cumulative effects of habitat alterations on coastal resources and ecosystems. Pink shrimp (Farfantopenaeus duorarum), brown shrimp (F. aztecus), white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), oysters (Crassostrea virginica), and sciaenid fishes (represented by spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus) were selected for study because of their economic importance, distribution throughout the northern Gulf, and apparent dependence on specific properties of coastal habitats. Although life histories and habitat requirements of these species differ in many ways, they also share important similarities. For all of these species, recruitment, abundance of juveniles, and production of harvestable biomass are positively associated with structured habitats (seagrasses, marshes, shell reefs), shallow water, and mixing of fresh and salt water. These are consistent features of estuaries in the region, but all are threatened by natural and anthropogenic changes. Freshwater inputs to estuaries may be the most essential feature of these habitats. Predictive models could be used in the development of criteria for protection and restoration of essential coastal habitats.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH