EPA Science Inventory

RELATIONS OF FISH AND SHELLFISH DISTRIBUTIONS TO HABITAT AND WATER QUALITY IN THE MOBILE BAY ESTUARY, USA

Citation:

RASHLEIGH, B., M. J. CYTERSKI, L. M. SMITH, AND J. NESTLERODE. RELATIONS OF FISH AND SHELLFISH DISTRIBUTIONS TO HABITAT AND WATER QUALITY IN THE MOBILE BAY ESTUARY, USA. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT. Springer, New York, NY, 150(1-4):181-192, (2009).

Description:

The Mobile Bay estuary provides rich habitat for many fish and shellfish, including those identified as economically and ecologically important. The National Estuary Program has focused on restoration of degraded estuarine habitat on which these species depend. To support this effort, we developed statistical models to relate distributions of individual fish and shellfish species and species assemblages to two dozen wter quality and habitat variables in a geo-referenced database. Ordination was used to arrange species according to axes that represented gradients of low to high salinity and upland to offshore habitat area. A hierarchical cluster analysis performed on species abbundance data identified groups or clusters of co-occurring species with a high degree of spatial fidelity. Fifteen clusters were subsequently used in a discriminant analysis with water quality and habitat vriables; a 53% success rate in classifying the fish assemblages was achieved. Overall, we found that species occurred in definitive, spatially-oriented assemblages that could be related to habitat characteristics; however, due to mobility of organisms among sampling locations and the dynamic environmental conditions in estuaries, we conclude that the analyses presented here are most appropriate for an evaluation of the estuary as a whole.

Purpose/Objective:

Development of statistical models to relate distributions of individual fish and shellfish species and species assemblages to two dozen water quality and habitat variables in a geo-referenced database, to determine co-occurring species with a high degree of spatial fidelity.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 03/01/2009
Completion Date: 03/01/2009
Record Last Revised: 03/25/2013
Record Created: 07/24/2007
Record Released: 07/24/2007
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 178423

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH