Science Inventory

Ecological periodic tables for estuarine habitats

Citation:

FERRARO, S. P. AND F. A. COLE. Ecological periodic tables for estuarine habitats. Presented at Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association 45 International Conference, Dublin, Northern Ireland, IRELAND, August 29 - September 04, 2009.

Impact/Purpose:

Southwood (1977; J Anim Ecol 46: 337-365) compared the situation in ecology to that in chemistry before the development of the periodic table when each fact, for example, the solubility or reactivity of a chemical element, had to be discovered independently and remembered in isolation.

Description:

Southwood (1977; J Anim Ecol 46: 337-365) compared the situation in ecology to that in chemistry before the development of the periodic table when each fact, for example, the solubility or reactivity of a chemical element, had to be discovered independently and remembered in isolation. Southwood reasoned that since ecological strategies evolve from the interaction of the habitat and organisms “a sort of ecological periodic table” might be constructed with a set of key habitat characteristics, or “habitat templets,” as the organizing elements. We have observed that at the whole estuary scale, sediment features (sand; mud), the presence of ecosystem engineering species (eelgrass; dwarf eelgrass; mud shrimp; ghost shrimp; oysters), and bathymetry (intertidal; subtidal) are effective habitat classifiers for benthic macrofauna in US Pacific Northwest estuaries. The presence/absence of eelgrass, mud shrimp and ghost shrimp are also effective habitat classifiers for intertidal nekton. Temporally and spatially recurring across-habitat patterns in species richness, abundance, biomass, and Bray-Curtis similarity, suggest that these habitats act as templets (sensu Southwood, 1977) and can be used as organizing elements in ecological periodic tables of benthic macrofaunal and nekton community condition.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 09/02/2009
Record Last Revised: 09/10/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 210230

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