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ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF HABITAT ALTERATION ON THE BAY SCALLOP, ARGOPECTEN IRRADIANS
Chintala, M, E K. Hinchey, T R. Gleason, AND S BrandtWilliams. ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF HABITAT ALTERATION ON THE BAY SCALLOP, ARGOPECTEN IRRADIANS. Presented at 19th Annual EPA Regional Risk Assessors Meeting, Boston, MA, May 3-7, 2004.
The U.S. EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory is evaluating approaches for protecting and restoring the ecological integrity of aquatic habitats, such as marine wetlands and coastal zones, from the impacts of multiple aquatic stressors. We are developing habitat-stressor response models for the bay scallop, Argopecten irradians, an economically and societally important marine species. Bay scallops inhabit shallow subtidal habitats along the Atlantic coast of the United States and require settlement substrates, such as submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), for their early juvenile stages. The short lifespan of bay scallops (1-2 yr), coupled with a dependency on an essential habitat (SAV), renders this species particularly vulnerable to coastal habitat alteration. We are utilizing a three-tiered modeling approach to assess the effects of habitat alteration on bay scallop populations: a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for bay scallops, a matrix population model for bay scallops and eelgrass, and a systems model for bay scallops. The benefits of this three-tiered approach are that the HSI represents the combined interactions of scallop-habitat relationships, the population model can link habitat alteration effects with demographic attributes of the scallop populations, and the systems model can link habitat alteration effects on the population with watershed-scale environmental attributes. We hope to adapt these models for other biogeographic provinces along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts through existing and new collaborations with other scallop researchers (in State and Federal governments and academic institutions).
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
HABITATS EFFECT BRANCH