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Effects of freshwater discharges and habitat architecture on oyster reef community development and diversity

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Date Issued:
2012
Summary:
Oyster reefs support diverse estuarine communities and food webs. Factors controlling oyster reef community development were studied on restored reefs in the St. Lucie Estuary. Freshwater discharges create stresses that cause oyster mortality, habitat loss and reduction in reef community diversity. Using structural equation modeling, it was demonstrated that salinity, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a gradients influence oysters and some reef invertebrate species, but did not support the predictions of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis. In contrast, diversity and species richness were greatest at low stress sites. A field experiment showed that topographic relief and architectural complexity enhanced colonization and growth of reef-building species (e.g.oysters and mussels). The relief by complexity interaction had a higher order, synergistic effect on oyster abundance. When considered separately, increasing relief further enhanced dominant sessile taxa (cirripeds and ascideans) ; while, increasing complexity supported greater species richness and the abundance of cirripeds.
Title: Effects of freshwater discharges and habitat architecture on oyster reef community development and diversity.
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Name(s): Salewski, Elizabeth a.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Center for Environmental Studies
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xiii, 114 p. : ill. (some col.)
Language(s): English
Summary: Oyster reefs support diverse estuarine communities and food webs. Factors controlling oyster reef community development were studied on restored reefs in the St. Lucie Estuary. Freshwater discharges create stresses that cause oyster mortality, habitat loss and reduction in reef community diversity. Using structural equation modeling, it was demonstrated that salinity, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a gradients influence oysters and some reef invertebrate species, but did not support the predictions of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis. In contrast, diversity and species richness were greatest at low stress sites. A field experiment showed that topographic relief and architectural complexity enhanced colonization and growth of reef-building species (e.g.oysters and mussels). The relief by complexity interaction had a higher order, synergistic effect on oyster abundance. When considered separately, increasing relief further enhanced dominant sessile taxa (cirripeds and ascideans) ; while, increasing complexity supported greater species richness and the abundance of cirripeds.
Identifier: 820951342 (oclc), 3355881 (digitool), FADT3355881 (IID), fau:3970 (fedora)
Note(s): by Elizabeth A. Salewski.
Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2012.
Includes bibliography.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Subject(s): American oyster -- Florida -- St. Lucie River Estuary
Reef ecology -- Florida -- St. Lucie River Estuary
Habitat conservation -- Florida -- St. Lucie River Estuary
Predation (Biology)
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3355881
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU