Epibenthic macroinvertebrates of four phyla—Arthropoda, Mollusca, Annelida, and Echinodermata—from unpolluted and polluted estuarine waters in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico were collected by otter trawl and examined over an 18-month study period. The number of species
found in each system was not significantly different, although over two and one-half times the number of individuals were collected from the unpolluted area (Econfina estuary) than from the polluted area (Fenholloway estuary). The most abundant species were relatively more abundant in the
unpolluted area. At least four different habitats available to the organisms occur in the study area; associated with each is a distinct species group. The four groups include those species associated with (1) grassbeds, (2) oyster bars, (3) mud flats, and (4) benthic red algae.
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