Decapod and Stomatopod Communities of Seagrass-Covered Mud Banks in Florida Bay: Inter- and Intra-Bank Heterogeneity with Special Reference to Isola Ted Subenvironments
Using throw trap sampling, we compared the decapod and stomatopod fauna of the grass-covered mud banks in five major subenvironments of Florida Bay and tested for zonation in these fauna across individual banks. Fauna was primarily Gulf-Carolinean, despite the presence of a rich Antillean community just outside the bay. The two subenvironments adjacent to open ocean had high species richness, but banks became increasingly depauperate toward the interior of the bay, with the innermost study site supporting a virtual monoculture of the grass shrimp Thor floridanus. Species richness was similar across bank tops and exposed and sheltered sides. For the majority of species and sites, the exposed sides had the lowest abundance of the three transects. We suggest that restricted circulation may limit larval recruitment to inner portions of the bay (particularly for those species whose adult populations within the bay frequently fell to virtually nil) and that physical parameters, especially salinity, partially mediate the community structure of organisms that do gain access to the bay's isolated areas.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 1989
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