Spatio-temporal distribution of larval Gobiosoma bosc in waters adjacent to natural and altered marsh-edge habitats of Mississippi coastal waters
Abstract:Larval naked gobies, Gobiosoma bosc, were collected monthly from October 1995 to September 1997 by beam plankton trawl from waters adjacent to natural Juncus/Spartina marsh-edge, natural sandy beach, and altered Juncus/Spartina marsh-edge habitats in Mississippi coastal waters. Altered marsh habitats consisted of two bulkheaded stations and one stretch of riprap. Abundances were significantly higher in waters adjacent to natural marsh-edge habitats than in those adjacent to altered habitats in year one (P = 0.011), suggesting that the physical nature of alteration may have caused reduced habitat suitability. Abundances also varied seasonally, with summer conditions of high water temperature, increasing tide height, intermediate depth, low dissolved oxygen, and clear skies being significantly related to high abundance of postflexion G. bosc in each year (r2 = 0.481 and 0.276, respectively). Year two abundances were lower than those of year one and not significantly different among habitats. There was also a noticeable shift in the reproductive strategy of G. bosc from a bimodal pattern in year one to a single reproductive peak in year two. This study illustrates the importance of natural Juncus/Spartina marsh-edge habitat to G. bosc reproduction/recruitment and by extension to the community structure of the Back Bay/Davis Bayou estuarine ecosystem.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2000
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