State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010GA238B
Title: Temporal and micro-site variation in flow characteristics in estuarine habitats
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District:
Focus Categories: Ecology, Solute Transport
Keywords: estuarine flow, predator-prey interactions, turbulence
Principal Investigators: Webster, Donald R. (Georgia Institute of Technology); Weissburg, Marc (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Federal Funds: $ 18,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 45,876
Abstract: We propose to measure flow environments near oyster reefs over long temporal periods and at multiple micro-sites. The goal is to provide comprehensive and detailed information about flow dynamics to couple with current and ongoing work on olfactory predators in Georgia estuarine environments. Interactions between commercially-important blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) predators and commercially-important hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) prey occur in proximity to oyster reefs in Georgia estuaries. Blue crab fisheries in Georgia have shown declines due to overfishing as well as in response to drought conditions. Thus, quantifying the flow characteristics in the vicinity of reefs allows us to asses, and predict, the impact of predation on local communities in given conditions, and may suggest how periods of reduced oceanward flow (drought, increased water diversion/use) may affect the resilience of estuarine populations. Information about the population and spatial dynamics of these species interactions can then be used to design better fisheries models, guide regulations regarding harvest numbers, or to regulate specific areas in the estuary system.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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