Connectivity Among Salt Marsh Subhabitats: Residency and Movements of the Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus)
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- Able, K.W., Vivian, D.N., Petruzzelli, G. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2012) 35: 743. doi:10.1007/s12237-011-9471-x
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We examined connectivity among marsh subhabitats to determine the structural limits and important components of a polyhaline salt marsh by studying the patterns of abundance, residency, and movement of a numerically and ecologically dominant nektonic fish (mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus). We captured, tagged (n = 14,040 individuals, 30–110 mm), and recaptured from Feb 2001 to Jul 2002, although most recaptures (75–95% by tagging location) occurred within 150 days. Seasonal residency and movements were common among most subhabitats based on catch per unit effort and recapture per unit effort. Thus, these (marsh pools, intertidal and subtidal creeks, and marsh surface) should be considered natural subhabitats within New England type salt marshes. Further, all these subhabitat types should be included in studies of salt marsh nekton and marsh restoration and creation activities.