Marine Biology

, Volume 100, Issue 4, pp 473–483 | Cite as

Decapod and stomatopod assemblages on a system of seagrass-covered mud banks in Florida Bay

  • J. G. Holmquist
  • G. V. N. Powell
  • S. M. Sogard
Article

Abstract

The latticework of seagrass-covered mud banks in Florida Bay, Florida Keys, USA, divides the bay into distinct subenvironments and supports a robust seagrass community subject to pronounced physical stress. Throw-trap sampling of decapods and stomatopods during 1984 and 1985 (December–April, May–August and September–November of each year) showed that bank sides exposed to turbulence had low abundance but similar species richness to that of bank tops and sheltered sides. The fauna was more Gulf-Carolinean than Antillean. The crustacean communities of the different subenvironments, however, were distinct, with both Antillean and temperate assemblages represented and with one isolated area markedly depauperate. The two subenvironments adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico had the greatest densities. Multiple-regression techniques suggested that vegetational habitat characteristics played a secondary role compared to various physical factors. We hypothesize that (1) restricted circulation (compounded by winter cold-fronts or other seasonal causes of density minima), (2) juxtaposed faunal provinces, and (3) the wider salinity range of the isolated regions of the bay were primarily responsible for the strikingly different communities of the various subenvironments.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. G. Holmquist
    • 1
  • G. V. N. Powell
    • 1
  • S. M. Sogard
    • 1
  1. 1.Research DepartmentNational Audubon SocietyTavernierUSA

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