Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 722, Issue 1, pp 233–245 | Cite as

The ecology of freshwater wrack along natural and engineered Hudson River shorelines

  • Cornelia Harris
  • David L. Strayer
  • Stuart Findlay
Primary research paper

Abstract

Organic matter that is washed onto shore, or “wrack,” is an important component of shoreline ecosystems, providing habitat for macroinvertebrates and organic matter and nutrients to both the upland terrestrial communities and aquatic ecosystems. While marine wrack has been studied extensively, wrack along freshwater shorelines has received less attention. In this article, we report on the standing stocks, mobility, decomposition rates, and macroinvertebrate communities of wrack on different types of Hudson River shorelines (natural: sand, rock, bedrock; and engineered: riprap, cribbing, and bulkhead). Standing stocks of wrack sometimes exceeded 1 kg dry mass/m2, and were the highest on shorelines having flat slopes. Artificial wrack (hay) placed below the high tide mark was rarely retained for more than a few tidal cycles, particularly on highly exposed shores. Wrack on cribbing shorelines decayed significantly faster than on other shoreline types. Macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity were significantly different among shoreline types, with the lowest abundance found on cribbing, along with significantly lower diversity. Consequently, if managers use structures such as cribbing and bulkheads to rebuild or reinforce shorelines, then certain ecological functions may be lost.

Keywords

Freshwater Wrack Engineered Decomposition Macroinvertebrate diversity Macroinvertebrate density 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Fanny Chauvière, Heather Malcom, David Fischer, Gary Kleppel, and Zara Dowling for their technical help and advice. Financial support was provided by the Hudson River Foundation, its Polgar Fellowship program, and through a grant from the Cooperative Institute of Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology.

References

  1. Backlund, H. O., 1945. Wrack fauna of Sweden and Finland: ecology and chorology. Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum. Oy Tilgmann Ab, Helsingfors.Google Scholar
  2. Bänziger, R., 1995. A comparative study of the zoobenthos of eight land-water interfaces (Lake of Geneva). Hydrobiologia 300(301): 133–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bianchi, T. S. & S. E. G. Findlay, 1991. Decomposition of Hudson estuary macrophytes: photosynthetic pigment transformations and decay constants. Estuaries 14: 65–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, A. C. & A. McLachlan, 2002. Sandy shore ecosystems and the threats facing them: some predictions for the year 2025. Environmental Conservation 29: 62–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapman, M. G. & D. J. Blockley, 2009. Engineering novel habitats on urban infrastructure to increase intertidal biodiversity. Oecologia 161: 625–635.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapman, M. G. & F. Bulleri, 2003. Intertidal seawalls – new features of the landscape in intertidal environments. Landscape Urban Planning 62: 159–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Colombini, I. & L. Chelazzi, 2003. Influence of marine allochthonous input on sandy beach communities. Oceanography and Marine Biology, An Annual Review 41: 115–159.Google Scholar
  8. Dugan, J. E., D. M. Hubbard, M. D. McCrary & M. O. Pierson, 2003. The response of macrofauna communities and shorebirds to macrophyte wrack subsidies on exposed sandy beaches of southern California. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 58S: 25–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Geyer, W. R. & R. Chant, 2006. The physical oceanography processes in the Hudson River Estuary. In Levinton, J. S. & J. R. Waldman (eds), The Hudson River Estuary. Cambridge University Press, New York: 24–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gotelli, N. J. & G. R. Graves, 1996. Null Models in Ecology. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  11. Harding, J. S., E. F. Benfield, P. V. Bolstad, G. S. Helfman & E. B. D. Jones III, 1998. Stream biodiversity: the ghost of land use past. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 95: 14843–14847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jedrzejczak, M. F., 2002. Stranded Zostera marina L. vs wrack fauna community interaction on a Baltic sandy beach: a short-term pilot study. Part 1. Driftline effects of fragmented detritivory, leaching and decay rates. Oceanologia 44: 273–286.Google Scholar
  13. Klein, R. J. T., R. J. Nicholls, S. Ragoonaden, M. Capobianco, J. Aston & E. N. Buckley, 2001. Technological options for adaptation to climate change in coastal zones. Journal of Coastal Research 17: 531–543.Google Scholar
  14. Kornijow, R., D. L. Strayer & N. F. Caraco, 2010. Macroinvertebrate communities of hypoxic habitats created by an invasive plant (Trapa natans) in the freshwater tidal Hudson River. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 176: 199–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lewin, W. C., N. Okun & T. Mehner, 2004. Determinants of the distribution of juvenile fish in the littoral area of a shallow lake. Freshwater Biology 49: 410–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Llewellyn, P. J. & S. E. Schackley, 1996. The effects of mechanical beach-cleaning on invertebrate populations. British Wildlife 7: 147–155.Google Scholar
  17. Malm, T., S. Raberg, S. Fell & P. Carlsson, 2004. Effects of beach cast cleaning on beach quality, microbial food web, and littoral macrofaunal biodiversity. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 60: 339–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCune, B. & J. B. Grace, 2002. Analysis of Ecological Communities. MJM Software, Gleneden Beach, OR.Google Scholar
  19. Miller, D., 2005. Shoreline Inventory of the Hudson River. Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Department of Environmental Conservation.Google Scholar
  20. Moreira, J., M. G. Chapman & A. J. Underwood, 2006. Seawalls do not sustain viable populations of limpets. Marine Ecology Progress Service 322: 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Morgan, R. P. & S. F. Cushman, 2005. Urbanization effects on stream fish assemblages in Maryland, USA. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24: 643–655.Google Scholar
  22. Moschella, P. S., M. Abbiati, P. Aberg, L. Airoldi, J. M. Anderson, F. Bacchiocchi, F. Bulleri, G. E. Dinesen, M. Frost, E. Gacia, L. Granhag, P. R. Jonsson, M. P. Satta, A. Sundelof, R. C. Thompson & S. J. Hawkins, 2005. Low-crested coastal defense structures as artificial habitats for marine life: using ecological criteria in design. Coastal Engineering 52: 1053–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. National Research Council, 2007. Mitigating Shore Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  24. New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force Report, Submitted December 31, 2010 to the New York State Legislature. http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/67778.html. Accessed 15 January 2011.
  25. NOAA tide predictions, 2013. http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.shtml?gid=62. Last accessed 29 July 2013.
  26. Orr, M., M. Zimmer, D. E. Jelinski & M. Mews, 2005. Wrack deposition on different beach types: spatial and temporal variation in the pattern of subsidy. Ecology 86: 1496–1507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Petersen, I., Z. Masters, A. G. Hildrew & S. J. Ormerod, 2004. Dispersal of adult aquatic insects in catchments of differing land use. Journal of Applied Ecology 41(5): 934–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Polis, G. A. & S. D. Hurd, 1996. Linking marine and terrestrial food webs: allochthonous input from the ocean supports high secondary productivity on small islands and coastal land communities. American Naturalist 147: 396–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Polis, G. A., F. Sánchez-Piñero, P. T. Stapp, W. B. Anderson & M. D. Rose, 2004. Trophic flows from water to land: marine input affects food webs of islands and coastal ecosystems worldwide. In Polis, G. A., M. E. Power & G. R. Huxel (eds), Food Webs at the Landscape Level. University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 200–216.Google Scholar
  30. Romanuk, T. N. & C. D. Levings, 2003. Associations between arthropods and the supralittoral ecotone: dependence of aquatic and terrestrial taxa on riparian vegetation. Environmental Entomology 32: 1343–1354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sawyer, J. A., P. M. Stewart, M. M. Mullen, T. P. Simon & H. H. Bennett, 2004. Influence of habitat, water quality, and land use on macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages of a southeastern coastal plain watershed, USA. Aquatic Ecosystem Health 7: 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Squires, D. F., 1992. Quantifying anthropogenic shoreline modification of the Hudson River and estuary from European contact to modern times. Coastal Management 20: 343–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Strayer, D. L. & S. E. G. Findlay, 2010. Ecology of freshwater shore zones. Aquatic Sciences 72: 127–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Strayer, D. L. & H. M. Malcom, 2007. Submersed vegetation as habitat for invertebrates in the Hudson River estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 30: 253–264.Google Scholar
  35. Strayer, D. L., C. Lutz, H. M. Malcom, K. Munger & W. H. Shaw, 2003. Invertebrate communities associated with a native (Vallisneria americana) and an alien (Trapa natans) macrophyte in a large river. Freshwater Biology 48: 1938–1949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Strayer, D. L., S. E. G. Findlay, D. M. Miller, H. M. Malcom, D. T. Fischer & T. Coote, 2012. Biodiversity in Hudson River shores zones: influence of shoreline type and physical structure. Aquatic Sciences 74: 597–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thompson, R. C., T. P. Crowe & S. J. Hawkins, 2002. Rocky intertidal communities: past environmental changes, present status and predictions for the next 25 years. Environmental Conservation 29: 168–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 2004. Wadeable Stream Assessment: Field Operations Manual EPA 841-B-04-004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water and Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C.: 106 pp.Google Scholar
  39. Way, C. M., A. J. Burky, C. R. Bingham & A. C. Miller, 1995. Substrate roughness, velocity refuges, and macroinvertebrate abundance on artificial substrates in the lower Mississippi River. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 14: 510–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Harris
    • 1
    • 2
  • David L. Strayer
    • 1
  • Stuart Findlay
    • 1
  1. 1.Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrookUSA
  2. 2.Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy ProgramState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

Personalised recommendations