Advertisement

Estuaries

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 171–185 | Cite as

Fauna of polyhaline subtidal marsh creeks in Southern New Jersey: Composition, abundance and biomass

  • Rodney A. Rountree
  • Kenneth W. Able
Article

Abstract

Three polyhaline subtidal marsh creeks in southern New Jersey were sampled with weirs and seines to determine seasonal patterns of utilization by fishes and macroinvertebrates. Sixty-four species of fish, 13 invertebrates, and the diamondback terrapin were collected in 69 weir and 57 seine samples from April to November 1988 and April to October 1989. Average abundance, biomass, and faunal composition were strongly seasonal with greatest abundances during spring and summer, and peaks in May and August. Sixteen species were represented by all life-history stages, including the five most important species by combined ranks of percent frequency, mean abundance, and mean biomass. These five species were important during spring, summer, and fall and included the fishes Menidia menidia and Fundulus heteroclitus, the shrimps Palaemonetes vulgaris and Crangon septemspinosa, and the crab Callinectes sapidus. In addition, there were distinct seasonal assemblages of other species which utilized the creeks primarily as young-of-the-year. Importnat species in spring collections included the fishes Clupea harengus, Alosa aestivalis, Alosa pseudoharengus, Pollachius virens, and Urophysics regia, while Leiostomus xanthurus, Pomatomus saltatrix, Paralichthys dentatus, Mugil curema, and Strongylura marina were important in the summer. Fall samples were best characterized by declining abundances of summer species. Thus, subtidal marsh creeks in southern New Jersey appear to be valuable nurseries for a variety of species which spawn over the continental shelf, as well as one of the most important habitats for estuarine residents.

Keywords

Salt Marsh Horseshoe Crab Faunal Composition Marsh Creek Standard Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Bengston, D. A. 1984. Resources partitioning by Menidia menidia and Menidia beryllina (Osteichthyes: Atherinidae). Marine Ecology Progress Series 18:21–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blaber, S. J. M. 1986. Feeding selectivity of a guild of piscivorous fish in mangrove areas of northwest Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37:329–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaber, S. J. M., J. W. Y⇍ung, and M. C. Dunning. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Damper region of northwestern Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36:247–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boesch, D. F. and R. E. Turner. 1984. Dependence of fishery species on salt marshes: the role of food and refuge. Estuaries 7:460–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bozeman, E. L. Jr. and J. M. Dean. 1980. The abundance of estuarine larval and juvenile fish in a South Carolina intertidal creek. Estuaries 3:89–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapman, V. J. 1960. Salt Marshes and Salt Deserts of the World. Interscience Publications. New York. 392 p.Google Scholar
  7. Conover, D. O. and M. R. Ross. 1982. Patterns in seasonal abundance, growth and biomass of the Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia, in a New England estuary. Estuaries 5:275–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cowan, J. H., Jr. and R. S. Birdsong. 1985. Seasonal occurence of larval and juvenile fishes in a Virginia Atlantic Coast estuary with emphasis on drums (Family Sciaenidae). Estuaries 8:48–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Currin, B. M., J. P. Reed, and J. M. Miller. 1984. Growth, production, food consumption, and mortality of juvenile spot and croaker: A comparison of tidal and nontidal nursery areas. Estuaries 7:451–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dahlberg, M. D. 1972. An ecological study of Georgia coastal fishes. Fishery Bulletin 70:323–353.Google Scholar
  11. Dahlberg, M. D. and E. P. Odum. 1970. Annual cycles of species occurrence, abundance, and diversity in Georgia estuarine fish populations. American Midland Naturalist 83:382–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daiber, F. C. 1977. Salt-marsh animals: Distributions related to tidal flooding, salinity and vegetation, Chapter 5, p. 79–108. In V. J. Chapman (ed.), Wet Coastal Ecosystems. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  13. Gosner, K. L. 1979. A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore. The Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 329 p.Google Scholar
  14. Gunter, G. 1956. Some relations of faunal distribution to salinity in estuarine waters. Ecology 37:616–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gunter, G. 1961. Some relations of estuarine organisms to salinity. Limnology and Oceanography 6:182–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hackney, C. T. 1977. Energy flux in a tidal creek draining an irregularly flooded Juncus marsh. Ph.D. Dissertation. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi. 83 p.Google Scholar
  17. Hackney, C. T., W. D. Burbanck, and O. P. Hackney. 1976. Biological and physical dynamics of a Georgia tidal creek. Chesapeake Science 17:271–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hackney, C. T. and W. D. Burbanck. 1976. Some observations on the movement and location of juvenile shrimp in coastal waters of Georgia. Bulletin Georgia Academy of Science 34:129–136.Google Scholar
  19. Hackney, C. T. and A. A. De la Cruz. 1981. Some notes on the macrofauna of an oligohaline tidal creek in Mississippi. Bulletin of Marine Science 31:658–661.Google Scholar
  20. Haedrich, R. L. 1983. Estuarine Fishes, p. 183–207. In B. H. Ketchum (ed.), Ecosystems of the World. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  21. Haefner, P. A., Jr. 1979. Comparative review of the biology of North Atlantic Caridean shrimps (Crangon), with emphasis on C. septemspinosa. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington 3:1–40.Google Scholar
  22. Hines, A. H., R. N. Lipcius, and A. M. Haddon. 1987. Population dynamics and habitat partitioning by size, sex, and molt stage of blue crabs Callinectes sapidus in a subestuary of central Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 36:55–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keup, L. and J. Bayless. 1964. Fish distribution at varying salinities in Neuse River basin, North Carolina. Chesapeake Science 5:119–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mense, D. J. and E. L. Wenner. 1989. Distribution and abundance of early life history stages of blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, in tidal marsh creeks near Charleston, South Carolina. Estuaries 12:157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Milstein, C. B. and D. L. Thomas 1976. Fishes new or uncommon to the New Jersey coast. Chesapeake Science 17:198–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Modlin, R. F. 1980. The life cycle and recruitment of the sand shrimp Crangon septemspinosa in the Mystic River estuary, Connecticut. Estuaries 3:1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nixon, S. W. 1982. The ecology of New England high salt marshes: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service FWS/OBS-81/55. 70 p.Google Scholar
  28. Nixon, S. W. and C. Oviatt. 1973. Ecology of a New England salt marsh. Ecological Monographs 43:463–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Price, K. S., Jr. 1961. Biology of the sand shrimp, Crangon septemspinosa, in the shore zone of the Delaware Bay region. Chesapeake Science 3:244–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Richards, C. F. and M. Castagna. 1970. Marine fishes of Virginia’s Eastern Shore (inlet and marsh, seaside waters). Chesapeake Science 11:235–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Robins, C. R., R. M. Bailey, C. E. Bond, J. R. Brooker, E. A. Lachner, R. N. Lea, and W. B. Scott. 1980 A List of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society Special Publication No. 12. Bethesda, Maryland. 174 p.Google Scholar
  32. Sikora, W. B. 1977. The ecology of Palaemonetes pugio in a southeastern salt marsh ecosystem with particular emphasis on production and trophic relationships. Ph.D. Thesis. Univeristy of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.Google Scholar
  33. Smith, S. M., J. G. Hoff, S. P. O'Neil, and M. P. Weinstein. 1984. Community and trophic organization of nekton utilizing shallow marsh habitats, York River, Virginia. Fishey Bulletin 82:455–467.Google Scholar
  34. Sogard, S. M. and K. W. Able. 1991. A comparison of eelgrass, sea lettuce macroalgae, and marsh creeks as habitat for epibenthic fishes and decapod crustaceans. Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science 33:501–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Subrahmanyam, C. B. and C. L. Coultas. 1980. The animal communities in two north Florida, USA, salt marshes: Part III. Seasonal fluctuations of fish and macroinvertebrates. Bulletin of Marine Science 30:790–818.Google Scholar
  36. Subrahmanyam, C. B. and S. H. Drake. 1975. Studies on the animal communities in two north Florida salt marshes. I. Fish communities. Bulletin of Marine Science 25:445–465.Google Scholar
  37. Talbot, C. W. and K. W. Able. 1984. Composition and distribution of larval fishes in New Jersey high marshes. Estuaries 7:434–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Talbot, C. W., K. W. Able, and J. K. Shisler. 1986. Fish species composition in New Jersey salt marshes: Effects of marsh alterations for mosquito control. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 115:269–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Teal, J. M. 1985. The role of one salt marsh in coastal productivity, p. 241–258. In N. L. Chao and W. Kirby-Smith (eds.) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Utilization of Coastal Ecosystems: Planning. Pollution and Productivity. Universidade do Rio Grande, Brazil.Google Scholar
  40. Teal, J. M. 1986. The ecology of regularly flooded salt marshes of New England: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.4). 61 p.Google Scholar
  41. Weinstein, M. P. 1979. Shallow marsh habitats as primary nurseries for fishes and shellfish, Cape Fear River, North Carolina. Fisheries Bulletin 77:339–357.Google Scholar
  42. Weinstein, M. P. 1984. Comparative ecology of macrofauna of saltmarshes: Toward an ecosystem synthesis. Epilogue. Estuaries 7:469–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Weinstein, M. P., S. L. Weiss, and M. F. Walters. 1980. Multiple determinants of community structure in shallow marsh habitats, Cape Fear River estuary, North Carolina, USA. Marine Biology 58:227–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Weinstein, M. P., L. Scott, S. P. O'Neil, R. C. Siegfried, II, and S. T. Szedlmayer. 1984. Population dynamics of spot, Leiostomus xanthurus, in polyhaline tidal creeks of the York River estuary, Virginia. Estuaries 7:444–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Welsh, B. L. 1975. The role of grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, in a tidal marsh ecosystem. Ecology 56:513–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Werme, C. E. 1981. Resource partitioning in a salt marsh fish community. Ph.D. Dissertation. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. 126 p.Google Scholar
  47. Williams, A. B. 1984. Shrimps, Lobsters, and Crabs of the Atlantic Coast of the Eastern United States, Maine to Florida. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 550 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodney A. Rountree
    • 1
  • Kenneth W. Able
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Field Station Institute of Marine and Coastal SciencesRutgers UniversityTuckerton

Personalised recommendations