Wooden panels were located near the surface and at 4.6 m at five stations in central Chesapeake Bay near the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant from 1970 to 1980 to sample the epifaunal community. Fifty-six taxa were identified, but five species consistently accounted for 80–90% of the biomass. These five dominants included a colonial hydroid, two ectoprocts, a barnacle, and a tube-building amphipod. Organisms set from April to December, but both species numbers and biomass peaked in summer, and both showed significant correlation with temperature. Surface biomass peaked in June at 118 g·m−2, 2 months earlier than at the bottom (119 g·m−2). Monthly biomass averaged 49.6 g·m−2 at the surface and 50.9 g·m−2 at the bottom. Highest biomass values were recorded for bottom panels in the discharge of the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. Ratios of ash-free biomass to total dry weight were lower for bottom panels than for surface panels because of greater coverage of bottom panels by barnacles.
KeywordsSurface Panel Cove Point Plant Discharge Patuxent River Estuary Colonial Hydroid
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