Koepfler, E. T. Coastal Carolina University, ERIC@COASTAL.EDU
Allen, D. T. Baruch Marine Laboratory, University of South Carolina, dallen@belle.baruch.scarolina.edu
Bushek, D. Baruch Marine Laboratory, University of South Carolina, dbushek@belle.baruch.scarolina.edu
Lewitus, A. Baruch Marine Laboratory, University of South Carolina, lewitus@belle.baruch.sc.edu,
Dame, R. Coastal Carolina University, dame@coastal.edu
Corbett, B. Baruch Marine Laboratory, corbett@coast.geol.sc.edu
Kjerfve, . Baruch Marine Laboratory, bjorn@coast.geol.sc.edu

 
GEOMORPHOLOGY, HYDROLOGY AND LANDSCAPE SETTING INFLUENCE ON PLANKTON, NEKTON AND BENTHOS OF EIGHT SALTMARSH TIDAL CREEKS OF NORTH INLET, SC
 
The influence of landscape placement, geomorphology, and hydrographic features upon the biotic charactersitics of replicated saltmarsh tidal creek ecosystems, was examined in the NSF "Creek" project. Total station surveys of eight saltmarsh tidal creeks in North Inlet, SC, produced digital elevation models for each basin, and provided a variety of spatial and hydrologic indices. Nutrients and plankton were sensitive to physical structure indices (i.e. NH4 and Chlorophyll positively related to creek mouth elevation and volume to mouth cross section ratio; POM was negatively related to creek branching). Creek chlorophyll concentrations and oyster growth rates displayed landscape influences and were high in creeks which drained into middle marsh habitats compared to creeks which drained an upland marsh ridge. Nekton species and life stage composition were similar among the creeks, however the relative densities of various species and the total nekton densities varied considerably (i.e. creeks with highest and lowest biomass densities differed by factors of up to 100). Regardless of season, rankings based on total nekton densities in the various creeks remained consistent. This highly persistent spatial distribution with the same creeks being highest or lowest throughout the year suggests fundamental differences in the creeks' capacities to support nekton.
 
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 04:15 - 04:30pm
Location: Eldorado Hotel
 
Code: CS64WE0415E