SS1.04 Small-scale Biophysical Coupling in Plankton Ecology
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 4:45:00 PM
Location: Esquimalt
 
JonesMB, University of Delaware / College of Marine Studies, Lewes, USA, mbjones@udel.edu
 
BRACHYURAN, POST-LARVAL PATCHES: CHARACTERIZATION AND TRANSPORT IN THE DELAWARE BAY.
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Understanding the factors that control the patchiness of larval forms is an important question in biological oceanography. Regarding this question, one of the most thoroughly field examined and modeled species in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) system is the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. Recent studies at the University of Delaware have focused on the dimensions and transport of blue crab, post-larval (megalopal) patches from the near coast into the Delaware Bay. Preliminary data from plankton samples taken during the late summer / early autumn (2001) indicated that patches of blue crab megalopae were present on the inner shelf. Prior preliminary samples taken in a Delaware Bay secondary estuary during Hurricane Dennis (1999) showed that high-density patches of blue crab megalopae were transported into the nursery area from the shelf. These results support the idea that patches of megalopae are transported into the estuary during times of downwelling-favorable winds and perhaps aggregate with existing megalopal patches once inside the estuary.