A Spatial Study of Benthic Microalgae in an Intertidal Sandflat at East Beach in Galveston Bay, Texas




Lee, Alyce R. and James L. Pinckney

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Galveston Bay Estuary Program


A substantial portion of Galveston Bay is intertidal sand and mudflats. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the spatial scale of benthic microalgal biomass and diversity in a typical intertidal habitat for Galveston Bay. These results will provide insights into spatial linkages between benthic microalgal biomass and consumers. The interactions of the main environmental structuring factors; light, nutrients and grazing can cause the community structure to vary temporally and spatially. By understanding how sediment microbial systems are structured, we can then understand how benthic microalgae impact higher trophic levels.


pg. 211


water quality, habitat, ecology, watershed management, benthic microalgae, intertidal sandflat, east beach, galveston bay, estuarine, coastal foodweb, phytoplankton, erosion, turbidity, macrophyte vegetation, marshes, diatoms, blue-green algae, chlorophytes, mudflats