Development of infaunal populations and below-ground organic matter from three created Spartina alterniflora marshes in Galveston Bay, Texas




Goldberg, Alisha Renee

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Texas A&M University


Because of the high rates of wetland loss, there have been many efforts to create marshes on dredged material. However, these marshes sometimes have trouble supporting infaunal populations which are used as food for estuarine animals. Organic matter and infaunal populations can develop over time. To examine the relationship between infaunal abundance and sediment parameters, two already created marshes were compared to one new one in the same location. Samples were collected at and between culms of Spartina alterniflora. More animals were collected in cores of culms, and most of the infauna were found in the upper 2.5 cm of sediment. Organic matter levels were lowest in the newest marsh. The study suggests that factors other than organic matter concentration control infaunal populations.


91 pgs.


marshes, Spartina alterniflora, smooth cord grass, organic matter, zoobenthos, wildlife, fisheries, estuarine ecology, invertebrate populations