Volume 72

The Effects of Water Quality and Sediment Grain Size on the Presence of Emerita talpoida at High (Clearwater Beach, FL) and Low (Indian Rocks Beach, FL) Human Impact Beaches.

Garcia, R; C. Riley
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 353

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


This study focused on the interactions and connections between mole crabs in comparison to high vs. low human impact beaches along with water and sediment quality. Sediment cores were completed at Clearwater Beach (high impact) and Indian Rocks Beach (low impact) in order to observe the presence or absence of Emerita talpoida. At each site there were 5 sediment and 5 water samples collected at the mid-swash zone in order to assess sediment grain size and water quality. There were significant differences between turbidity, alkalinity, and temperature between sites; Clearwater Beach had higher levels of all three factors. However, there was no difference in sediment grain size based on site. While there was no E. talpoida found in any of the sediment cores, there was a presence of coquina clams which served as an indicator of E. talpoida occupation in the habitat. The higher levels of turbidity and alkalinity could have been the result of no Donax variabilis being found at Clearwater Beach in comparison to Indian Rocks Beach. This creates a great concern because E. talpoida populations are key indicators of overall beach health.

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