All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume III, 2003

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Salt marshes in Northeastern Florida were sampled from June 2 to September 10, 2000. A 1m2 throw trap was used to sample different areas of the marsh and fish assemblages were quantified based on tidal stage and the presence of emergent vegetation. One hundred - eight samples were taken during the different tidal stages of which 64 samples contained emergent vegetation. An average of 14.8 nekton, of which 5.5 were fish species, were obtained per sample effort. Certain species exhibited preferences to habitats based on the inclusion of vegetation while others were more frequently encountered in the absence of vegetation. There was also a relationship between tidal stage and species occurrence. Some of the more abundant fish were found at specific tidal stages while others showed no relationship between abundance and tide.
This study indicates that different species of fish use the salt marsh system in different ways. Vegetation is more of a necessity for certain species of fish then it is to others. The changing of the tide moves fish into and out of the system and allows them access to other areas of the marsh. During periods of low tide, the marsh surface is exposed, but as the tide comes in, the vegetation becomes submersed and in some cases completely covered by water. This in creates two entirely different habitats for usage by the fish. The changing tide allows the fish to disperse throughout the marsh according to their specific habitat needs.

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