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The effect of Hurricane Katrina on nekton communities in the tidal freshwater marshes of Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

By:
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.016

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Abstract

Hurricanes are climatically-induced resource pulses that affect community structure through the combination of physical and chemical habitat change. Estuaries are susceptible to hurricane pulses and are thought to be resilient to habitat change, because biotic communities often return quickly to pre-hurricane conditions. Although several examples provide evidence of quick recovery of estuarine nekton communities following a hurricane, few studies take place in tidal freshwater habitat where physical habitat effects can be extensive and may not be readily mitigated. We examined nekton communities (density, biomass, ?? and ?? diversity, % occurrence by residence status) in tidal freshwater marshes in Breton Sound, Louisiana, before and after a direct hit by Hurricane Katrina (2005). Vegetative marsh loss in the study area was extensive, and elevated salinity persisted for almost 6 months. Post-Katrina nekton density and biomass increased significantly, and the nekton community shifted from one of tidal freshwater/resident species to one containing brackish/migrant species, many of which are characterized by pelagic and benthic life history strategies. By spring 2007, the nekton community had shifted back to tidal freshwater/resident species, despite the enduring loss of vegetated marsh habitat. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The effect of Hurricane Katrina on nekton communities in the tidal freshwater marshes of Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA
Series title:
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
DOI:
10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.016
Volume
83
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
97
Last page:
104
Number of Pages:
8