Monitoring nekton as a bioindicator in shallow estuarine habitats

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
By: , and 



Long-term monitoring of estuarine nekton has many practical and ecological benefits but efforts are hampered by a lack of standardized sampling procedures. This study provides a rationale for monitoring nekton in shallow (< 1 m), temperate, estuarine habitats and addresses some important issues that arise when developing monitoring protocols. Sampling in seagrass and salt marsh habitats is emphasized due to the susceptibility of each habitat to anthropogenic stress and to the abundant and rich nekton assemblages that each habitat supports. Extensive sampling with quantitative enclosure traps that estimate nekton density is suggested. These gears have a high capture efficiency in most habitats and are small enough (e.g., 1 m(2)) to permit sampling in specific microhabitats. Other aspects of nekton monitoring are discussed, including spatial and temporal sampling considerations, station selection, sample size estimation, and data collection and analysis. Developing and initiating long-term nekton monitoring programs will help evaluate natural and human-induced changes in estuarine nekton over time and advance our understanding of the interactions between nekton and the dynamic estuarine environment.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Monitoring nekton as a bioindicator in shallow estuarine habitats
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 81
Issue 1-3
Year Published 2003
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 239-255
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
First page 239
Last page 255
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