We address the question of whether the low abundance of juvenile pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) in northern-central Florida Bay results from (i) limiting environmental conditions, (ii) a reduced postlarval transport, or (iii) both. To explore this question, postlarvae were collected during the new moon in both summer and fall of 2004 and 2005 at six stations located on a transect from the bay's western margin to its interior. The highest concentrations of postlarvae occurred at two mid-transect stations located in shallow channels with moderate tidal amplitudes (15-20 cm) and dense seagrass beds. At the two interiormost stations postlarval concentrations decreased together with a reduction of the tidal amplitude (= 1 cm). Estimates of the cumulative flood-tide displacement with the semidiurnal M2 constituent indicated that the tide moves a maximum of 15 km in four nights, a distance that corresponds to the location of the highest concentrations of postlarvae. The size of postlarvae also reached a maximum at the location of the highest concentrations of postlarvae. Results suggest that postlarvae move into the bay's interior by a cumulative flood tidal process, advancing onshore during successive nights as far as they can go with the tide. Analyses indicate that, in addition to the tidal amplitude, cross-shelf wind stress and salinity also affect the concentrations of postlarvae. Peaks of postlarvae occurred at times of low salinity and strong southeasterly winds. While tidal transport appears to be insufficient for postlarvae to reach Florida Bay's interior, salinity and winds may also contribute to the observed distribution patterns of early pink shrimp recruits. ?? 2010 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.
Additional publication details
Nearshore concentration of pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) postlarvae in northern Florida bay in relation to nocturnal flood tide