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dc.contributor.advisorMontagna, Paul
dc.contributor.authorHardegree, Meagan Nichol
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-17T16:11:54Z
dc.date.available2018-10-17T16:11:54Z
dc.date.issued2018-05
dc.identifier.urihttps://tamucc-ir.tdl.org/handle/1969.6/87007
dc.description.abstractClimate variability plays a key role in estuary structure and function. Fresh water is delivered to estuaries as inflows driven by precipitation. The amount of precipitation an area receives could be affected by climate change. Precipitation along the Texas coast is variable from year to year and linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A previous study demonstrated decreasing long-term trends in benthos abundance and biomass in response to changes in hydrologic conditions in the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the previous findings are unique to the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary or if these effects are regional in scale. Six stations in the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary, four stations in the Guadalupe Estuary and five stations in the Nueces Estuary, representing a salinity gradient in each estuary, were sampled quarterly for benthic macrofauna and hydrography from 1986-2009. The Ocean Nino Index (ONI) was analyzed for relationships between estuarine conditions and climate. In all three estuaries, ONI was positively correlated with salinity, inflow and dissolved oxygen. Long-term declining trends in benthos abundance were found in all three estuaries; however, biomass trends varied by bay system. A second purpose was to compare infauna and epifauna trends. Epifauna data was obtained by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In some of the bays, benthic abundance and biomass was positively correlated with trends in epifauna, which are potential infauna predators. Epifauna abundance and benthic abundance were correlated with bay salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO), so overall, infauna and epifauna had similar responses over time. In contrast inverse responses would be expected if epifauna preyed on infauna, so climate change appears to be the dominant driver of long-term trends in both groups.en_US
dc.format.extent32 pagesen_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.rightsThis material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with its source. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the author and/or publisher.en_US
dc.subjectBenthosen_US
dc.subjectDisturbanceen_US
dc.subjectEl Ninoen_US
dc.subjectEpifaunaen_US
dc.subjectFreshwater inflowen_US
dc.subjectTexasen_US
dc.titleThe effect of climate on estuarine benthos at regional scales along the Texas coasten_US
dc.typeTexten_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnvironmental Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorTexas A & M University--Corpus Christien_US
thesis.degree.levelMastersen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPollack, Jennifer Beseres
dc.contributor.committeeMemberShinoda, Toshiaki
dc.description.departmentPhysical and Environmental Sciencesen_US
dc.description.collegeCollege of Science and Engineeringen_US
dc.type.genreThesisen_US


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