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Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Aquaculture and Fisheries

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Individual- And Population-Level Effects Of Temperature And Hypoxia On Two Demersal Fishes In Chesapeake Bay, Benjamin Marcek Jan 2018

Individual- And Population-Level Effects Of Temperature And Hypoxia On Two Demersal Fishes In Chesapeake Bay, Benjamin Marcek

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Anthropogenically-induced climate change has resulted in increases in water temperature and the frequency and severity of hypoxic events in coastal areas worldwide. Temperature and hypoxia affect fishes' energetics which can, in turn, be reflected in changes in reproductive success and shifts in spatial distributions. in an effort to quantify these changes in Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) and spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) in Chesapeake Bay. I: (1) estimated standard and maximum metabolic rates and hypoxia tolerances at five temperatures (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30°C) using intermittent-flow respirometry, (2) examined the effects of hypoxia exposure on metrics of reproductive potential and ...


Improving Stock Assessments And Management Advice For Bluefin Tunas And Other Highly Migratory Species, Lisa Elma Ailloud Jan 2018

Improving Stock Assessments And Management Advice For Bluefin Tunas And Other Highly Migratory Species, Lisa Elma Ailloud

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

For years bluefin tuna has been the poster child for overfishing and poor management. However, recent improvements in data collection, catch monitoring and international cooperation are providing an opportunity to reverse the perception of a fishery that is doomed to collapse. Stock assessments are conducted routinely to monitor the abundance and productivity of exploited fish stocks so managers can determine how many fish can be sustainably harvested each year. Should a stock be declared overfished or under-going overfishing, the science behind stock assessments also equip managers with the knowledge necessary to make decisions about what short-term and long-term management measures ...


Genetic Analyses Of Striped Bass In The Chesapeake Bay: An Investigation Of Connectivity Among Virginia Subestuaries And An Evaluation Of Close-Kinship Mark Recapture Methodology To Estimate Spawning Abundance., Savannah Michaelsen Jan 2018

Genetic Analyses Of Striped Bass In The Chesapeake Bay: An Investigation Of Connectivity Among Virginia Subestuaries And An Evaluation Of Close-Kinship Mark Recapture Methodology To Estimate Spawning Abundance., Savannah Michaelsen

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The striped bass (Morone saxatilis) is an anadromous fish distributed along the eastern coast of North America that currently supports one of the most lucrative and important commercial and recreational fisheries in the region. Since the recovery of the Atlantic stock after a collapse in the late 1970s, studies have focused on understanding the connectivity of major spawning grounds and improving methods of abundance estimation. Studies support strong site fidelity of striped bass to major estuaries along the Atlantic coast, but there has been disagreement about connectivity within the largest spawning ground, the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, no estimates exist for ...


Movements, Habitat Utilization, And Post-Release Survival Of Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum) That Summer In Virginia Waters Determined Using Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tags (Psats), Douglas Jensen Jan 2018

Movements, Habitat Utilization, And Post-Release Survival Of Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum) That Summer In Virginia Waters Determined Using Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tags (Psats), Douglas Jensen

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is a cosmopolitan marine fish inhabiting tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate marine and estuarine waters. Recent changes in U.S. cobia management have sparked controversy and highlighted limitations in our understanding of seasonal movement patterns and problems with estimating recreational harvests. Consecutive years (2015 and 2016) of estimated overharvests from the Atlantic Migratory Group stock triggered accountability measures to prevent overfishing by recreational anglers. My project employed pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) to study cobia movements, habitat utilization, and post-release survival. It was, therefore, designed to enhance knowledge of cobia biology and aid sustainable management. We deployed 36 ...


Reproductive Investment In Crassostrea Virginica As An Indicator Of A Tolerance Response To Perkinsus Marinus, Lauren Irene Huey Jan 2018

Reproductive Investment In Crassostrea Virginica As An Indicator Of A Tolerance Response To Perkinsus Marinus, Lauren Irene Huey

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The Chesapeake Bay region values oysters for the ecosystem services, lucrative fishery, and historical significance that the species embodies; however, over the last half century, oyster abundances have been reduced to historical lows. Two protozoan parasites, Perkinsus marinus and Haplosporidium nelsoni, have been major influences on oyster populations, especially in high-salinity regions. Today, the population is recovering; catches have increased and oysters have expanded spatially. to investigate the cause of the recovery, three measurements were made on slides of oysters from a histological archive collected during summer at Wreck Shoal in the James River from 1988–2017: oocyte diameter, oocyte ...


The Relationship Between Reproduction And Mortality In Triploid Crassostrea Virginica, Joseph L. Matt Jan 2018

The Relationship Between Reproduction And Mortality In Triploid Crassostrea Virginica, Joseph L. Matt

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Unusual mortalities of cultured Crassostrea virginica in late spring have been reported from farms in the Chesapeake Bay from 2014 to 2017. None of the usual causes (e.g. disease, poor husbandry) were likely responsible, and mortalities occurred without clear signs of biological or physical stressors. Mortalities in the spring of 2014 were particularly high on over a dozen farms in Virginia, most of which were on the bayside of the Eastern Shore. Estimated losses were over 50%; however, mortalities only occurred within a four-week period between mid-May and early June. Farmers that had unusually high mortality in their crop ...


Juvenile Blue Crab (Callinectes Sapidus) Response To Altered Nursery Habitat, Megan Wood Jan 2017

Juvenile Blue Crab (Callinectes Sapidus) Response To Altered Nursery Habitat, Megan Wood

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Habitats of Chesapeake Bay have been altered due to anthropogenic impacts and climate change. Due to these human disturbances, seagrasses have been extirpated from many areas in lower Chesapeake Bay and persisting beds face future losses as water temperatures continue to rise. Further loss of seagrass habitat will negatively impact juvenile blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) that use seagrass beds as nursery grounds. Habitat degradation allows for more successful introductions of exotic species, and the communities formed from the mixing of native and exotic species are known as emerging ecosystems. Gracilaria vermiculophylla, an exotic macroalga, may be an emerging nursery habitat ...


Juvenile Blue Crab Survival In Nursery Habitats: Predator Identification And Predation Impacts In Chesapeake Bay, Amanda Marie Bromilow Jan 2017

Juvenile Blue Crab Survival In Nursery Habitats: Predator Identification And Predation Impacts In Chesapeake Bay, Amanda Marie Bromilow

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Predator populations can have significant impacts on prey recruitment success and prey population dynamics through consumption. Young, inexperienced prey are often most vulnerable to predation due to their small size and limited evasion capabilities. to reduce the risk of predation, new recruits and young juveniles typically settle in structured nursery habitats, such as seagrass beds, which promote higher survival by acting as refuges from predators. Thus, successful recruitment to the adult portion of the population is often dependent on the availability of suitable nursery habitat. In this thesis, I used field tethering experiments and gut content analyses to assess the ...


Ecosystem Services Of Restored Oyster Reefs In A Chesapeake Bay Tributary: Abundance And Foraging Of Estuarine Fishes, Bruce William Pfirrmann Jan 2017

Ecosystem Services Of Restored Oyster Reefs In A Chesapeake Bay Tributary: Abundance And Foraging Of Estuarine Fishes, Bruce William Pfirrmann

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Oyster reef restoration may enhance the production of ecologically or economically important fish species, an ecosystem service, by providing refuge and foraging habitat. Predicting the effects of oyster habitat restoration on fisheries production in Chesapeake Bay requires a better understanding of fish habitat use, trophic dynamics, and the processes leading to production on a habitat-scale. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the influence of restored subtidal oyster reefs on the abundance and foraging patterns of mobile estuarine fishes. Specifically, I compared the 1) abundance, 2) stomach fullness, 3) diet composition, and 4) daily consumption rate of fishes collected ...


Age, Growth And Reproduction Of Western North Atlantic Butterfly Rays (Myliobatiformes: Gymnuridae), With The Description Of Two New Species, Kristene Teal Parsons Jan 2017

Age, Growth And Reproduction Of Western North Atlantic Butterfly Rays (Myliobatiformes: Gymnuridae), With The Description Of Two New Species, Kristene Teal Parsons

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Batoid fishes are among the most threatened and least understood chondrichthyan species worldwide due to their large body size, conservative life-history characteristics, and predominantly coastal distributions where fishing and habitat degradation threaten the stability of populations. A lack of empirical life history data is widespread across batoid taxa — nearly half of all species are considered data deficient, thus hindering species assessments and the development of effective management strategies. Furthermore, many batoid taxa are in need of taxonomic re-examination. Increasing our understanding of life history traits that determine population productivity, such as age and size at maturity, growth rate, and fecundity ...


The Eastern Oyster Microbiome And Its Implications In The Marine Nitrogen Cycle, Ann Arfken Jan 2017

The Eastern Oyster Microbiome And Its Implications In The Marine Nitrogen Cycle, Ann Arfken

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Microbial communities associated with a particular space or habitat, or microbiomes, play significant roles in host health and the regulation of biogeochemical cycles. In oysters these microbiomes may be important contributors in the removal of biologically available nitrogen (N) from the coastal and marine environment through the process of denitrification. Denitrification is the microbially mediated step-wise reduction of nitrate (NO3-) or nitrite (NO2-) to N2 gas. Excess nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay has been implicated in the increase of eutrophication and other detrimental effects including harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and loss of benthic communities. Oyster reefs have been shown to ...


Extensions And Applications Of Mean Length Mortality Estimators For Assessment Of Data-Limited Fisheries, Quang C. Huynh Jan 2017

Extensions And Applications Of Mean Length Mortality Estimators For Assessment Of Data-Limited Fisheries, Quang C. Huynh

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

For data-limited fisheries, length-based mortality estimators are attractive as alternatives to age-structured models due to the simpler data requirements and ease of use of the former. This dissertation develops new extensions of mean length-based mortality estimators and applies them to federally-managed stocks in the southeastern U.S. and U.S. Caribbean.

Chapter 1 presents a review of length-based methods from the literature. Common themes regarding the methodology, assumptions, and diagnostics in these length-based methods are discussed. In Chapter 2, a simulation study evaluates the performance of the length-converted catch curve (LCCC), Beverton-Holt equation (BHE), and Length Based-Spawner Potential Ratio (LB-SPR ...


Impact Of The Parasitic Nematode Anguillicoloides Crassus On American Eels (Anguilla Rostrata) In Chesapeake Bay, Zoemma Taudel Warshafsky Jan 2017

Impact Of The Parasitic Nematode Anguillicoloides Crassus On American Eels (Anguilla Rostrata) In Chesapeake Bay, Zoemma Taudel Warshafsky

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

American eels are infected by the introduced parasitic nematode, Anguillicoloides crassus, which can cause significant damage to their swimbladders. Despite the high prevalence and severe damage caused by A. crassus, the population level effects on American eels are not well understood. The prevalence and swimbladder damage in young glass eels and elvers are relatively unstudied, despite the potential for this parasite to cause tissue damage. Additionally, the effects of environmental, temporal, and spatial variables have been debated in previous studies without consensus. Also, the potential for eels to recover from infection and tissue damage has been speculated but not definitively ...


Spatiotemporal Abundance Patterns And Ecological Drivers Of A Nearshore U.S. Atlantic Fish And Invertebrate Assemblage, Mark A. Stratton Jan 2017

Spatiotemporal Abundance Patterns And Ecological Drivers Of A Nearshore U.S. Atlantic Fish And Invertebrate Assemblage, Mark A. Stratton

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Taking an ecosystem approach to fisheries requires the consideration of relevant ecological processes within research and assessment frameworks. Processes affecting ecosystem productivity can be categorized as biophysical (climate variability, primary production), exploitative (fishing), or trophodynamic (food web interactions). This dissertation incorporates these three governing processes to characterize spatiotemporal diversity and population abundance trends for multiple demersal fish and invertebrate species that inhabit the nearshore zone (15-30 ft. depth) along portions of the U.S. Atlantic east coast.

Two large marine ecosystems (LMEs) encompass the U.S. East coast – the Southeast and Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf LMEs. The level of ...


Influence Of Structural Complexity And Location On The Habitat Value Of Restored Oyster Reefs, Melissa Ann Karp Jan 2016

Influence Of Structural Complexity And Location On The Habitat Value Of Restored Oyster Reefs, Melissa Ann Karp

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In the Chesapeake Bay, < 1% of the historic oyster population remains, and efforts have been increasing to restore oysters and the services they provide. Building reefs that successfully provide ecosystem services–especially habitat and foraging grounds–may require different restoration techniques than those previously used, and success may depend on reef morphology (complexity), location, and environmental conditions. Salinity and habitat complexity are two important factors that may interact to effect benthic communities and predator-prey interactions on restored reefs. The goals of this project were: (1) Characterize the benthic communities on restored oyster reefs in lower Chesapeake Bay, and (2) examine the effects of structural complexity and salinity on benthic communities and predator-prey interactions. A two-year field survey of restored reefs was carried out in four rivers in lower Chesapeake Bay to characterize faunal communities on restored reefs and to quantify the effect of reef complexity on faunal communities. A laboratory mesocosm experiment was conducted to examine the effect of reef complexity on predator foraging. In total, 61 macrofaunal species were identified among all samples, and restored reefs supported on average, 6,169 org/m2 and 67.88 g-AFDW/m2. There were significant differences in the community composition and diversity among the rivers, and salinity was the environmental factor that best explained the observed differences in species composition across the rivers. Salinity and rugosity (i.e., structural complexity) both positively affected diversity, while salinity negatively affected macrofaunal abundance and biomass. Oyster density and rugosity positively affected macrofaunal biomass, and oyster density positively affected mud crab, polychaete, and mussel densities. In the mesocosm experiment, predator foraging, measured by proportion and number of prey consumed, was significantly reduced in the presence of oyster shell structure. However, predators were able to consume more prey when prey density was increased, even in the presence of oyster shell structure. These results combine to enhance our understanding of the benefits of increased habitat complexity for both prey and predators on restored oyster reefs. Increasing complexity worked to increase the abundance, biomass, and diversity of organisms inhabiting restored reefs, and even though predator consumption was reduced in the presence of structure compared to non-structured habitat, predators were able to consume more prey individuals when prey density was increased. Therefore, increasing the structure of oyster reef habitat may benefit prey species by providing refuge habitat, and benefit predators by providing an increased abundance of available prey items.


Alexandrium Monilatum In The Lower Chesapeake Bay: Sediment Cyst Distribution And Potential Health Impacts On Crassostrea Virginica, Sarah Pease Jan 2016

Alexandrium Monilatum In The Lower Chesapeake Bay: Sediment Cyst Distribution And Potential Health Impacts On Crassostrea Virginica, Sarah Pease

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The toxin-producing harmful algal bloom (HAB) species Alexandrium monilatum has long been associated with finfish and shellfish mortalities in the Gulf of Mexico. In the summer of 2007, A. monilatum re-emerged as a bloom-forming species in the Chesapeake Bay. Over the last decade, late summer blooms of A. monilatum have been expanding in range in the lower Chesapeake Bay and have reached record-high densities, particularly in the lower York River. This dinoflagellate species overwinters in the sediments as a resting cyst, and upon excystment under suitable environmental conditions produces blooms the following summer. The research presented here includes the first ...


The Effects Of Drifting Fish Aggregating Devices On Bycatch In The Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries In The Atlantic And Indian Oceans, Julia Snouck-Hurgronje Jan 2016

The Effects Of Drifting Fish Aggregating Devices On Bycatch In The Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries In The Atlantic And Indian Oceans, Julia Snouck-Hurgronje

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Thousands of floating objects, known as drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs), are released every year by commercial tropical tuna purse seine vessels in the three equatorial oceans to aggregate tuna and increase catch. The escalation in the number of dFADs deployed over the last three decades has caused changes in fishing effort that are poorly reflected in traditional indices of purse seine effort and catch per unit of effort (CPUE). In addition, concerns have been raised regarding the impacts of such high numbers of dFADs being deployed on both catch and bycatch species. I studied two aspects of dFAD deployments ...


Influence Of Perkinsus Marinus Infection And Oyster Health On Levels Of Human-Pathogenic Vibrios In Oysters, Lydia M. Bienlien Jan 2016

Influence Of Perkinsus Marinus Infection And Oyster Health On Levels Of Human-Pathogenic Vibrios In Oysters, Lydia M. Bienlien

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica is an ecologically and commercially important species whose natural populations have been devastated by overharvesting, habitat destruction, and disease, but the rapid growth of oyster aquaculture has shown potential to restore the economic significance of this species. A key threat to the growth and sustainability of oyster aquaculture is the association of human-pathogenic Vibrio bacteria with product marketed for raw consumption. Two Vibrio species, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, are the causes of the highest rates of seafood consumption-related mortality and gastrointestinal illness, respectively. Identification of the factors influencing V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus prevalence ...


Assemblage Dynamics Of Larval Fishes In The York River Of Virginia And The Chesapeake Bay, Cindy Marlene Marin Martinez Jan 2016

Assemblage Dynamics Of Larval Fishes In The York River Of Virginia And The Chesapeake Bay, Cindy Marlene Marin Martinez

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This thesis developed from the VIMS Larval Fish Monitoring Program, which began in 2007 as part of a study comparing the larval fish assemblages of Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Ribeiro et al. (2015) analyzed data from the first three years of this time series to describe the temporal variation in the larval fish assemblages. After this initial study was completed (three years in duration), the sampling continued at the fixed station near the mouth of the York River, which was used to represent the Chesapeake Bay. For this thesis, therefore, eight years of data (2007-2015) were available to investigate temporal ...


Seasonal Movements, Habitat Utilization, And Comparative Scale Morphology Of White Marlin (Kajikia Albida) And Roundscale Spearfish (Tetrapturus Georgii), Emily L. Loose Jan 2014

Seasonal Movements, Habitat Utilization, And Comparative Scale Morphology Of White Marlin (Kajikia Albida) And Roundscale Spearfish (Tetrapturus Georgii), Emily L. Loose

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Recent studies have demonstrated that the morphologically similar white marlin (Kajikia albida) and roundscale spearfish (Tetrapturus georgii) co-occur in the western North Atlantic, including the U.S. Mid‐Atlantic Bight. Differences in scale morphology have been proposed as one morphological character to discriminate these species, but a thorough analysis of scale morphology is lacking. Because the validity of the roundscale spearfish was not established until 2006, much of the biological information previously collected for “white marlin” may include data for both white marlin and roundscale spearfish. The objectives of this study were to obtain a better understanding of the movements ...


Unprecedented Restoration Of A Native Oyster Metapopulation, David M. Schulte Jan 2012

Unprecedented Restoration Of A Native Oyster Metapopulation, David M. Schulte

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Deep-Pelagic (0-3000m) Fish Assemblage Structure Over The Mid-Atlantic Ridge In The Area Of The Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, April B. Cook Jan 2011

Deep-Pelagic (0-3000m) Fish Assemblage Structure Over The Mid-Atlantic Ridge In The Area Of The Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, April B. Cook

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Only a miniscule fraction of the world’s largest volume of living space, the ocean’s mid-water biome, has ever been sampled. As part of the International Census of Marine Life field project Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystems (MAR-ECO), a discrete-depth trawling survey was conducted in 2009 aboard the NOAA ship Henry B. Bigelow to examine the pelagic faunal assemblage structure and distribution over the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ) of the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This is the first MAR-ECO project aimed specifically at describing diel vertical migration as a distributional phenomenon. Discrete-depth sampling from 0-3000 m was conducted during both day and ...


Migration Dynamics, Within-Estuary Behaviors And Cardiorespiratory Responses Of Summer Flounder To Selected Estuarine Conditions, Karen M. Capossela Jan 2010

Migration Dynamics, Within-Estuary Behaviors And Cardiorespiratory Responses Of Summer Flounder To Selected Estuarine Conditions, Karen M. Capossela

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

A comprehensive understanding of migration dynamics, within-estuary behaviors and physiological tolerances of fish is needed to assess and predict future responses of fish to environmental disturbance and to protect habitat necessary for growth and survival. This study adds to current knowledge of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) responses to environmental conditions by (1) examining migration and within-estuarine behaviors of adult summer flounder and (2) establishing summer flounder metabolic requirements and cardiorespiratory responses to variations in hypoxia and temperature. To elucidate use of a southern mid-Atlantic Bight estuary by adult summer flounder, the movements of 45 fish were monitored using acoustic telemetry ...


Alternative Substrates As A Native Oyster (Crassostrea Virginica) Reef Restoration Strategy In Chesapeake Bay, Russell Paul Burke Jan 2010

Alternative Substrates As A Native Oyster (Crassostrea Virginica) Reef Restoration Strategy In Chesapeake Bay, Russell Paul Burke

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Oyster shell for native oyster reef restoration is scarce in Chesapeake Bay and other estuaries (Chapter 1). Consequently, alternative substrates merit consideration in oyster restoration. This dissertation examines the suitability of shell alternatives, including granite, concrete, limestone marl, concrete modules and reefballs with reef surveys and experiments in the Rappahannock and Lynnhaven Rivers of Chesapeake Bay. Oyster recruitment, growth, survival, density, biomass, condition, and disease stress, as well as reef accretion and persistence, were measured. In the Lynnhaven River, intertidal riprap had a mean density of 978 oysters m-2 (165 g AFDM m-2) and peak densities > 2000 oysters m-2 (Chapter ...


Habitat Utilization And Dive Characterization Of Blue Marlin (Makaira Nigricans) And White Marlin (Kajikia Albida) In The Western Atlantic Ocean, Daniel J. Dutton Jan 2010

Habitat Utilization And Dive Characterization Of Blue Marlin (Makaira Nigricans) And White Marlin (Kajikia Albida) In The Western Atlantic Ocean, Daniel J. Dutton

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Blue marlin Makaira nigricans and white marlin Kajikia albida (formerly Tetrapturus albidus) are overfished in the Atlantic Ocean, with the vast majority of fishing mortality resulting from the pelagic longline fishery that targets tunas (Thunnus spp.) and swordfish Xiphias gladius. Time series of catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data have been fundamental to assessments of blue marlin and white marlin stocks, but these time series have been affected by a shift over time in pelagic longline fishing practices from shallow to deeper sets. One method for adjusting CPUE data for changes in fishing practices is a habitat-based standardization that modifies fishing effort in ...


Stable Isotope Dynamics In Summer Flounder Tissues, With Application To Dietary Assessments In Chesapeake Bay, Andre Buchheister Jan 2008

Stable Isotope Dynamics In Summer Flounder Tissues, With Application To Dietary Assessments In Chesapeake Bay, Andre Buchheister

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Stable isotope techniques were applied to summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, in Chesapeake Bay to elucidate the relative importance of different prey groups on the growth and productivity of this species. Prior to field application, a laboratory diet-shift study was conducted to evaluate methodological assumptions and obtain necessary isotopic parameters. Specifically, the goals of the laboratory study were to 1) determine isotopic turnover rates and fractionations of δ13C and δ15N in liver, whole blood, and white muscle and 2) estimate the relative importance of growth and metabolic processes on isotopic turnover. Groups of captive juvenile summer flounder (130-255mm total length) were ...


Diet Of The Sandbar Shark, Carcharhinus Plumbeus, In Chesapeake Bay And Adjacent Waters, Julia K. Ellis Jan 2003

Diet Of The Sandbar Shark, Carcharhinus Plumbeus, In Chesapeake Bay And Adjacent Waters, Julia K. Ellis

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, is the most abundant large coastal shark in the temperate and tropical waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The Chesapeake Bay, Virginia and adjacent waters serve as a nursery ground for C. plumbeus as well as many other fauna. Characterizing the diet of a higher trophic level predator such as the sandbar shark sheds light on a small portion of the temporally and spatially complex food web in the Bay. This study describes the diet of the sandbar shark, highlighting differences in diet within various portions of the nursery area, as well as ontogenetic changes ...


Metabolic Rates And Bioenergetics Of Juvenile Sandbar Sharks (Carcharhinus Plumbeus), W. Wesley Dowd Jan 2003

Metabolic Rates And Bioenergetics Of Juvenile Sandbar Sharks (Carcharhinus Plumbeus), W. Wesley Dowd

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The lower Chesapeake Bay and adjacent coastal waters serve as the primary summer nursery areas for juvenile sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. The large population of juvenile sandbar sharks in this ecosystem benefits from increased food availability that fuels rapid growth and from limited exposure to large shark predators. Juvenile growth and survival is the most critical life history stage for sandbar sharks, and juvenile nursery grounds will continue to play an important role in the slow recovery of this stock from severe population declines due to overfishing. The goal of this study was to assess ...


Ecological Interactions Between Benthic Oyster Reef Fishes And Oysters, Juliana Maria Harding Jan 2000

Ecological Interactions Between Benthic Oyster Reef Fishes And Oysters, Juliana Maria Harding

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Restoration of oyster reef structures rehabilitates habitats and the multi-level ecological communities built on eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), the keystone species. Quantitative descriptions of ecological interactions within a habitat are required to delineate essential fish habitats for management and protection. Parallel development of primary (oysters) and secondary trophic levels (benthic fishes) offer an ecological metric of restoration progress over time. The interaction between larval oysters and larval fishes (e.g., Gobiosoma bosc, Chasmodes bosquianus) is quantitatively examined. Oyster settlement estimates for Palace Bar reef, Piankatank River, Virginia are of the same order of magnitude as field densities of recently settled ...


A Comparison Of Size Selectivity And Relative Efficiency Of Sea Scallop Trawls And Dredges, David B. Rudders Jan 1999

A Comparison Of Size Selectivity And Relative Efficiency Of Sea Scallop Trawls And Dredges, David B. Rudders

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.