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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 ...


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.


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 ...


Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success Through Direct Embryotoxicity Rather Than Altered Parental Behavior, Stephanie Yen Chin Jan 2015

Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success Through Direct Embryotoxicity Rather Than Altered Parental Behavior, Stephanie Yen Chin

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Effects Of Sub Lethal Methylmercury Exposure On Pigment Coloration In A Model Songbird, Jessica Lynn Spickler Jan 2014

Effects Of Sub Lethal Methylmercury Exposure On Pigment Coloration In A Model Songbird, Jessica Lynn Spickler

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Using A Sonic Net To Deter Pest Bird Species: Excluding European Starlings From Food Sources By Disrupting Their Acoustic Environment, Ghazi Mahjoub Jan 2014

Using A Sonic Net To Deter Pest Bird Species: Excluding European Starlings From Food Sources By Disrupting Their Acoustic Environment, Ghazi Mahjoub

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Impact Of Mercury Exposure On Birds And The Effect Of Molt On Mercury Depuration In Songbirds, Margaret Crossley Whitney Jan 2014

Impact Of Mercury Exposure On Birds And The Effect Of Molt On Mercury Depuration In Songbirds, Margaret Crossley Whitney

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Methylmercury Exposure Affects Risk-Taking Behaviors In Zebra Finches: Tradeoffs Between Eating And Being Eaten, Megan Elizabeth Kobiela Jan 2013

Methylmercury Exposure Affects Risk-Taking Behaviors In Zebra Finches: Tradeoffs Between Eating And Being Eaten, Megan Elizabeth Kobiela

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Sublethal Effects Of Methylmercury On Flight Performance And Molt In European Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris), Jenna Rae Carlson Jan 2013

Sublethal Effects Of Methylmercury On Flight Performance And Molt In European Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris), Jenna Rae Carlson

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Distribution And Impacts Of Invasive Bivalve Corbicula Fluminea In Tidal Freshwater York River Tributaries, Matthew Ryan Freedman Jan 2013

Distribution And Impacts Of Invasive Bivalve Corbicula Fluminea In Tidal Freshwater York River Tributaries, Matthew Ryan Freedman

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, is one of the most invasive bivalves in the world but there is limited research on its presence in tidal freshwater systems. Despite its introduction into Chesapeake Bay tributaries in the 1970s, the initial colonization and subsequent development of populations of C. fluminea in the Mattaponi and Pamunkey sub-tributaries of the York River, Virginia, is mostly undocumented. This study assessed the spatial distribution and population structure of C. fluminea in tidal freshwater sections of these rivers (~45km) with benthic surveys during summer 2011 – 2012. Benthic grabs (2.4L, 0.023m2) taken at 40 sites in ...


Habitat And Fish Population Dynamics: Advancing Stock Assessments Of Highly Migratory Species, Patrick D. Lynch Jan 2013

Habitat And Fish Population Dynamics: Advancing Stock Assessments Of Highly Migratory Species, Patrick D. Lynch

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Fisheries sustainability is inherently linked to an understanding of the population-level effects of fishing. With an accurate characterization of historical fish and fishery dynamics, management agencies are more equipped to create regulations that sustain fishery resources over the long term. The overarching goal of this dissertation is to contribute to the advancement of fisheries stock assessment and promote resource sustainability. My research focused on highly migratory species (HMS), particularly fishes that reside in the open ocean. These species constitute some of the highest valued global fisheries; however, numerous factors compromise HMS stock assessment and management. These challenges are fully described ...


Sublethal Effects Of Methylmercury On The Songbird Immune Response: An Experimental Study, Catherine Ann Lewis Jan 2012

Sublethal Effects Of Methylmercury On The Songbird Immune Response: An Experimental Study, Catherine Ann Lewis

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Microburst Damage Assessment And Forest Composition Reconstruction After Hurricane Isabel In The College Woods, Williamsburg, Va, Kjarstin Alane Carlson-Drexler Jan 2012

Microburst Damage Assessment And Forest Composition Reconstruction After Hurricane Isabel In The College Woods, Williamsburg, Va, Kjarstin Alane Carlson-Drexler

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Evaluating Persistent Organic Pollutants (Pops) And Mercury In The West Antarctic Peninsula (Wap) Food Web, With A Focus On Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus Gazella), Emily K. Brault Jan 2012

Evaluating Persistent Organic Pollutants (Pops) And Mercury In The West Antarctic Peninsula (Wap) Food Web, With A Focus On Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus Gazella), Emily K. Brault

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


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.


A Case Study In The Effectiveness Of Marine Protected Areas (Mpas): The Islands Of Bonaire And Curacao, Dutch Caribbean, Noelle J. Relles Jan 2012

A Case Study In The Effectiveness Of Marine Protected Areas (Mpas): The Islands Of Bonaire And Curacao, Dutch Caribbean, Noelle J. Relles

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The islands of Bonaire and Curacao, Dutch Caribbean, were both mapped along their leeward coasts for dominant coral community and other benthic cover in the early 1980s. This mapping effort offers a unique baseline for comparing changes in the benthic community of the two islands since that time, particularly given the marked differences between the two islands. Bonaire is well-protected and completely surrounded by a marine protected area (MPA), which includes two no-diving marine reserves; additionally, Bonaire's population is only around 15,000. In contrast, the island of Curacao is home to 140,000 inhabitants and marine protection is ...


The Influence Of Golf Course Landscapes On The Occupancy And Reproductive Success Of Eastern Bluebirds, Marie Louise Pitts Jan 2011

The Influence Of Golf Course Landscapes On The Occupancy And Reproductive Success Of Eastern Bluebirds, Marie Louise Pitts

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Mercury Exposure Assessment Of South River Floodplain Birds, Jincheng Wang Jan 2011

Mercury Exposure Assessment Of South River Floodplain Birds, Jincheng Wang

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The studies involved in this thesis expanded the current project being conducted in Dr. Newman’s laboratory that aimed to define and quantify the impacts of mercury movement in contaminated aquatic and terrestrial food webs in the South River watershed (Virginia, USA). This expansion involved a two phase study, which fulfilled the requirement of a master thesis.

Previous research in our lab documented mercury biomagnification in the river itself and two floodplain locations on the South River watershed. Predictive models were built for mercury concentration in members of these food webs. These studies reached a preliminary conclusion that mercury biomagnification ...


Effects Of Dietary Mercury Exposure On Spatial Memory Of Zebra Finches, Taeniopygia Guttata, Amanda Mae Bessler Jan 2011

Effects Of Dietary Mercury Exposure On Spatial Memory Of Zebra Finches, Taeniopygia Guttata, Amanda Mae Bessler

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


The Lateral Extent And Spatial Variation Of Mercury Exposure In Birds And Their Prey Near A Polluted River, Mikaela Gioia Selene Howie Jan 2010

The Lateral Extent And Spatial Variation Of Mercury Exposure In Birds And Their Prey Near A Polluted River, Mikaela Gioia Selene Howie

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Acoustics Of Anthropogenic Habitats: The Impact Of Noise Pollution On Eastern Bluebirds, Caitlin Rebecca Kight Jan 2009

Acoustics Of Anthropogenic Habitats: The Impact Of Noise Pollution On Eastern Bluebirds, Caitlin Rebecca Kight

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

An increasing number of habitats are affected by anthropogenic noise pollution, which is often louder, has a different frequency emphasis, and may occur over a different temporal scale, than natural noise. An increasing number of studies indicate that acoustically-communicating animals in such areas can modify their vocalizations in order to make themselves heard over the noise, but many questions still remain, including: How taxonomically widespread is vocal flexibility in response to anthropogenic noise, and do all vocally flexible species employ the same mechanisms to escape acoustic masking? Are there fitness repercussions for living, communicating, and breeding in noisy habitats? and ...


Songbirds, Pesticides, And Golf Courses: Exposure And Effects, Ryan Brennan Burdge Jan 2009

Songbirds, Pesticides, And Golf Courses: Exposure And Effects, Ryan Brennan Burdge

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Toxicology Of Decabromodiphenyl Ether In Avian Embryos: Disposition Of The Flame Retardant Bde-209 In Yolk-Injected Chicken Embryos (Gallus Gallus), Samantha D. Sifleet Jan 2009

Toxicology Of Decabromodiphenyl Ether In Avian Embryos: Disposition Of The Flame Retardant Bde-209 In Yolk-Injected Chicken Embryos (Gallus Gallus), Samantha D. Sifleet

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardant chemicals of toxicological concern present in humans, wildlife, and the environment. Deca-BDE is the highest production product due to historical use patterns and recent regulatory limitations on the other two commercial formulations (Penta-BDE and Octa-BDE) in the U.S and Europe. The EU banned Deca-BDE starting July 1, 2008. However, it remains in usage in North America and elsewhere in the world. BDE-209 is the dominant congener in all Deca- BDE commercial products. BDE-209 has been reported to under go metabolic debromination to lesser brominated and more toxic and bioaccumulative congeners. However, insufficient ...


Mercury Levels In Newly Independent Songbirds, Anne Moire Condon Jan 2008

Mercury Levels In Newly Independent Songbirds, Anne Moire Condon

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Effects Of Urban Development On Breeding Bird Diversity: The Role Of Diet And Migration, Elise Anne Larsen Jan 2008

Effects Of Urban Development On Breeding Bird Diversity: The Role Of Diet And Migration, Elise Anne Larsen

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Mercury Exposure In Terrestrial Insectivorous Birds, Scott Lawrence Friedman Jan 2007

Mercury Exposure In Terrestrial Insectivorous Birds, Scott Lawrence Friedman

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


The Effects Of Mercury On The Nesting Success And Return Rate Of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta Bicolor), Rebecka L. Brasso Jan 2007

The Effects Of Mercury On The Nesting Success And Return Rate Of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta Bicolor), Rebecka L. Brasso

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


Effects Of Mercury On Condition And Coloration Of Belted Kingfishers, Ariel Elizabeth White Jan 2007

Effects Of Mercury On Condition And Coloration Of Belted Kingfishers, Ariel Elizabeth White

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.


The Influence Of Predation On The Nesting Ecology Of Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys Terrapin) In The Lower Chesapeake Bay, Victoria Ann Ruzicka Jan 2006

The Influence Of Predation On The Nesting Ecology Of Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys Terrapin) In The Lower Chesapeake Bay, Victoria Ann Ruzicka

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

No abstract provided.