Spatial and temporal distribution of decapod larvae in the Satilla River estuary, GA
Seay, Jennie Elizabeth
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The distributions of larvae of two decapod crustaceans were studied during a two-year, multi-seasonal investigation of the Satilla River estuary. The physical parameters of the estuary were investigated and related to the biological aspects of the larvae to determine the distribution and transport of planktonic larvae within the system. Measured parameters included vertical profiles of salinity, temperature, and density taken with a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth recorder, depth-averaged velocities using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, assessments of the flow field with Global Positioning System tracked drifters, and collections of plankton from within the estuary. Larval densities of Uca spp. varied based on season, tide, and depth and the developmental stages of larvae were vertically stratified within the water column to facilitate their expulsion from or reinvasion to the estuary. Petrolisthes armatus larval densities varied based on year, season, and location and were located within the water column to aid in their retention.