Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

7-2002

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Richard Spieler

Second Advisor

Robin Sherman

Third Advisor

Mahmood Shivji

Abstract

Some shallow (<7m, water depth) nearshore hardbottom areas of Southeast Florida have been reported to function as important juvenile habitat. I characterized the nearshore fish communities along a 30km stretch of coastline of Broward County, Florida from visual census data. Two-hundred transect-counts, 100 point-counts and 98 rover-diver counts were completed by myself and others during June-August, 2001. The abundance of all fish species and their sizes were recorded. The transects (30m long, 2m wide, 1m high) were laid perpendicular (compass heading 90°) to the innermost edge of hardbottom. Transects were placed every 152m of coastline. Altemately, a point-count or 20 min rover-diver count was also performed over the hard bottom just north of the 30m transect. All counts occurred between approximately 2m and 6m water depth. One hundred-sixty nine species and over 72,000 fish were recorded. Recently settled juveniles (≤ 5cm) were the dominant component (>80%) of the inshore fish community, consisting primarily (>90%) of grunts (Haemulidae).

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