Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

9-2000

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

Second Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Bart Baca

Second Advisor

Stacy Myers

Third Advisor

Hilburn O. Hillestad

Abstract

The goal of this research was to examine faunal abundance and diversity within created littoral shelf mitigation areas of varying age and vegetative composition. This research was conducted from May 1999 to November 1999 within the mitigation areas of the City of Weston, Broward County, Florida.

Three types of littoral shelves within Weston were chosen for this study. The first two shelves sampled displayed similar vegetative composition, single community mosaic dominated by spikerush (Eleocharis cellulosa), but varied in age (one year old vs. five years old). The third shelf was composed of a different vegetative community, spatterdock (Nuphar luteum), than the first two shelves but was of similar age to the second shelf (five years old). Three major faunal groups, birds, fish, and macro-invertebrates, were studied using random, stratified sampling with replicates within each shelf type. Statistical analyses were performed on the resulting data set to test two null hypotheses: 1) faunal abundance and diversity do not vary between shelves of varying age; and 2) faunal abundance and diversity do not vary between shelves of varying vegetative composition. The results from this research revealed that faunal abundance and diversity did not vary with shelf age. However, this research revealed that the five year old shelf containing a spatterdock monoculture displayed greater faunal abundance (for all wildlife groups) and greater diversity (for both wetland dependant and non-wetland dependant bird species) when compared to the five year old shelf containing a single community mosaic dominated by spikerush.

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