Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Historical Salinity Effects on Microfauna in the Lower Everglades and Florida Bay

Event Name/Location

Florida Bay and Adjacent Systems Science Conference, Key Largo, FL, November 1-5, 1999

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



as well as documentation of salinity related ostracod valve morphological change are studied. Attention is focused on those species capable of withstanding the greatest salinity fluctuations.

Core and surface microfaunal populations at Oyster Bay, Jimmy Key, and First National Bank are compared and contrasted. These three sites comprise distinct environmental regimes with well-documented salinity records. Oyster Bay has experienced the greatest salinity variability of the three sites as well as freshest overall conditions over the last 100 years. At the Jimmy Key site, in the center of the Bay, has experienced higher average salinity with less variability over this period.

Taphonomic microfaunal studies routinely utilize population characteristics as a tool for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. This study extends population work to include species and individual-specific characteristics, which may record salinity variability. In addition to the field and core collections we are culturing ostracods to examine isotopic and morphological relationships under controlled conditions. This multi-faceted approach extends our population characterization work to include documentation of physiological response of individuals within the microfaunal populations to documented changes in salinity. This data will extend the use of microfauna as indicators of modern and paleosalinity change.

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