Title

Various Fish Species Abundances And Diversity In Relation To Percent Coverage Of Macroalgal Growth

Author(s)

Kristy Waterlander

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Mentored

Mentor

Mentor: Walter Bubley, Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction, SC Department of Natural Resources

Abstract

The North Carolina coastal region represents only a small part of the South Atlantic Bight but it serves as an important independent microcosm. This region supports many different species of fish that scientists know very little about. One aim of the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) program is to learn more about the fish populations and diversity in this region. The goal of this project was to study the relationship between fish populations and percent coverage of macroalgae growth. Macroalgae is the generalized term used in this project for the outcroppings of plant life on hard-bottom ocean floor. There is some evidence that areas with higher macroalgae have higher populations of fish associated with them. Using video cameras on the ocean floor, this study accurately measured and calculated the fish populations and percent coverage of algae growth. Results met expectations, in that fish populations generally increased with an increased percent coverage of algae growth. However, a surprising find was a slight decrease in overall diversity with increased percent macroalgae coverage. Further studies are necessary to better understand this surprising finding.

Start Date

4-11-2015 11:00 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 11:15 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:15 AM

Various Fish Species Abundances And Diversity In Relation To Percent Coverage Of Macroalgal Growth

The North Carolina coastal region represents only a small part of the South Atlantic Bight but it serves as an important independent microcosm. This region supports many different species of fish that scientists know very little about. One aim of the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) program is to learn more about the fish populations and diversity in this region. The goal of this project was to study the relationship between fish populations and percent coverage of macroalgae growth. Macroalgae is the generalized term used in this project for the outcroppings of plant life on hard-bottom ocean floor. There is some evidence that areas with higher macroalgae have higher populations of fish associated with them. Using video cameras on the ocean floor, this study accurately measured and calculated the fish populations and percent coverage of algae growth. Results met expectations, in that fish populations generally increased with an increased percent coverage of algae growth. However, a surprising find was a slight decrease in overall diversity with increased percent macroalgae coverage. Further studies are necessary to better understand this surprising finding.