Benthic Macrofauna of the New York Bight, 1979-89

Reid, Robert N. and Radosh, David J. and Frame, Ann B. and Fromm, Steven A. (1991) Benthic Macrofauna of the New York Bight, 1979-89. NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, (NOAA Technical Report NMFS, 103)

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The benthic macrofauna of the New York Bight has been monitored extensively, primarily to determine trends over space and time in biological effects of waste inputs. In the present study, from 44 to 48 stations were sampled each summer from 1980-1985. Data from other Bight benthic studies are included to· extend the temporal coverage from 1979 to 1989. Numbers of species and amphipods per sample, taken as relatively sensitive indicators of environmental stress, showed consistent spatial patterns. Lowest values were found in the Christiaensen Basin and other inshore areas, and numbers increased toward the outermost shelf and Hudson Shelf Valley stations. There were statistically significant decreases in species and amphipods at most stations from 1980 to 1985. (Preliminary data from a more recent study suggest numbers of species increased again between 1986 and 1989.) Cluster analysis of 1980-85 data indicated several distinct assemblages-sewage sludge dumpsite, sludge accumulation area, inner Shelf Valley, outer Shelf Valley, outer shelf-with little change over time. The "enriched" and "highly altered" assemblages in the Basin appear similar to those reported since sampling began there in 1968. No consistently defaunated areas have been found in any sampling programs over the past 20 years. On a gross level, therefore, recent faunal responses to any environmental changes are not evident, but the more sensitive measures used, i.e. numbers of species and amphipods, do indicate widespread recent effects. Causes of the faunal changes are not obvious; some possibilities, including increasing effects of sewage sludge or other waste inputs, natural factors, and sampling artifacts, are discussed. (PDF file contains 54 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Benthic Macrofauna of the New York Bight, 1979-89
Personal Creator/Author:
Reid, Robert N.
Radosh, David J.
Frame, Ann B.
Fromm, Steven A.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Report NMFS
Number: 103
Date: 1991
Publisher: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Ecology
Item ID: 2712
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2009 02:09
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 18:30

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