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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 121:91-98 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps121091

Role of high and low energy seagrass beds as nursery areas for Penaeus duorarum in North Carolina

Murphey PL, Fonseca MS

Penaeusduorarum (Burkenroad), pink shrimp, were sampled with a benthic sled, monthly at night on flooding spring tides for 1 yr in high energy patchy seagrass beds and low energy continuous seagrass beds. These beds were located in Back Sound, near Beaufort, North Carolina, USA, and consisted of Halodulewrightii and Zosteramarina. Significantly more shrimp were caught in low energy grassbeds than in high energy grassbeds. When shrimp density was weighted for seagrass coverage however, differences in density, while still significant, were much less. Population distribution patterns demonstrated larger shrimp utilized patchy grassbeds in the fall. Despite the variation in spatial configuration of seagrass beds, all tended to provide habitat for P. duorarum. Findings from this study support protection of patchy beds as well as continuous beds.

Seagrass . Penaeus . Spatial heterogeneity . Nursery area . Patchy

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