Inter-Research > MEPS > v707 > p1-13  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 707:1-13 (2023)  -  DOI:

Benthic infauna are resistant and resilient to hurricane disturbance

Paul A. Montagna*

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, 6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5869, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Hurricanes disturb marine ecosystems by abrupt changes in storm-surge, erosion, freshwater inflow, material loads, or water quality. Hurricane Harvey (25 August 2017) was a Category 4 storm that entered the south Texas, USA, coast and produced a large flood in San Antonio Bay. Benthic abundance, biomass, and diversity have been measured quarterly at 4 stations beginning in 2004. From July to October 2017, macrobenthos decreased to near zero, likely because salinity and dissolved oxygen approached zero. A bivalve mollusk recruitment event began within 8 mo after the storm and continued to July 2018. These short-term responses showed that benthic communities were initially devastated but recovered in less than 1 yr, indicating resilience. However, modeling based on a 13 yr time series yielded the same trend in community metrics, suggesting that benthos would have declined in fall and increased in spring with or without the storm. The long-term results indicate that seasonal dynamics in benthos provide some resistance as well as resilience to storm disturbance. Storms occur at stochastic geological time scales and shape evolutionary history such that they likely do not cause an enduring, devastating disturbance to benthic communities.

KEY WORDS: Resistance · Resilience · Hurricane Harvey · Flood · Long-term dynamics · Infauna · Diversity · Mollusca

Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material
Cite this article as: Montagna PA (2023) Benthic infauna are resistant and resilient to hurricane disturbance. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 707:1-13.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

Next article