Biological Sciences: Summer/Fall 2004
Adrienne Pappal


1. Is there a correlation between juvenile fish community structure and intertidal habitats?
2. Which habitats are important to individual species such as juvenile winter flounder?


• The intertidal zone, the area of shore between high and low tides, is used as a temporary habitat for many species of juvenile fish.

• Growth rates vary as a function of habitat; therefore, selection of habitats that maximize growth is a crucial factor in survival for fishes.

• Determining which intertidal habitats are most important to local species will aid in conservation.

Mt. Hope Bay Habitat Types

Habitat types from top left and continuing clockwise: spartina grass and mixed algae; cobble; sandy shell habitat with sandbar and spartina grass; spartina on sandy beach.
Study Location

White arrow indicates the summer, 2004, fish sampling location.


• Sample Mt. Hope Bay habitat types for juvenile fish using randomly generated distances.

• Map habitats of the study site using quadrats and perpendicular-to-shore transects.

• Determine if a relationship between habitat and fish community structure is present by statistical analysis.



Step 1: Seine Sampling
Positioning, pulling in to shore, sample collection.

Beach Seine for collecting fish samples.Dragging in beach seine.
Sample from beach seine.

Click here to see a seine net in action.


Step 2: Block Net

Block net setup.
Picture of block net.Click here to see a block net animation.

Step 3: Habitat Mapping
By transect and quadrat sampling:
substrate type — cobble, pebble, gravel, sand;
algae — brown, red, green;
shell, debris.

Quadrat sampling.
Figure of quadrat sampling (above) and transect sampling (below) used to quantify habitat types.


• 25 Seine samples collected
• 13 Habitat transects completed
• Block net tested 5 times

Next Steps

• Seine samples
• Identify species
• Record lengths
• Calculate community structure indices
• Habitat transects
• Quantify habitat distribution
• Data analysis
• Analyze species data and compare with habitats present

Future Work

• Laboratory study
• In depth analysis of juvenile winter flounder habitat preference

Stay tuned for more updates!


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