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Title: Benthic community response to dredging borrow pits, Panama City Beach, Florida
Authors: United States, National Marine Fisheries Center, Gulf Fisheries Center
Taylor Biological Company Inc.
Saloman, Carl H.
Naughton, Steven P.
Taylor, John L.
Keywords: Beach Nourishment
Benthic Fauna
Panama City Beach, Florida
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Miscellaneous report (Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)) ; no. 82-3.
Description: Miscellaneous Report
Abstract: This report gives biological and physical oceanographic data from base-line work and studies of dredged and undredged sediments before and after dredging (9-meter contour) for beach nourishment at Panama City Beach, Florida. These studies were designed to show major short-term environmental effects of offshore dredging and included analyses of hydrology, sediments, and benthos. Hydrological measurements were limited to water temperature and salinity. Analysis of surface sediments included particle-size distribution, carbon chemistry, and statistical properties of mean grain size, sorting, skewness, and kurtosis. Average and extreme periods of water temperature and salinity were recorded. Regional nearshore sediments proved to be fine sand, containing less than 1-percent silt-clay, that was moderately well to well sorted, asymmetrical to coarsely skewed, and leptokurtic. Total carbon content averaged less than 0.30 percent, and most of that occured in the form of carbonate deposits. Over a post-dredging study of 1 year, sediment samples from borrow pits showed little variation from these general features. In studies of the benthos, 362 species and 58,068 individuals were recorded among 14 invertebrate phyla and bony fishes. Dominant groups by species and abundance included annelida, mollusca, and arthropoda (crustacea). Faunal comparisons of dredged and undredged areas were made on the basis of species richness and abundance, the Shannon-Weaver index of diversity (H'), Pielou's index of equitability (J'), Morisita's index of faunal similarity (together with matrices and classification diagrams derived from that index), and two statistical derivations, based on diversity and abundance data, that were designed to show sample-to-sample faunal variations and the time period required for faunal recovery in borrow pits. Information obtained from these procedures showed that recovery began soon after dredging and was complete, or nearly so, within 1 year. These results were similar in most respects to those from study of offshore dredging elsewhere in comparable geographic settings. Even so, the need for a close association between ecological research and coastal engineering programs is emphasized.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Report

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