Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

B.S. with honors

Program of Study

Biology

Language

English

First Advisor

Chester Zarnoch

Abstract

Coastal wetlands perform valuable functions by protecting shorelines from floodwaters and storm surges, providing habitats for marine species, and improving local water quality. Unfortunately, over half of the area of global wetlands has been lost over the past century. Locally, in Jamaica Bay (Queens, NY), loss of wetlands has exceeded 98%. Restoration of Jamaica Bay marshes began in 2003. Ribbed mussels, Geukensia demissa, live symbiotically with marsh plants and have been shown to stabilize sediments and provide organic nutrients that enhance marsh plant growth. Mussels are suspension feeders, which collect algae from seawater and deposit organic matter in marsh sediments. Organic matter may increase rates of microbial nitrogen removal via denitrification, a critical ecosystem service. For these reasons, mussels may be important to the success of coastal wetland restoration. Ribbed mussel size and abundance data at both restored and unrestored marsh islands was analyzed for better understanding of mussel recruitment at sites over time. Increases and decreases in abundance and size distribution of the mussels has been linked to their location on restored and unrestored marshes. The analyses of the ribbed mussel gut microbiome demonstrated the physiological connection of the bivalve to its environment. Data in multiple areas supported the importance of ribbed mussel populations at the Jamaica Bay wetlands.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.