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1 January 2016 Zooplankton Abundance in the Surf Zones of Nourished and Unnourished Beaches in Southeastern North Carolina, U.S.A.
Kelly Jo Stull, Lawrence B. Cahoon, Thomas E. Lankford
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Abstract

Stull, K.J.; Cahoon, L.B., and Lankford, T.E., 2016. Zooplankton abundance in the surf zones of nourished and unnourished beaches in southeastern North Carolina, U.S.A.

Surf zones are poorly studied in comparison to adjacent estuarine and continental shelf ecosystems, partly owing to their dynamic, high-energy environment that is often difficult to sample. This study quantified zooplankton abundance in the surf zone at eight sites along three beaches in SE North Carolina between November 2008 and June 2010, encompassing a beach-nourishment cycle at four sites in early 2010. A Before-After/Control-Impact (BACI) sampling design tested the effects of beach nourishment on zooplankton abundance at both medium- (2–3 months) and short-term (2–3 weeks) time scales. Zooplankton abundances in the surf zone ranged from 386–54,900 zooplankters m−3 and averaged about 8240 individuals m−3, an order of magnitude higher than in nearby coastal ocean environments but not as high as in nearby rivers and estuaries. Changes in phytoplankton biomass in the surf zone had a significant effect on meroplankton but not on holozooplankton abundances. Beach nourishment did not have significant effects on zooplankton abundances in the surf zone during this study. The surf zone offers an important food resource for planktivorous fishes and may be an important link between coastal and estuarine communities.

Kelly Jo Stull, Lawrence B. Cahoon, and Thomas E. Lankford "Zooplankton Abundance in the Surf Zones of Nourished and Unnourished Beaches in Southeastern North Carolina, U.S.A.," Journal of Coastal Research 32(1), 70-77, (1 January 2016). https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-14-00226.1
Received: 18 November 2014; Accepted: 31 March 2015; Published: 1 January 2016
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KEYWORDS
beach nourishment
Meroplankton
planktivory
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