Shrimp are critical to estuarine food webs because they are a resource to economically and ecologically important fish and crabs, but also consume primary production and prey on larval fish and small invertebrates. Yet, we know little of their natural history. This study determined shrimp community composition, seasonality, and life histories by sampling the water column and benthos with plankton nets and benthic traps, respectively, in Great Bay, a relatively unaltered estuary in southern New Jersey. We identified 6 native (Crangon septemspinosa, Palaemon vulgaris, P. pugio, P. intermedius, Hippolyte pleuracanthus, and Gilvossius setimanus) and 1 non-native (P. macrodactylus) shrimp species. These results suggest that the estuary is home to a relatively diverse group of shrimp species that differ in the spatial and temporal use of the estuary and the adjacent inner shelf.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4