Thesis Defense Seminar - Tiffany Chin
Due to COVID-19 precautions, this seminar will only be available for viewing via WebEx.
MARINE BIOLOGY PROGRAM
DEPARTMENT OF LIFE SCIENCES
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI
SUBJECT: Comparison of Phytoplankton Biomass and Community Composition in Three Texas Estuaries Differing in Freshwater Inflow Regime
MAJOR ADVISOR: Dr. Michael Wetz
Phytoplankton are sensitive indicators of environmental change, including changes to freshwater inflow in estuaries. Because freshwater inflows to Texas estuaries are projected to decrease in the coming decades, understanding ecosystem-level responses to freshwater inflow variability is critical. This study examined phytoplankton community composition, biomass and relationships to environmental variables in three Texas estuaries with differing freshwater inflow regimes: San Antonio Bay (SA, highest inflow), Nueces-Corpus Christi Bay (NC, intermediate inflow), and Baffin Bay (BB, lowest inflow). We hypothesized that: 1) nutrients and phytoplankton biomass would be highest in SA, intermediate in NC, and lowest in BB, and 2) the phytoplankton community would be dominated by large or fast-growing taxa in SA, and small or slow-growing taxa in NC and BB. BB had the highest phytoplankton biovolume, followed by NC and SA. Dinoflagellates were the dominant functional group in SA, while diatoms were a large contributor to biovolume in BB. Inflow events to NC only affected nutrients and phytoplankton in the upper estuary, with no obvious influence downstream. Observed biovolume and community composition trends were contrary to our hypotheses, underscoring the importance of understanding system-specific drivers and ecological responses for effective coastal management.
Meeting number (access code): 133 402 3165
Meeting password: gT3XZmtM826 (48399686 from phones)