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Accession: MLT-GCET-1106a Research Theme: Multi-Disciplinary Study (Graduate Thesis Study)
Contributors: Brittany DeLoach McCall, Steve Pennings, Huy Vu, Kazik Wieski, Hongyu Guo, Michael Richardson, Brittany DeLong, Claudia Grimm, Annika Stark
Title: Comparative transect surveys of invertebrate abundance, plant cover, and sediment characteristics in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico salt marshes from April 2009 to September 2010
Abstract: Understanding the relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up forces is an important key to predicting the structure of biological communities. The strength of these effects can be regulated in part by predator abundance and nutrient availability. In 2009, we hypothesized that the importance of these factors varies geographically between the southeastern Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast due to differences in tidal regime, and began to study this variation using a biogeographic, manipulative field experiment. Although our original purpose was to understand the structure of salt marsh arthropod food webs, BP's Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf Coast presented an opportunity to understand how stress from an oil spill might affect the variables that we were measuring. The fact that we had plots and transect sampling in place at multiple sites along the Gulf and East Coasts put us in a position to evaluate any impacts that might occur if oil hit some of the sites. The study was conducted at 11 sites across the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida, and 11 sites along the Atlantic Coast, from Florida to Maine. At each site, experimental plots were sampled and a 100m transect was sampled near the plots within 5m of the high marsh boundary. Sampling was conducted in May 2009, August 2009, and August 2010. In 2010, four extra sites were added to the existing experimental sites because of known oil contamination, and another site was added as an extra control. Only the transect sampling was conducted at these sites. This dataset contains all the transect data; data from experimental plots will be reported in a companion dataset.
DOI: 10.6073/pasta/68e5ae5c5af11588034cb5ef90878437
Key Words: abundance, Acridid, arthropods, Cecidomyiidae, Chaetopsis, Chloropidae, Delphacodes, disturbance, Dolichopodidae, ecosystems, fertilization, Foraminifera, Geukensia, insects, invertebrates, irradiance, Ischnodemus, latitude, Littoraria, longitude, marine, Megamealus, Melampus, nematodes, Oligochaetes, organic content, plants, pollution, Polychaetes, Prokelisia, salinity, sediments, Tettigoniid, Trigonotylus, Tytthus
LTER Core Area: Population Studies
Research Themes: Multi-Disciplinary Study, Aquatic Invertebrate Ecology, Organic Matter/Decomposition, Plant Ecology, Population Ecology, Terrestrial Insect Ecology
Study Period: 25-Apr-2009 to 15-Sep-2010
Study Sites:
SE_Coast -- Southeastern USA Coast, USA
» Download Geographic Coverage: Google Earth
Species References: Delphacodes penedetecta, Geukensia demissa, Littoraria irrorata, Melampus bidentatus, Prokelisia marginata, Spartina alterniflora, Trigonotylus uhleri, Tytthus vagus
Data References: MLT-GCET-1106b (Corresponding experimental plot study)

McCall, B.D. 2011. Geographic Variation in the Structure of Salt Marsh Arthropod Communities. M.S. Thesis. University of Houston, Houston, Texas. 51 pages.

Downloads: Information

Data Table: MLT-GCET-1106a (Main data table for data set MLT-GCET-1106a, 74 records)

Access: Public (released 01-Jan-2012)

Metadata: Text (ESA FLED), XML (Ecological Metadata Language)

Data Formats: Spreadsheet (CSV) [18.12kb],  Text File [20.87kb],  MATLAB (GCE Toolbox) [310.09kb],  MATLAB (Variables) [318.96kb],  Text Report [137.87kb]

Column List:(hide)

Column Name Units Type Description
1 Location none string Name of the sampling location
2 Latitude degrees floating-point Geographic latitude of the sampling location
3 Longitude degrees floating-point Geographic longitude of the sampling location
4 Day D integer Calendar day site was sampled
5 Month M integer Calendar month site was sampled
6 Year YYYY integer Calendar year site was sampled
7 Oil_Presence none integer Presence of obvious oil in water and on plants and soil
8 Soil_Organic_Content percent floating-point Soil organic content as determined by loss of dry mass after ignition in a muffle furnace
9 Soil_Water_Content percent floating-point Soil water content as determined by difference between wet weight and dry weight
10 Soil_Salinity PSU floating-point Salinity of pore water
11 Soil_Bitumen percent floating-point Oil content of soil by mass
12 Leaf_Nitrogen percent floating-point Nitrogen content of Spartina alterniflora leaf
13 Spartina_Cover percent floating-point Percent cover of Spartina in 0.5 x 0.5 m quadrat
14 Dead_Plant_Cover percent floating-point Percent cover of dead plant material in 0.5 x 0.5 m quadrat
15 Spartina_Height cm floating-point Height of tallest Spartina alterniflora plant
16 PAR_Above_Canopy µE/m^2/s floating-point PAR reading above plant canopy
17 PAR_Below_Canopy µE/m^2/s floating-point PAR reading at soil level
18 Light_Intercepted ratio floating-point Fraction of light intercepted by the canopy
19 Littoraria_Density count/m^2 floating-point Average number of littoraria per square meter
20 Littoraria_Height mm floating-point Average spire height of Littoraria from transect
21 Melampus_Density count/m^2 floating-point Average number of Melampus per square meter
22 Black_Snail_Density count/m^2 floating-point Average number of black snails per square meter
23 Geukensia_Density count/m^2 floating-point Average number of Geukensia per square meter
24 Crab_Burrow_Density count/m^2 floating-point Average number of crab burrows per square meter
25 Crab_Burrow_Diameter cm floating-point Average diameter of crab burrows from transect
26 Tettigoniid_Abundance none integer Estimate of tettigoniid abundance
27 Foraminifera_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of Foraminifera in pooled sediment sample
28 Nematode_Count_Sediment count integer Number of nematodes in pooled sediment sample
29 Polychaete_Count_Sediment count integer Number of polychaetes in pooled sediment sample
30 Oligochaete_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of oligochaetes in pooled sediment sample
31 Unident_​Worm_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of unidents in pooled sediment sample Number of Worms in pooled sediment sample
32 Snail_Count_Sediment count integer Number of snails in pooled sediment sample
33 Bivalve_Count_Sediment count integer Number of bivalves in pooled sediment sample
34 Other_​Mollusc_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of other molluscs in pooled sediment sample
35 Crab_Count_Sediment count integer Number of crabs in pooled sediment sample
36 Amphipod_Count_Sediment count integer Number of amphipods in pooled sediment sample
37 Insect_Count_Sediment count integer Number of insects in pooled sediment sample
38 Spider_Count_Sediment count integer Number of spiders in pooled sediment sample
39 Other_​Arthropod_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of other arthropods in pooled sediment sample
40 Unidentified_​Infauna_​Count_​Sediment count integer Number of unidentified infauna in pooled sediment sample
41 Trigonotylus_​uhleri_​Count_​DVac count integer Number of Trigonotylus uhleri in pooled DVac sample
42 Leafhopper_Count_DVac count integer Number of leafhoppers in pooled DVac sample
43 Prokelisia_Count_DVac count integer Number of Prokelisia in pooled DVac sample
44 Delphacodes_​penedetecta_​Count_​DVac count integer Number of Delphacodes penedetecta in pooled DVac sample
45 Megamealus_Count_DVac count integer Number of Megamealus in pooled DVac sample
46 Immature_​Delphacids_​Count_​DVac count integer Number of immature Delphacids in pooled DVac sample
47 Other_​Planthopper_​Count_​DVac count integer Number of other Planthoppers in pooled DVac sample
48 Ischnodemus_Count_DVac count integer Number of Ischnodemus in pooled DVac sample
49 Tettigonid_Count_DVac count integer Number of Tettigonid in pooled DVac sample
50 Acridid_Count_DVac count integer Number of Acridid in pooled DVac sample
51 Thrips_Count_DVac count integer Number of Thrips in pooled DVac sample
52 Weevil_Count_DVac count integer Number of weevils in pooled DVac sample
53 Chaetopsis_Fly_Count_DVac count integer Number of Chaetopsis fly in pooled DVac sample
54 Chloropidae_Count_DVac count integer Number of Chloropidae in pooled DVac sample
55 Cecidomyiidae_Count_DVac count integer Number of Cecidomyiidae in pooled DVac sample
56 Dolichopodidae_Count_DVac count integer Number of Dolichopodidae in pooled DVac sample
57 Other_​Herbivore_​Count_​DVac count integer Number of other herbivores in pooled DVac sample
58 Tythus_vagus_Count_DVac count integer Number of Tythus vagus in pooled DVac sample
59 Naemia_Count_DVac count integer Number of Naemia in pooled DVac sample
60 Hogna_Count_DVac count integer Number of Hogna in pooled DVac sample
61 Pardosa_Count_DVac count integer Number of Pardosa in pooled DVac sample
62 Marpissa_Count_DVac count integer Number of Marpissa in pooled DVac sample
63 Other_Salticid_Count_DVac count integer Number of other Salticid in pooled DVac sample
64 Clubionid_Count_DVac count integer Number of Clubionid in pooled DVac sample
65 Tetragnatha_Count_DVac count integer Number of Tetragnatha in pooled DVac sample
66 Grammonota_Count_DVac count integer Number of Grammonota in pooled DVac sample
67 Other_Spider_Count_DVac count integer Number of other spiders in pooled DVac sample
68 Other_Predator_Count_DVac count integer Number of other predators in pooled DVac sample
69 Wasp_Count_DVac count integer Number of wasps in pooled DVac sample
70 Collembola_Count_DVac count integer Number of Collembola in pooled DVac sample
71 Brachycera_Count_DVac count integer Number of Brachycera in pooled DVac sample
72 Nematocera_Count_DVac count integer Number of Nematocera in pooled DVac sample
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Citation: McCall, Brittany DeLoach. 2011. Comparative transect surveys of invertebrate abundance, plant cover, and sediment characteristics in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico salt marshes from April 2009 to September 2010. Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER Project, University of Georgia, Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/68e5ae5c5af11588034cb5ef90878437

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.