Title

Autotrohic Net Productivity Patterns At Four Artificial Reef Sites In the Mississippi Sound

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2015

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

Nearshore artificial reefs are common coastal features, for instance the Mississippi Sound has 67 inshore artificial reefs, the goal of which is to increase fisheries production. The success of artificial reefs depends in part on the primary production potential available to support the reef-based food web. In this study, we used settlement plates to estimate periphyton community net productivity, chlorophyll-a (chl-a), and biomass at sites adjacent to four artificial reefs in the Mississippi Sound in order to evaluate the potential of these artificial reefs to enhance local primary production. Water column primary productivity, chl-a, and biomass were also measured to assess the contribution of phytoplankton to total net primary production at these four sites. The largely negative net productivity measurements obtained for the periphyton community suggest that artificial structures deployed in the Mississippi Sound are potentially net heterotrophic and that the autotrophic component of the periphyton is not likely to be a major source of primary production to the reef food web for much of the year except in winter. The higher water column productivity measurements suggest that phytoplankton is a more important source of primary production to the reef food web than the benthic periphyton community especially during the summer.

Publication Title

Hydrobiologia

Volume

749

First Page

135

Last Page

154

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