Alternate Title

Recruitment and Colonization of Macroalgae to a Newly Constructed Rocky Intertidal Habitat in the Northwest Gulf of Mexico

Document Type



Marine macroalgal assemblages on artificial structures play an important ecological role in coastal and estuarine ecosystems and may supplement natural communities in nearby waters. The rocky jetties of Packery Channel, located near Corpus Christi, Texas represent a recent addition of hard structure for colonization in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this research was to monitor the initial immigration of macroalgal species during the first year of colonization and determine the effects of wave energy on recruitment. Ten sampling sites were established along the offshore portion of the new Packery Channel jetties. Samples were taken bimonthly from along a 10 m transect between September 2006 and July 2007, with quadrats (20 x 30 cm) sampled every meter by destructive harvesting techniques. Biomass data obtained from this study assess composition and establish a timeline for algal recruitment. Within the first year macroalgal richness was found to be 40 species. Multivariate analyses show strong linkages between rate of recruitment and site location. Sites with the highest level of wave energy exhibited significantly increased biomass and simultaneous decreased richness values, indicating recruitment is affected by wave energy at a microhabitat scale.

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