Alternate Title

Effects of Porous Mesh Groynes on Macroinvertebrates of a Sandy Beach, Santa Rosa Island, Florida, U.S.A.


The use of porous mesh groynes to accrete sand and stop erosion is a relatively new method of beach nourishment. Five groyne, five intergroyne, and five control transects outside the groyne area on a beach near Destin, FL were sampled during the initial 3 mo after installment of groynes for Arenicola cristata (polychaete) burrow numbers, benthic macroinvertebrate numbers, and dry mass. Salinity, temperature, turbidity, and current velocity were measured at one location within the groyne site and control site. Current velocity was reduced and sand was accreted in the groyne site relative to the control site. Few significant changes or interactions (time X site) were found. Coquina (Donax), mole crab (Emerita), and several species of polychaete were not eliminated near groynes after installation of the groyne field. Arenicola cristata (polychaete) burrow numbers were higher near groynes. This is in contrast to dramatic changes often noted in the first few months after other types of beach nourishment techniques, such as sand pumping, where fauna can be completely eliminated.