Alternate Title

Macroinvertebrate Infauna of a Salt Marsh Tidal Creek


Tidal creeks are the main avenues for exchange of materials between salt marshes and river mouth estuaries. The spatial and temporal distributions of benthic macroinvertebrate infauna of a tidal creek near St. Marks Lighthouse in northern Florida were investigated. One hundred and eleven species were found during the course of study. The numbers of species and individuals declined from the creek mouth to its origin. The results were compared to published macrobenthic invertebrate data from a nearby estuary and nearby salt marshes to determine the faunal relationships of these areas to the creek. More estuarine species than marsh species were found at the creek mouth but at the creek headwaters fewer estuarine than marsh species were found. However, numerous creek species had not been recorded from local salt marsh or estuarine locations. The evidence indicates this tidal creek to be an ecotone between the salt marsh and the adjoining estuarine habitat.