- 1) Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, University of South Carolina, P. O. Box 1630, 29442, Georgetown, South Carolina
Interactions between pairs of numerically dominant species collected at inlet and creek shorezone and channel habitats within a high salinity estuary in northeastern South Carolina were examined using two-way contingency tables and binomial tests. Of the significant species interactions, over 71% were positive and these primarily occurred within shorezone habitats. The strongest positive interactions were between young-of-the-year spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) and blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) juveniles in both shorezone habitats, and between striped killifish (Fundulus majalis), white mullet (Mugil curema), and striped anchovies (Anchoa hepsetus) in the inlet shorezone habitat. One of the most positive species associations in channel habitats was between the bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) and the Atlantic brief squid (Lolliguncula brevis). These positive relationships between species may be explained by one species enhancing the habitat for another, both species responding to similar environmental conditions, cooperative social interactions such as mixed schooling, or the attraction of predators to prey. Negative interactions were found between schools of Atlantic silversides (Menidia menidia) and striped killifish in the inlet shorezone and between schools of Atlantic silversides and bay anchovies in the creek shorezone. Schools of Atlantic silversides may either displace or compete with other common shorezone species. Positive and negative interactions suggest that relationships between some species pairs did not occur randomly within certain habitats and may have contributed to the organization of the estuarine nekton community. Differences in the strengths and direction of interactions of certain species pairs among habitats and seasons were probably related to the differences in the physical characteristics of those habitats and/or changes in the relative abundance of dominant species and life stages over time.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics