Nearshore Communities and Shoreline Development

Small fish (juveniles, minnows, killifish) and decapod crustaceans (e.g., juvenile blue crabs, grass shrimp) use nearshore shallow water (<1 m) as crucial habitat providing refuge from predatory and cannibalistic large fish and blue crabs. We study natural factors and human impacts that affect nearshore habitats. Natural shoreline habitats including marsh, forest and sandy beaches contribute to the refuge value by providing emergent vegetation, detrital resources, woody debris and gradual bathymetry. Human activities impact the refuge and nursery value of this habitat by shoreline development and erosion control with bulkheads and rock revetment that create deeper water at the waters edge, as well as destroying marshes and shoreline forests. This work is funded by the Smithsonian Environmental Sciences Program and SERC Fellowships Program.



Temporal Variation in Juvenile Blue Crab Mortality: Nearshore Shallows and Cannibalism in Chesapeake Bay.
Anson H. Hines and Gregory M. Ruiz . 1995.
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Effects of Shallow Water Refuge on Behavior and Density-Dependent Mortality of Blue Crabs in Chesapeake Bay.
Ana I. Dittel, Anson H. Hines, Gregory M. Ruiz and K. Keith Ruffin. 1995.
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Shallow water as a refuge habitat for fish and crustaceans in non-vegetated estuaries: an example from Chesapeake Bay.
Gregory Ruiz, Anson Hines, Martin H. Posey. 1993.
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