The Effects of Mechanical Integrity of Hardbottom Habitat on Recruitment of Sessile Fauna

Event Location: 
BCCMWS Room 100
Event Date: 
Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 
SCMSS Seminar Series

Presenter: Amanda Roach

Hardbottom habitat is characterized by exposed consolidated sediments which may or may not be colonized by sessile invertebrates such as corals and sponges. Recent efforts have been made to delineate hardbottom areas near the proposed Charleston Harbor expansion channel using a combination of geophysical methodologies. Bathymetric surveys were supplemented with video groundtruthing which revealed an interesting pattern of recruitment of sessile invertebrates to rocky outcrops. The varying recruitment of benthic fauna to natural hard bottom has been studied for variables such as reef morphology and hydrodynamics but the material of hard bottom itself has not been evaluated as a factor in this recruitment. Evaluation of the mechanical integrity of identified hardbottom areas may be accomplished through the employment of divers for visual and physical collection of rocky hardbottom samples. This study becomes important as the hardbottom material destroyed in the channel expansion project will be mitigated for through artificially created reef dump sites. Significant findings relating the mechanical strength of the hardbottom material and recruitment may be considered when creating these artificial reef sites around the channel.