First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Amanda BeecherFollow
Christina CerretaFollow

Participation Type

Poster

Title of Poster or Paper

Block Island, Horseshoe Crab Paradise?

Mentor/s

Dr. Jennifer Mattei

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Location

University Commons

Start Day/Time

4-20-2018 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-20-2018 3:00 PM

Abstract

Long Island Sound is an urban estuary that has been dominated by human activity. Counts of juvenile horseshoe crabs on beaches in Connecticut have shown that survival is low or absent on half of the beaches surveyed. Also, juveniles in older (larger size > 5cm) classes were absent. On Block Island, isolated in Block Island Sound off the coast of Rhode Island, the beaches have less pollution and the density of people is lower than CT beaches. Juvenile horseshoe crabs were abundant and we found numerous individuals across most size classes. Juvenile horseshoe crabs feed on a variety of benthic invertebrates including segmented worms and small bivalves. Sediment core samples were taken from 10 beaches in CT and two sites on Block Island to compare the differences in benthic fauna diversity and density between these two areas. This will help determine if food availability may be one of the factors leading to the decline of juveniles found on CT beaches. We found that indeed, benthic invertebrate diversity and density is important for horseshoe crab growth and survival and that the cleaner beaches of Block Island provide a better habitat.

College and Major available

Biology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Comments

Amanda Beecher is a student in the Thomas More Honors Program.

Winner of the 2018 Academic Festival award category College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Prize.

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Apr 20th, 1:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Block Island, Horseshoe Crab Paradise?

University Commons

Long Island Sound is an urban estuary that has been dominated by human activity. Counts of juvenile horseshoe crabs on beaches in Connecticut have shown that survival is low or absent on half of the beaches surveyed. Also, juveniles in older (larger size > 5cm) classes were absent. On Block Island, isolated in Block Island Sound off the coast of Rhode Island, the beaches have less pollution and the density of people is lower than CT beaches. Juvenile horseshoe crabs were abundant and we found numerous individuals across most size classes. Juvenile horseshoe crabs feed on a variety of benthic invertebrates including segmented worms and small bivalves. Sediment core samples were taken from 10 beaches in CT and two sites on Block Island to compare the differences in benthic fauna diversity and density between these two areas. This will help determine if food availability may be one of the factors leading to the decline of juveniles found on CT beaches. We found that indeed, benthic invertebrate diversity and density is important for horseshoe crab growth and survival and that the cleaner beaches of Block Island provide a better habitat.

 

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