1. Mud flat characteristics
    • Unvegetated but can have microalgal films
    • Phytoplankton and zooplankton
    • Major food source is detritus
    • Know what it is
    • Sediment
    • Fine-grained: silt or silt plus some sand
    • Redox layer is shallow
    • 1m is redox on sandy beaches
    • Usually in mud flats, redox is 1mm down
    • Redox smells like H2SO4
    • Sediment cohesive, low porosity
    • Good for burrows
    • Usually silty layer on surface: tiny crustaceans live there
  2. FAUNA
    • Phytoplankton and zooplankton
    • Detritus is major food source
    • Scant epi fauna
    • Not many crabs etc in US-Aus and India mud flats have them
    • Near-surface infauna: polychaets, amphipods
    • Deep burrowers: angel wing clam (Cyrtopleura)
    • Macoma: bent-nosed clam
    • Large lobster like shrimp that burrow in
    • Sometimes if burrow big enough, fish and small critters that live in mud flat with the creature that made the burrow
  3. Scant epi fauna
    • Horn snails (erithidea)-slurp microalgae off mud
    • Crawls around vacuuming the stuff up as it goes
  4. angel wing clam (Cyrtopleura)
    • deep burrowers
    • Uses siphons that reach up to surface
    • Shell can't close, but protected by mud
  5. Macoma: bent-nosed clam
    • 1 siphon-vacuums sediment other releases out flow
    • Vacuum siphon can move around animal
    • Fish bite siphons off, they regrow
    • Leathery coating on shell
  6. BIRDS
    • Come with low tide
    • Niche partitioning
    • What they do in their habitat
    • Birds are in same habitat, but have different niche
  7. BIRDS on or over mud flat
    • Gulls & terns visit
    • Sandpipers/pluvers; Great blue Herron; great/reddish/snowy egret
    • Curlew, stilt; spoonbill
  8. Low tide-short beaked birds on/over mud flats
    • Sandpipers and pluvers
    • FEED on small animals near surface
  9. Long beaked birds on/over mudflat
    • Big birds-eat shrimp, crab and small fishes
    • Biggest = GREAT BLUE Heron
    • Big grey bird
    • Great egret, reddish egret ; snowy egret
    • Reddish egret Goes out on mud flat spread wings out to create shadow=> animals/fish try to get under
    • Snowy egret-black legs but yellow feat
    • Hunted severely due to pretty feathers
    • Stopped after poachers kill warden of game preserve
    • Chases after the fish-rare
  10. Small birds on/over mud flats
    • Brown, curved beak-curlew
    • Stilt: black and white; eats insects in salty pools
    • Spoonbill: bill shaped like spoon
    • Pink color
    • Eats small stuff
  11. SALT MARSH characteristics
    • Contains grasses and shrubs that can withstand being in salt water
    • Excrete salt
    • Secrete salt
    • Emergent vegetation
    • Spartina; fiddler crab, ribbed muscle; litorina(snail)
    • Succession takes place: bare mud-> mussels->spartina
  12. Spartina:
    • In salt marsh
    • Cord grass-wind-polinated:Produce seed also send out shoot
    • High primary productivity, few grazers
  13. Litorina (snail)
    • Hell cellulose on
    • Contributes detritus
    • Colonizes mud flat, usually after ribbed mussel settles
  14. Ribbed MUSCLES-Geukensia
    • Filter small particles; also mudExcrete mud as pseudo feces
    • Settled shells and pseudofeces creates habitat for spantina (salt marsh)
    • Form clusters and have byssus attachment
  15. Fiddler crabs (Uca)
    • Feed among spartina on small particles
    • SEXUALLY dimorphic- Male has 1 big pincer and 1 little one &Female has 2 pincers
    • Eaten by: Blue crab; Rail-bird that makes clacking noise; Whooping crane (Famous and endangered bird;Only found on migration route between canada and TX)
  16. UPPER DRY MARSH flora
    • Pickle weed-Salicornia
    • Fleshy like a cactus
    • Can be eaten like pickle
    • If on survior
    • Salt grass: Distichlis
    • Not as tolerant as Spartina
  17. Upper dry marsh fauna
    • Find lots of birds like stilts around salty pools
    • Oxygenated pools
    • Fish
    • Find killifish
    • Hornsnails -not fish
    • Sheephead minnow fish
    • Bright blue male (in our tank) with 3 females
    • Eaten by lots of different birds
    • Eat insects etc
    • Not too many mammals
    • River otter etc
    • Only occasionally
  18. Salt marsh creek
    • Drain water
    • Blue crab, pin fish,
    • mullet(eat plankton)-
    • mouth turned up
    • Can jump
    • Can get to decent side (1-1.5 ft??)
    • Have fin back high on body
    • Snails
    • Ducks and birds rest/even nest in there
  19. How do upper marshes help inland areas
    Flood and hurrican barrier
Card Set
mudflats marine