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Mapping seafloor habitats in the Bay of Fundy to assess megafaunal assemblages associated with Modiolus modiolus beds

Citation

Wilson, BR and Brown, CJ and Sameoto, JA and Lacharite, M and Redden, AM and Gazzola, V, Mapping seafloor habitats in the Bay of Fundy to assess megafaunal assemblages associated with Modiolus modiolus beds, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 252 Article 107294. ISSN 0272-7714 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107294

Abstract

Dense aggregations of horse mussels exist in the Bay of Fundy and are thought to be associated with high biodiversity compared to surrounding habitats. Previous research show correlations between these aggregations and long narrow flow-parallel bedforms. In this study, high resolution seafloor photographs were compared to multibeam echosounder data to investigate benthic community and biodiversity patterns across the Bay of Fundy. Biophysical seafloor types (benthoscapes) were mapped with 71% accuracy using Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) with fuzzy c-means classification. Community patterns were found to shift gradually across benthoscapes and mega-epifaunal biodiversity was highest in areas of mixed sediments and silty gravel and anemones. Horse mussels occurred mainly within the sand benthoscape where the flow parallel bedforms exist. Community patterns were also assessed at fine scales (5 m) using a by-eye interpretation of the flow parallel bedforms, where gradational shifts across the bedforms and surrounding areas were evident and abundance of horse mussels were found to be significantly greater on the bedforms. These findings will ultimately facilitate decisions around fisheries management, marine spatial planning, and monitoring of the horse mussel habitats and the surrounding benthoscapes within the Bay of Fundy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mussels, seafloor mapping, benthos, benthoscape, seascape ecology, benthic habitat, habitat classification, horse mussels
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lacharite, M (Dr Myriam Lacharite)
ID Code:143378
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2021-03-14
Last Modified:2021-03-15
Downloads:0

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