DV-08-002 Spatial and temporal variability of Saco Bay plankton

James Sulikowski
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

University of New England

Shallow coastal waters provide nursery habitat for larval and juvenile stages of fish and invertebrates. These early life stages are the most vulnerable, and environmental conditions must be just right for the young animals to survive. Less is known about the nursery function of Saco Bay compared to other Maine estuaries. Sulikowski and Charles Tilburg and their students plan to study how Saco Bay's complicated physical conditions, such as a distinct plume of fresh river water flowing through the bay, influence the distribution and diversity of planktonic larvae. The results may allow scientists to predict how changes in the physical environment will affect marine species, including commercially valuable fish and shellfish.

1-year project, 2008
Total: $1,800