Symposium Abstract: Habitat and Species Associations of Demersal Fish and Benthic Invertebrates in the New York Bight Apex
S. Chang, J. Vitaliano, and F. Steimle
The associations among demersal fish and benthic invertebrate species with numerous habitat variables were investigated in the data collected during the 12 Mile Dumpsite Study (12MDS) in the inner New York Bight (July 1986 to September 1989). The 12MDS study was unique because synoptic measurements were made at numerous levels of the benthic ecosystem over the 39-month study period. Also, a number of federally managed resource species spend all or part of their life cycle in the inner New York Bight and adjacent estuaries. Factor analysis and canonical correlation analysis reveal strong to moderate associations among fish species, between fish species and water and sediment quality variables, and between fish species and invertebrate prey species. Furthermore, strong to moderate associations were also found among invertebrate species and between invertebrate species and water and sediment quality variables. The approach of using multivariate statistical procedures to explore the associations between habitat variables and important resource fish species can be used to better understand the essential fish habitat relationships of these species.