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|Presentation Title||POSTER: Comparing larval and juvenile fish assemblages between newly created marsh terraces and existing marsh habitat|
|Presenting Author Name||April Simmons|
|Presenting Author Affiliation||Nicholls State University|
|Unit Meeting||Louisiana Chapter|
|General Topic||nursery habitat restoration|
|Type of Presentation||Poster|
A variety of microhabitats are necessary in estuarine systems to support diverse flora and fauna through natural environmental fluctuations. Marsh terracing can create diverse habitats by increasing edge habitat, stimulate submerged aquatic vegetation growth, and reduce wave energy in open water. To determine if nursery habitat created by marsh terraces is functionally equivalent to established natural marsh edge at a newly restored site in Chauvin, LA, larval and juvenile fish assemblages were sampled with light traps every other week from April – September 2019. The light traps were deployed at six terrace sites and at six marsh sites two hours before official sunset and retrieved two hours after official sunset. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) was calculated as the number of individuals of each taxonomic group collected per trap per hour for each site. The CPUE of individual taxonomic groups were then compared between the terrace habitat and adjacent established marsh habitat using multivariate analysis of variance and paired t-test (α=0.05). Principle Components Analysis was also used to explore assemblage patterns over time for each habitat type. Based on temporal spikes in CPUE, there were spawning periods identified for Menidia beryllina, Microgobius gulosus, and Lucania parva. It appears that the terrace larval fish assemblage was not similar to the marsh larval fish assemblage. Further monitoring in the spring and summer of 2020 will be completed before developing any conclusions about the assemblage difference between the habitat types.