CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine and Freshwater Research   
Marine and Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the aquatic sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 66(1)

Spatial and temporal patterns in the distribution of large bivalves in a permanently open temperate estuary: implications for management

Alan J. Kendrick A D, Michael J. Rule A C, Paul S. Lavery B and Glenn A. Hyndes B

A Marine Science Program, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.
B Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, School of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia.
C Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia, Hackett Drive, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: alan.kendrick@dpaw.wa.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 66(1) 41-49 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13209
Submitted: 5 August 2013  Accepted: 19 March 2014   Published: 26 November 2014

PDF (662 KB) $25
 Export Citation

To inform management, baseline ecological studies in estuaries must be implemented at spatial scales that accommodate both environmental gradients and likely anthropogenic pressures. We describe fine-scale spatial patterns in the abundances and size structure of large infaunal bivalves inhabiting shallow sand habitats in the lower reaches of a relatively undisturbed, permanently open, temperate estuary. Sampling over 3 years at 19 sites during the autumn, when freshwater influence was minimal, revealed that Soletellina alba, Wallucina assimilis and Paphies elongata were consistently the most abundant of nine species present. Although most abundant near the ocean entrance, S. alba was distributed widely and shells of differing lengths, and presumably ages, were present at most sites, suggesting that this species recruited continuously throughout the study area when conditions were appropriate. In contrast, W. assimilis and P. elongata occurred only near or in the entrance channel of the Nornalup Inlet in areas where seagrass rhizomes may grow and where oceanic influences caused relatively turbulent conditions, respectively. Sediment structure appeared to exert only a moderate and intermittent influence on the bivalve assemblage at some sites where particularly large grain sizes occurred. This study provides important baseline information on the distribution and abundance of large bivalves in this estuary. These species are likely to be important in the trophic ecology of this system and are potential indicators of disturbance and ecosystem health.

Additional keywords: conservation, monitoring, soft-sediment.


Alexander, R. R., Stanton, R. J., and Dodd, J. R. (1993). Influence of sediment grain size on the burrowing of bivalves: correlation with distribution and stratigraphic persistence of selected neogene clams. Palaios 8, 289–303.
CrossRef |

Anderson, M. J., Gorley, R. N., and Clarke, K. R. (2008). Permanova+ for primer: guide to software and statistical methods. Primer-E, Plymouth.

Attrill, M. J., and Thomas, R. M. (1996). Long-term distribution patterns of mobile estuarine invertebrates (Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Crustacea: Decapoda) in relation to hydrological parameters. Marine Ecology Progress Series 143, 25–36.
CrossRef |

Barnes, P. A. G., and Hickman, C. S. (1999). Lucinid bivalves and marine angiosperms: a search for causal relationships. In ‘The Seagrass Flora and Fauna of Rottnest Island, Western Australia’. (Eds D. I. Walker and F. E. Wells.) pp. 215–238. (Western Australian Museum: Perth.)

Beck, M. W., Brumbaugh, R. D., Airoldi, L., Carranza, A., Coen, L. D., Crawford, C., Defeo, O., Edgar, G. J., Hancock, B. T., Kay, M. C., Lenihan, H. S., Luckenbach, M. W., Toropova, C. L., Zhang, G., and Guo, X. (2011). Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration, and management. Bioscience 61, 107–116.
CrossRef |

Blott, S. J., and Pye, K. (2001). Gradistat: a grain size distribution and statistics package for the analysis of unconsolidated sediments. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 26, 1237–1248.
CrossRef |

BoM (2014). Annual rainfall for Nornalup, 1913–2013. Available at www.bom.gov.au/ [Accessed 21 January 2014]

Chalmer, P. N., Hodgkin, E. P., and Kendrick, G. W. (1976). Benthic faunal changes in a seasonal estuary of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 4, 383–410.

Clarke, K. R., and Warwick, R. M. (2001). ‘Change in Marine Communities: an Approach to Statistical Analysis and Interpretation.’ 2nd edn. (Primer-E: Plymouth.)

DEC (2009). Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park Management Plan. Management Plan No. 62, Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth.

DoW (2014). Monthly stream discharge data, Frankland and Deep rivers. Available at http://wir.water.wa.gov.au/ [Accessed 10 January 2014]

Dye, A. H., and Barros, F. (2005). Spatial patterns in meiobenthic assemblages in intermittently open/closed coastal lakes in New South Wales, Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 62, 575–593.
CrossRef |

Edgar, G. J. (2008). ‘Australian Marine Life: the Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters.’ (New Holland, Sydney.)

Elliott, M., and Whitfield, A. K. (2011). Challenging paradigms in estuarine ecology and management. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 94, 306–314.
CrossRef |

Fancy, S. G., Gross, J. E., and Carter, S. L. (2009). Monitoring the condition of natural resources in US national parks. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 151, 161–174.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Giménez, L., Venturini, N., Kandratavicius, N., Hutton, M., Lanfranconi, A., Rodríguez, M., Brugnoli, E., and Muniz, P. (2014). Macrofaunal patterns and animal-sediment relationships in Uruguayan estuaries and coastal lagoons (Atlantic coast of South America). Journal of Sea Research 87, 46–55.
CrossRef |

Gutiérrez, J. L., Jones, C. G., Strayer, D. L., and Iribarne, O. O. (2003). Mollusks as ecosystem engineers: the role of shell production in aquatic habitats. Oikos 101, 79–90.
CrossRef |

Hodgkin, E. P. (1978). An environmental study of the Blackwood River estuary, Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Environment, Report No. 1, Perth.

Hodgkin, E. P., and Clark, R. (1999). Nornalup and Walpole Inlets and the estuaries of the Deep and Frankland Rivers. Revised Edition. Environmental Protection Authority, Estuarine Studies Series Report 2, Perth.

Hodgkin, E. P., and Hesp, P. (1998). Estuaries to salt lakes: holocene transformation of the estuarine ecosystems of south-western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 49, 183–201.
CrossRef | CAS |

Hope, P. K., Drosdowsky, W., and Nicholls, N. (2006). Shifts in the synoptic systems influencing southwest Western Australia. Climate Dynamics 26, 751–764.
CrossRef |

Huisman, J. M., Kendrick, A. J., and Rule, M. J. (2011). Benthic algae and seagrasses of the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 94, 29–44.

Kellogg, M. L., Cornwell, J. C., Owens, M. S., and Paynter, K. T. (2013). Denitrification and nutrient assimilation on a restored oyster reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series 480, 1–19.
CrossRef | CAS |

Kennish, M. J. (2002). Environmental threats and environmental future of estuaries. Environmental Conservation 29, 78–107.
CrossRef |

Kennish, M. J., Haag, S. M., Sakowicz, G. P., and Durand, J. B. (2004). Benthic macrofaunal community structure along a well-defined salinity gradient in the Mullica River - Great Bay Estuary. Journal of Coastal Research 45, 209–226.
CrossRef |

Kuk-Dzul, J. G., Gold-Bouchot, G., and Ardisson, P. L. (2012). Benthic infauna variability in relation to environmental factors and organic pollutants in tropical coastal lagoons from the northern Yucatan Peninsula. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64, 2725–2733.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Matthews, T. G., and Constable, A. J. (2004). Effect of flooding on estuarine bivalve populations near the mouth of the Hopkins River, Victoria, Australia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 84, 633–639.
CrossRef |

Matthews, T. G., and Fairweather, P. G. (2003). Growth rates of the infaunal bivalve Soletellina alba (Lamarck, 1818) (Bivalvia: Psammobiidae) in an intermittent estuary of southern Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 58, 873–885.
CrossRef |

Matthews, T. G., and Fairweather, P. G. (2006). Recruitment of the infaunal bivalve Soletellina alba (Lamarck, 1818) (Bivalvia: Psammobiidae) in response to different sediment types and water depths within the intermittently open Hopkins River estuary. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 334, 206–218.
CrossRef |

McLachlan, A., Jaramillo, E., Defeo, O., Dugan, J., de Ruyck, A., and Coetzee, P. (1995). Adaptions of bivalves to different beach types. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 187, 147–160.
CrossRef |

Neira, F. J., and Potter, I. C. (1994). The larval fish assemblage of the Nornalup-Walpole Estuary, a permanently open estuary on the southern coast of Western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45, 1193–1207.
CrossRef |

NLWRA (2002). Catchment, river and estuary condition in Australia. National Land and Water Resources Audit, Canberra.

Platell, M. E., and Potter, I. C. (1996). Influence of water depth, season, habitat and estuary location on the macrobenthic fauna of a seasonally closed estuary. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 76, 1–21.
CrossRef |

Platell, M. E., Orr, P. A., and Potter, I. C. (2006). Inter- and intraspecific partitioning of food resources by six large and abundant fish species in a seasonally open estuary. Journal of Fish Biology 69, 243–262.
CrossRef |

Poore, G. C. B., and Rainer, S. (1974). Distribution and abundance of soft-bottom molluscs in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 25, 371–411.
CrossRef | CAS |

Potter, I. C., and Hyndes, G. A. (1994). Composition of the fish fauna of a permanently open estuary on the southern coast of Australia, and comparisons with a nearby seasonally closed estuary. Marine Biology 121, 199–209.
CrossRef |

Potter, I. C., and Hyndes, G. A. (1999). Characteristics of the ichthyofaunas of southwestern Australian estuaries, including comparisons with holarctic estuaries and estuaries elsewhere in temperate Australia: a review. Australian Journal of Ecology 24, 395–421.
CrossRef |

Sarre, G. A., Platell, M. E., and Potter, I. C. (2000). Do the dietary compositions of Acanthopagrus butcheri in four estuaries and a coastal lake vary with body size and season and within and amongst these water bodies? Journal of Fish Biology 56, 103–122.
CrossRef |

Sommerville, E., Platell, M. E., White, W. T., Jones, A. A., and Potter, I. C. (2011). Partitioning of food resources by four abundant, co-occurring elasmobranch species: relationships between diet and both body size and season. Marine and Freshwater Research 62, 54–65.
CrossRef |

Tweedley, J. R., Warwick, R. M., Valesini, F. J., Platell, M. E., and Potter, I. C. (2012). The use of benthic macroinvertebrates to establish a benchmark for evaluating the environmental quality of microtidal, temperate southern hemisphere estuaries. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64, 1210–1221.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Van der Heide, T., Govers, L. L., de Fouw, J., Olff, H., van der Geest, M., van Katwijk, M. M., Piersma, T., van de Koppel, J., Silliman, B. R., Smolders, A. J. P., and van Gils, J. J. (2012). A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems. Science 336, 1432–1434.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Wildsmith, M. D., Rose, T. H., Potter, I. C., Warwick, R. M., Clarke, K. R., and Valesini, F. J. (2009). Changes in the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of a large microtidal estuary following extreme modifications aimed at reducing eutrophication. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58, 1250–1262.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Wildsmith, M. D., Rose, T. H., Potter, I. C., Warwick, R. M., and Clarke, K. R. (2011). Benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental deterioration in a large microtidal estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62, 525–538.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Willan, R. C. (1993). Taxonomic revision of the family Psammobiidae (Bivalvia: Tellinoidea) in the Australian and New Zealand region. Records of the Australian Museum 18, 1–132.
CrossRef |

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016