Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

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
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

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 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF13209
Submitted: 5 August 2013  Accepted: 19 March 2014   Published: 26 November 2014

Abstract

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.


References

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.
Influence of sediment grain size on the burrowing of bivalves: correlation with distribution and stratigraphic persistence of selected neogene clams.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Long-term distribution patterns of mobile estuarine invertebrates (Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Crustacea: Decapoda) in relation to hydrological parameters.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration, and management.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Gradistat: a grain size distribution and statistics package for the analysis of unconsolidated sediments.CrossRef | open url image1

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. open url image1

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.
Spatial patterns in meiobenthic assemblages in intermittently open/closed coastal lakes in New South Wales, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Challenging paradigms in estuarine ecology and management.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Monitoring the condition of natural resources in US national parks.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1M7ntFGktw%3D%3D&md5=88a7094d1537cfac284f93b22a5dc87fCAS | 18509737PubMed | open url image1

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.
Macrofaunal patterns and animal-sediment relationships in Uruguayan estuaries and coastal lagoons (Atlantic coast of South America).CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Mollusks as ecosystem engineers: the role of shell production in aquatic habitats.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Estuaries to salt lakes: holocene transformation of the estuarine ecosystems of south-western Australia.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXlt1ahsb0%3D&md5=dd1072e65934369a1e89199429105e5dCAS | open url image1

Hope, P. K., Drosdowsky, W., and Nicholls, N. (2006). Shifts in the synoptic systems influencing southwest Western Australia. Climate Dynamics 26, 751–764.
Shifts in the synoptic systems influencing southwest Western Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

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. open url image1

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.
Denitrification and nutrient assimilation on a restored oyster reef.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXpt1Cht7o%3D&md5=88ffca78a2fdb1ef5a4f6809877c7675CAS | open url image1

Kennish, M. J. (2002). Environmental threats and environmental future of estuaries. Environmental Conservation 29, 78–107.
Environmental threats and environmental future of estuaries.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Benthic macrofaunal community structure along a well-defined salinity gradient in the Mullica River - Great Bay Estuary.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Benthic infauna variability in relation to environmental factors and organic pollutants in tropical coastal lagoons from the northern Yucatan Peninsula.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC38XhslagsLjF&md5=3f148547dd412cd74d47bd32b3f09172CAS | 23103028PubMed | open url image1

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.
Effect of flooding on estuarine bivalve populations near the mouth of the Hopkins River, Victoria, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Growth rates of the infaunal bivalve Soletellina alba (Lamarck, 1818) (Bivalvia: Psammobiidae) in an intermittent estuary of southern Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
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.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Adaptions of bivalves to different beach types.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
The larval fish assemblage of the Nornalup-Walpole Estuary, a permanently open estuary on the southern coast of Western Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Influence of water depth, season, habitat and estuary location on the macrobenthic fauna of a seasonally closed estuary.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Inter- and intraspecific partitioning of food resources by six large and abundant fish species in a seasonally open estuary.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Distribution and abundance of soft-bottom molluscs in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaE2MXhsVCks7g%3D&md5=3d4a6d78ca0bf846e64f8b727e64c8b3CAS | open url image1

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.
Composition of the fish fauna of a permanently open estuary on the southern coast of Australia, and comparisons with a nearby seasonally closed estuary.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Characteristics of the ichthyofaunas of southwestern Australian estuaries, including comparisons with holarctic estuaries and estuaries elsewhere in temperate Australia: a review.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
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?CrossRef | open url image1

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.
Partitioning of food resources by four abundant, co-occurring elasmobranch species: relationships between diet and both body size and season.CrossRef | open url image1

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.
The use of benthic macroinvertebrates to establish a benchmark for evaluating the environmental quality of microtidal, temperate southern hemisphere estuaries.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC38Xot1Chsr4%3D&md5=8e7791e677529e227dd7528c3892bf95CAS | 22482867PubMed | open url image1

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.
A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC38Xotlequ70%3D&md5=abb37a5823b91560f811eb99437b8c1aCAS | 22700927PubMed | open url image1

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.
Changes in the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of a large microtidal estuary following extreme modifications aimed at reducing eutrophication.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1MXhtVehtLrM&md5=87ceef4263d2190743c437c579315442CAS | 19616265PubMed | open url image1

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.
Benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental deterioration in a large microtidal estuary.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3MXjsVyks7c%3D&md5=fb344a879495534bef6806e989797031CAS | 21195437PubMed | open url image1

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.
Taxonomic revision of the family Psammobiidae (Bivalvia: Tellinoidea) in the Australian and New Zealand region.CrossRef | open url image1



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (1)

View Altmetrics