The trophic importance of land-derived organic matter
Project Leader: Dr. Ruth Carmichael
This work employs natural abundance stable isotope ratios to define trophic linkages along a salinity and corresponding organic matter gradient in Mobile Bay. This study collected the first spatially and temporally explicit data on organic matter sources available as food to forage fish and invertebrates in Mobile Bay to define the contribution of land-derived OM to open-water fisheries via recycling through the Mobile Bay system.
These data are needed to understand dietary sources to commercially important open-water fisheries and inform locally relevant ecosystem-based fisheries management. If compared with fishery-dependent and independent data, outputs from this project will be immediately useful to assessrelationships between food sources and dynamics of near shore target fisheries.