Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
Jones Creek, part of North Inlet-Winyah Bay, South Carolina, is known to have a chlorophyll a maximum that exists during low tide. The goal of this study was to determine if an increase in phytoplankton, demonstrated by chlorophyll a levels, would lead to an increase in zooplankton, fish, and bottlenose dolphins in the area. Sampling for chlorophyll a concentrations, zooplankton and dolphin densities occurred in fall of 2008. Based on the samples obtained, as chlorophyll a concentrations increased at low tide, zooplankton densities decreased. Dolphin density plots showed an increased density in Jones Creek during low tide for spring, summer, and winter seasons. While the hypothesis was not supported, it is suspected that chlorophyll a levels affect bottlenose dolphin distribution. Future studies should include sampling in surrounding tidal creeks to determine the any input these waters play on Jones Creek, as well as sampling during other seasons.
Stang, Lindsay Michael, "The Effect of a Phytoplankton Maximum on the Trophic Food Chain of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in North Inlet, South Carolina." (2009). Honors Theses. 152.