Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
Richard F. Dame
The grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio is common in estuaries along the Gulf and East coasts of the United States. These tiny shrimp are an important part of the ecology of these estuarine systems as they serve as a food source for many of the other organisms found in the estuary. While their roles in the estuary and life histories have been studied, not much is know about their daily patterns of migration over the tidal cycles. This study, conducted at the Baruch Marine Field Lab in Georgetown, SC, provides information on how P. pugio moves through the estuary and takes steps to discern any site fidelity that may be exhibited by these organisms. Grass shrimp were collected and stained with vegetable dye overnight. They were then released after two full tidal cycles and their return to the creek were monitored and recorded over the next tidal cycle. Small numbers of dyed shrimp were collected during each experimental trial, providing some evidence of a pattern of return to collection creeks. This preliminary data suggests that P. pugio do show some degree of site fidelity, with return rates of up to 0.30. This data indicates that there is a large population P. pugio remaining in the main creek and mixing with the populations that travel into the creeks on the flood tides.
Blythe, Brad J., "Creek Use of the Grass Shrimp Palaemonetes pugio in a South Carolina Estuary" (2001). Honors Theses. 170.