Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Kenneth Small


This study tests for difference between pristine and impacted sites using replicated artificial structures placed in distinctly different areas of Winayh Bay allowing me to quantify the affects of environmental and anthropogenic influences on faunal composition, diversity and richness. This thought lends that prey availability could be seen as a significant factor in determining blue crab abundance and distribution, along with nursery habitats and predator abundance. Prey species and associated organisms are good indicators of the health of an estuarine system due to the fact that they are often immobile (Connell, 1961) and typically exist at higher abundances than blue crabs. With this in mind, it should follow suit that these marine organisms distribute themselves in their environment accordingly so that they are less stressed and have a better chance for growth and survival (Posey et al., 2005).