Sarah Rebecca Taylor Driscoll, Ph.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England
- Lisabeth Willey, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- James Jordan, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Phil Colarusso, Ph.D., Committee Member
Baited Remote Underwater Video System, BRUVS, Bimini, Bahamas, fish, landscape ecology, red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, North Bimini Marine Reserve, seagrass, Thalassia testudinum, seagrass-mangrove ecotone, seascape ecology
Seagrass meadows and mangrove forests are ecologically and economically important systems that are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activity. This study used a non-invasive method, baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS), to observe mobile marine vertebrates in the seagrass-mangrove ecotone in North and South Bimini, the only area where mangroves remain in the northwestern Bahamas. An extensive area of mangroves and seagrass was removed for coastal development in North Bimini, where a marine protected area, the North Bimini Marine Reserve (NBMR), has been under consideration for decades. This research applied principles of seascape ecology to assess species abundance, diversity, and richness of marine fauna at 102 BRUVS deployment sites to answer the central research question, how does seascape composition and configuration influence mobile marine vertebrates in seagrass meadows adjacent to mangrove and non-mangrove habitats in Bimini, Bahamas? Findings highlighted the importance of the seagrass-mangrove ecotone for marine vertebrates (teleosts, elasmobranchs, and reptiles) with greater species abundance, diversity, and richness associated with denser seagrass near mangrove-lined shores.
Driscoll, S. R. (2021). Using Principles of Seascape Ecology to Consider Relationships Between Spatial Patterning and Mobile Marine Vertebrates in a Seagrass-Mangrove Ecotone in Bimini, Bahamas. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/706