Home > Explore Data & Reports > The Effects of Urbanization on Populations of Grass Shrimp Palaemonetes spp in Small, High Salinity Estuaries


Daugomah, J.W., T.C. Siewicki, D.E. Porter, and G.I. Scott. 2007. The Effects of Urbanization on Populations of Grass Shrimp Palaemonetes spp in Small, High Salinity Estuaries. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 54. Charleston, SC. 28 pp.

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NOAA Technical Memorandum

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High salinity estuaries in the southeastern U.S. have experienced increased inputs of contaminants from nonpoint source (NPS) urban runoff and decreases in habitat due to filling of wetlands and dock/bulkhead construction. Urbanization may pose significant risks to estuarine fauna, particularly crustaceans. The grass shrimp of the genus Palaemonetes, is one of the dominant species found in estuarine tidal creeks, accounting for greater than 50% of all macropelagic fauna on an annual basis. Spatial analytical and geographic information system techniques were used to determine which factors influenced the Palaemonetes population structures in a South Carolina bar-built estuary surrounded by urban development. Impacts from land use practices were investigated using concentric circular buffers around study sites. Factors investigated included sediment-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons concentration, land use classification, percent impervious surfaces, and other selected urban factors. Geographic information system and statistical modeling showed quantitative relationships between land use class and impacts on Palaemonetes density. The study suggests that habitat loss is a major factor influencing grass shrimp densities. Multiple regression modeling suggests a significant relationship between habitat alterations and Palaemonetes densities.

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