Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Paul A. X. Bologna

Committee Member

Jennifer Krumins

Committee Member

Jorge Trueba

Subject(s)

Red mangrove -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John, Fouling organisms -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John, Epibiosis -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John

Abstract

In May 1989, Hurricane Hugo impacted St. Johns USVI destroying the Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) Forest of Great Lameshur Bay. The impact restricted the tidal flow and caused massive destruction in the mangroves. Hurricane Marilyn (1995) hit St. John causing the storm wall formed by Hugo to be washed out. It returned limited tidal flow to the dead forest. It was not until a subsequent hurricane in 2010 broke down the sediment wall and natural flow returned. Up to that point, water quality restricted any fouling organisms’ survival on the prop roots. By using photo identification, three different bays of St. John were assessed to identify the local fouling community diversity; comparing the new fouling communities of Great Lameshur to that of Hurricane Holes community. The second objective of this study was to use remote sensing data to map the growth rate of the forest. The subsequent Great Lameshur study years showed an increase in similarity to Hurricane Hole as the years progressed. Which is in line with the remote sensing data showing the forest slowly recovering. Given enough time, Great Lameshur Bay’s fouling community is expected to increase in diversity and become similar to undisturbed sites.

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