Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Marvin Wass

Committee Member

Mark E. Chittenden

Committee Member

Paul A. Haefner

Committee Member

Michael E. Bender

Committee Member

Robert J. Byrne


The infauna of Zostera beds in the Chesapeake Bay-York River estuary and Chincoteague Bay was sampled in March and July using a corer. Sediments were fine sand or very fine sand. Sorting of sediments varied from poorly sorted to moderately well-sorted and was related to the density of Zostera at the respective stations. A total of 17 macroinvertebrate taxa was collected. Species abundance decreased up the estuary and there was a significant interaction in the number of species between stations and seasons. Faunal similarity of the areas sampled, as measured by three indices, indicated that the infauna of most Zostera beds in the Chesapeake Bay area is similar, except at the up estuary limits of Zostera distribution. Most dominant species showed some degree of patchiness. Some epifaunal species occurred. Animal density was very high, with a mean of 15,143 individuals/m2. Means for the Shannon-Weaver diversity index, equitability, and species richness were 3.43 bits/individuals, 0.43 and 27.9 species/180 individuals, respectively.

This dissertation is from the Joint Program Degree from the College of William & Mary and University of Virginia and awarded by the University of Virginia.



© The Author