Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
James W. Fourqurean
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Date of Defense
The purposes of this study were to 1) characterize the distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Shark River Estuary, 2) determine water quality parameters driving distribution of SAV, 3) document the stable isotopic and elemental content of potential food sources for manatees, and 4) explore the utility of natural variability in isotope ratios of SAV in determining feeding patterns of manatees using isotopic compositions of manatee hairs as analytical tools. The marine/freshwater interface of the estuary was found to be the main factor driving SAV distribution. δ13C of manatee hairs showed significant differences between captive (mean = -24%) and wild (-15.7%) manatees. These results show that manatee hairs reflect the isotopic compositions of their food sources. This provides researchers with the ability to explore manatee travel routes and food consumption habits across a broad spatial range using non-invasive techniques.
Cornett, Virginia C., "Spatial distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Shark River Estuary and implications for understanding movement and feeding patterns of manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)" (2006). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2641.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).