Pink shrimp as an indicator for restoration of everglades ecosystems
The pink shrimp, Farfantepenaeus duorarum, familiar to most Floridians as either food or bait shrimp, is ubiquitous in South Florida coastal and offshore waters and is proposed as an indicator for assessing restoration of South Florida's southern estuaries: Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay, and the mangrove estuaries of the lower southwest coast. Relationships between pink shrimp and salinity have been determined in both field and laboratory studies. Salinity is directly relevant to restoration because the salinity regimes of South Florida estuaries, critical nursery habitat for the pink shrimp, will be altered by changes in the quantity, timing, and distribution of freshwater inflow planned as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP). Here we suggest performance measures based on pink shrimp density (number per square meter) in the estuaries and propose a restoration assessment and scoring scheme using these performance measures that can readily be communicated to managers, policy makers, and the interested public. The pink shrimp is an appropriate restoration indicator because of its ecological as well as its economic importance and also because scientific interest in pink shrimp in South Florida has produced a wealth of information about the species and relatively long time series of data on both juveniles in estuarine nursery habitats and adults on the fishing grounds. We suggest research needs for improving the pink shrimp performance measure.
Browder, J.A., M.B. Robblee. 2009. Pink shrimp as an indicator for restoration of everglades ecosystems. Ecological Indicators 9(6): S17-S28.